I will protect your pensions. Nothing about your pension is going to change when I am governor. - Chris Christie, "An Open Letter to the Teachers of NJ" October, 2009

Monday, August 8, 2011

Fox News Audition Tape

It really is time to give the Matt Damon interview a break, but I have to make a few comments about this:

OK, first of all, the SOS March was not a union rally. Unions contributed some resources, but SOS is its own deal.

Next, you see the graphic under Napolitano during his intro? "Bad teachers." Says it all, doesn't it?

As to the young Ms. Fields: see how she did it again? "The fact of the matter is that teachers, when they have tenure and they're bad, they can't get fired." She says this even though they can. If you watch the original video, Damon's mother, a professor of education, calls her on this, and she immediately backtracks: "Well, it's very difficult to fire them." You've got to hand it to her; she's absorbed the techniques of Fox "News" arguing very well: say something wrong, backtrack immediately when called on it, and then change the subject. Well played, Michelle.

"Choice and competition improves all areas of our lives." But "competition" requires winners and losers. Are we prepared to accept losers in our schools?

For every Applebee's there are thousands of restaurants that fail. No big deal; build another and try again. Schools are different; we can't afford to have any of them fail. But in Fields and Napolitano's bizarre Randian fantasy, kids could just shuffle from school to school, hoping to find a good one, just like folks out on a Friday night looking for a juicy burger. I find myself amazed that we even have to argue against such transparently idiotic nonsense.

Now, some technical debunking. Go to 2:55 into the video, and you'll see this chart:

Wow - I make just a little less than a lawyer! More than an accountant! Whoo-hoo! Who knew the average architect made less than $53,000 a year?

Oh, wait - it says "hourly earnings." Based on statistics from the BLS. Yeah, I covered this last year: the BLS survey specifically says NOT to use this data to compare teachers' hourly wages to other professions, because the survey doesn't take prep time into account.

As Bruce Baker tells us: compared to these and other similar professions, teachers work 5/6 of the time and make 2/3 of the pay. And the benefits don't come close to making up the difference.

Of course, Napolitano ain't buying, and he goes into a little whine about how hard he works and how easy teachers have it. Well, according to the Fox Business Channel schedule, Napolitano works an hour a day. By the same metric he uses to judge teachers, his hourly wage must be astronomical.

You would think that in the liberatarian paradise Napolitano and Fields want, his salary would be more commiserate with the fact that barely anyone watches his cruddy show or channel:
The latest numbers available, from June 2009, showed FBN with an average of 21,000 viewers between 5 a.m. and 9 p.m., still under the Nielsen threshold, and less than 10% of CNBC's 232,000 for the same time span. At this point, FBN was available in about 49 million U.S. homes.
So much for the free market. But I do think Fields will still fit right in; I'm sure they're looking at this tape and considering her for any number of positions. After all, Fox always has room for a pretty face spouting insane views.


Jason M. Varner said...

Jazzman: Thanks for taking the time to debunk this Fields/Napolitano propaganda. When I originally came across this clip, I found it so outrageous that it needed to be shared and taken apart.

When Napolitano towards the beginning says something along the lines of 'our buddies at Reason.TV,' I knew something was wrong...

Sadly, many people (such as the 2 in this clip) who claim to be 'libertarian' are just Corporate Crony Capitalists looking for government contracts who play fast and loose with their espoused "free-market" / "lassiez faire" ideologies... Would love to know what deals Napolitano has going on in the education sector; my guess is that he has a financial stake somewhere along the line.

"...Fox always has room for a pretty face spouting insane views."
-- Ms. Fields' attire in the original Reason.TV SOS March interview video fits in well with this observation.

PS: Twitter users can contact Ms. Fields here: http://twitter.com/MichelleFields

I sent her some suggested reading material (yes, I was nice -- I think), and have gotten no response (surprise, surprise).

Duke said...

Thx Jason, and hang tight - my guess is the troll from Reason will be showing up any minute now...

CommutingTeacher said...

This completely sickens me. As an educator and as a viewer of daily and nightly news, I think I should begin a reform of news personalities and make sweeping generalizations about it that have nothing to do with the actual job they are doing. At the same time I will make them sound like they are the industry responsible for all the ills of society because their jobs don't require high standards. Sheesh!

czarejs said...

The "Bad Teachers" banner should be enough to make anyone ignore this ridiculousness.

The 3 month vacation lie is so easy to debunk I just don't understand how anyone can believe it anymore unless they are willfully being stupid.

Anonymous said...

I always enjoy reading your thoughts and ideas. I really wish that people could walk in our (teachers) shoes for a month. I will gladly relinquish my duties for that cause. I mean, isn't everyone in this state a genius when it comes to education and educating our youths? I mean, if they can do it so much better than us, then why don't they? Oh, that's right, the pay, long hours, and mental exhaustion is enough to make anyone decline such a job. Wait, I forgot, we get summers off too..........oh, did I forget to mention that I have two (2) jobs in the summer to pay bills? I am sure that a vast majority of teachers are in the same boat I am. I guess we all lost our tickets to the "gravy train" that we were supposed to catch when signing on as teachers!

Anonymous said...

Out by 3...that's a laugh! I work at least three extra hours a day and have to be in school 7 hours. Along with evening rehearsals and weekends. It all works out to more than 12 months of a 9-5 job! With my two months off in the summer and two weeks off during the year. I love my job...I am not complaining...just making it real!

czarejs said...

Anyone ever coach a team? Out by three? Yeah thanks for playing. Oh and by the way my summer vacation? I don't recall seeing my paycheck during that time.

Anonymous said...

Where did those numbers come from? I pay my lawyer $300/hour while I make $30 as a teacher with 25 years experience!

Duke said...

Thx for debunking these phony stats, folks.

Would you ever invest your money with a guy who watched Fox Business Channel?