Tuesday, May 8, 2012

The dumbest platitude written about today's school board races . . . .

. . . . is on the News Journal editorial page.

Here it is (again, can't find the link; maybe they are ashamed of it):
That's why smart special interests delight in such callous voter interest about who serves on school boards.  They turn up in enough numbers to get their candidates seated and they hang around long after polling has ended.  They are the citizen journalists or effective gadflies who are front an center at monthly board meetings.
So much wrong in three sentences, where do I begin?

If Voices 4 Delaware and DSEA agreed on just one thing, it would be that they are both trying to increase the number of people voting.  At least I think so.  Otherwise, no rational theory at all would explain spending thousands of dollars to push some candidates and attack others, right?

So the first paragraph, that suggests that "smart special interests" are happy about low voter turn-out would seem to be, uh, just stupid.

The second sentence says that those special interests "turn up in enough numbers to get their candidates seated."  What's wrong with this?  As Frederika Jenner correctly pointed out, prior to about 2008 or 2009 in Red Clay (and it was the same in CSD), far too many school board seats were handed out without any election, because only one candidate self-nominated.

Then there are the people who "hand around long after polling has ended."

Pay attention, bloggers, because I think in its own patrician down-the-nose way the News Journal is going to talk about us:  "citizen journalists or effective gadflies"--that's us, right?

I really like that term "citizen journalists," don't you?  It has just the right amount of disdain, and it is just properly coded so bloggers will know we're being dissed, but nobody else will be directed toward the blogs.

"Gadflies" is another great dismissive term:  think about what it implies about the motivations, intelligence, and scope of everyone from PTA leaders, to DSEA members, to Vision proponents.  They're all just insignificant insects darting around the educational light bulb that is the school board.

The reality is that, if anyone really wanted coverage of all the back-and-forth about issues, about funding, about scandals--if anyone actually wanted to read the Delaware PTA letter, or the Attorney General's response, or the stats on contributions--then the only place you could get them this year was pretty much on the blogs.

We all covered--in our own piratical, sometimes coarse but almost always passionate and entertaining way--the story that the newspaper wouldn't tell.

Nichole Dobo aside (and we all think of you as one of us, Nichole, but we won't tell the NJ editorial board), the WNJ coverage of the contest between different educational factions has gone completely unreported.  Thousands, probably tens of thousands, of dollars have been thrown into this year's school board races, especially in Red Clay and CSD, but if you didn't read the blogs you probably didn't know about it.

Which is exactly the way the dead tree media would like to keep it.


pandora said...

That is one mess of a paragraph. I had to read it several times to make sure I understood their meaning.

I agree that Voices 4 Delaware and DSEA want to increase voter turn-out... at least for their candidate! ;-)

The News Journal is trying to dance around the issue. They are hinting at things that, god forbid, they'd ever, you know, report on.

Citizen journalist? Gadflies? Oh my, they are above it all, aren't they?

john said...

I just learned that a school board is a light bulb.


john said...

found the link: http://www.delawareonline.com/article/20120508/OPINION11/305080053/Smart-voters-don-t-miss-school-board-elections?odyssey=mod|newswell|text|Home|s

took about an hour.