Monday, February 02, 2015

Journal steps up coverage of school board contest

Truth be told, the Journal has devoted more column inches to this school board contest than any other I remember. Which is not to say, they have spent nearly enough.

Mark Twain warned;

 "never pick a fight with a man 
who buys his ink by the barrel"
Yet, here we go.

I assume Mark Twain meant;
When someone like Journal Editor in Chief Kent Walz gets his dander up, he can do enormous damage to messages and messengers regardless of their merits of the message or the messenger.

If the message is true and conflicts with their own interests; powerful people jump first to defaming the messenger top draw attention from the message.  If they must, they will begrudgingly  acknowledge the message.

Their attacks on messengers need not be germane or even accurate.  Who is going to hold him accountable; how and where and when?

Consider the damage he and the Journal (and KOB TV) have done to Kathy Korte's campaign and the message she carries in the fight over testing gone wild.

Their coverage; link, link, about campaign fliers being placed on windshields at a funeral amounts to "yellow journalism" wikilink, pure and simple.

Beside defaming the messengers, there is another way that a man with a barrel of ink can use his ink to prevail; he can use the ink to report on red herring instead.

He can use it on "record coverage" and even on an editorial, link, before the election.

If the goal getting out the vote, which would be the better strategy;
  • Encouraging voters to participate and offering rudimentary coverage of generally accepted issues.
  • investigating and reporting upon more important questions;
such as;
Are the ethics, standards and accountability that apply to school board members and superintendents high enough and, is their accountability actual and honest enough, to protect the people's interests in the public schools?
Clearly, if the answer is no; then the answer is "newsworthy".
It is newsworthy in particular, on the eve of an election.

If the answer is yes, ethics, standards and accountability are high, it is just as "newsworthy".  It would underscore the effectiveness and efficiency of the leadership of the APS; school board members and superintendents and would encourage voters to keep them on the job.
What do you intend to do with regard to participatory decision making in the leadership of the Albuquerque Public Schools?
  • Will you support the addition of community member seats on APS School Board Committees?  
  • Will you there, engage in good faith in a guided discussion toward principled resolutions of community issues with the APS?
  • Will you engage in open and honest two-way communication with the communities and community members you serve?
  • Why not?
Why will you not produce the ethically redacted findings of investigations into allegations of felony criminal involvement of APS senior administrators in the abuse of a federal criminal database and misappropriate of money in evidence?
Not "how"; why?

"How?" is by spending against the public interests; wholly unjustifiable numbers operational dollars on legal weaselry in an effort to hide the ethically redacted truth from stake and interest holders; tax payers foremost among them.
Explain your abandonment of your responsibilities as the senior-most role models of standards of conduct you establish and enforce upon students?
  • How can you expect students to model and promote honest accountability to nationally recognized, accepted and respected code of ethical conduct; the Pillars of Character Counts!, while you spend millions of dollars every year litigating exceptions for yourselves even from the law; the standards of conduct that all higher standards of conduct are higher than?

Even in the "record coverage" of a school board election, Walz and the Journal steadfastly refused to investigate and report upon a number of relevant issues.

They are the very sort of issues and reporting that compelled the founding fathers, in order that their democracy be informed, to protect in their very First Amendment to the Constitution, Walz' and others' human right to report the truth candidly, forthrightly and honestly.

Yet where Mark Twain still watching, he would still offer;
"If you don't read the Journal, you're uninformed.
If you do read the Journal, you're misinformed." derived - of course
Walz is complicit in, or willfully ignorant of, an effort by a handful of powerful people to influence the outcome of a school board election.  Joe Monahan touched on the problem this morning in a post on New Mexico Politics, link;
"... the Guv's political machine to unleash(ed) withering attacks on one of its most dreaded foes--ABQ School Board member Kathy Korte.

... there has been a veritable fusillade of attacks on Korte from the machine-friendly press, in the mailboxes and at school board meetings ...
Your only opportunity to keep the election from the whims of a few political heavy hitters, is not only to vote, but to get as many others to vote as you are able.

photos Mark Bralley 


Longtime friend and reader
James Douglass Robertson
passed a week ago.

He commented on posts on
occasion, but he always
delivered one observation
face to face;
Your posts are too damn long!
He would have thought this post was too damn long as well.
It seems fitting to dedicate it to his memory, if only to provoke him one last time.  Aside from that
may he rest in the peace he earned.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

good on ya, Ched. Robby would be proud. - John