|"You Are So Shallow"|
We had a bit of a dust up here in B-Lo Ed-land recently when a professor from Buffalo State College released the results of a study she conducted with a grad student empirically stating a suspicion many of us have shared over the years, namely, that the Buffalo News education reporting contains a palpable bias in favor of charter schools and the entire corporate ed reform manifesto. If social media is worth anything it's a great staging ground for public tantrums and meltdowns one would ordinarily not get to see elsewhere. Aaron Lowinger of DailyPublic.com published on his Facebook wall a short tease of his colleague Shane Meyers' article on the findings of Professor Nikischer's research which was due to be published the following day. Who of all people but Buffalo News education reporter Tiffany Lankes dropped a comment wondering what The News' reaction might be to this piece. Well things were strained from the get go and they didn't get any friendlier as the thread spun its way down the page with Shane chiming in and Aaron doing the same. They respectfully challenged Ms. Lankes to be real and be at least a little bit honest about the way her employer frames education coverage and the way the News editorial policy tends to regularly leak into the so called "news" stories. Long story short, Miss Tiffany ended her participation in something of a rant accusing DailyPublic of bias too then. If the internets had a door she would have slammed it. Now if that was the public face of the News reaction to being chided for their pro corporate ed reform journalizing I can only imagine what else they had to say and what private responses and reactions we didn't get to witnesss. Were voodoo dolls fashioned? Dart boards festooned with likenesses of DailyPublic guys and the Prof? Did anyone get a sheet pizza delivered to their door in the dead of night? Or a flaming paper bag on their front porch? We can only imagine.
What we don't have to imagine is the way a Buffalo News education reporter and alleged professional journalist named Sandra Tan tried to charm Carl Paladino into resuming their relationship by way of admitting not taking her calls makes her "feel bad." She also apologizes to him several times and all but begs him to take her back. Professionally of course but the missive does have an overtly personal tone that blurs the lines to borrow a phrase from Robin Thicke by way of Marvin Gaye. Enjoy Sandra's lament to her Angry Developer and you tell me if this is someone who needs to be getting up on her soapbox to swear she has no bias.
On March 31, 2015, at 5:20 pm, Sandra Tan, (School Zone, Buffalo News) wrote :
I understand from your secretary that you aren’t taking my calls. If you’re trying to make me feel bad, you win. I do feel bad.
I can only assume, since you haven’t actually spoken to me about this, that you’re angry about the reaction story I wrote about your resolution to fire Ogilvie. The main purpose of that story was to gather reaction from other board and community members to your proposal, which I wrote about extensively that previous Sunday. When we spoke last on the following Monday, I had canvassed other board members regarding whether they intended to support your motion. I then shared with you that you didn’t appear to have board support.
I recall you telling me then that you didn’t care what anybody else thought and that you were your own man and wouldn’t be bullied. I also recall you were traveling and preparing to step on a plane or something. So when I later got the email from Rev. Kinzer Pointer, on behalf of the clergy coalition, I naturally followed up with him and included his comments in the story. Had I known you would have actually cared about his opinion enough to want to rebut his comments, I would have obviously made an effort to reach you after I spoke with him late Monday afternoon. As it was, I didn’t realize his opinion mattered to you at all.
Based on your reaction, I see in hindsight that this was a misjudgment on my part. However, nothing I wrote was part of an intentional effort to rob you of your point of view. Moreover, I’m very disappointed that if you had any issue with anything I’ve written that you wouldn’t pick up the phone and call me directly to complain. That’s unlike you. I would have apologized and explained all this to you then. Given how long you have been dealing with me – years – I would have expected you to contact me directly.
When taking the sum of what I have written about you over time, I believe I have represented your positions accurately and fairly. If you don’t think so, fine. Call and let me know. Feel free to yell. I can take it. I can even apologize nicely. If you’re angry at me about more than the above, get it off your chest so I can understand your position better. But this cold-shoulder treatment is beneath you.
I called you today to get your reaction to the school receivership model that’s being adopted by the State Legislature. I’m working on a story for tomorrow. I’ve called several board members and gotten feedback from them, but I think your feedback is important too. I suppose if you never speak to me again, I’ll never be able to include your opinions in any future story I write. That would be a shame, wouldn’t it? So please forgive me and call me back. I’m at 849-4419.
And if you think that's all there is to this comedy you haven't laughed until you read how Carl Paladino slams the Buffalo News editorial writers and tells "Sandy" to stop reading their nonsense and check herself essentially calling her out to be a better person. I am hard pressed to believe that Carl reads the News editorials since they march in lockstep with every one of his corporate ed reform policies. He may bear such a residual grudge against them from his campaign for Governor that he simply assumes they are his enemy. In a similar vein he and his nemesis Andrew Cuomo have nearly identical anti public education goals but Carl doesn't seem to realize this either. At least he's never let on that he does. Here is Carl being Carl and telling his woman scorned with a nod to Humphrey Bogart they never had Paris in the first place and they probably never will. Enjoy:
From: Carl Paladino
Date: April 4, 2015 at 2:00:31 PM EDT
To: Sandra Tan
Cc: Dawn Bracely, Rod Watson, John Neville Warren Colville
Subject: Re: I'm not sure what we're fighting about, but you win
It's simple Sandy. I made the motion to terminate Olgilvie to make a point that betrayal and treachery constitute unacceptable bad behavior, and with no consequences will send the wrong message to him and to others.
I knew that the politically correct liberals on the Board knew that what I was doing was correct, but couldn't buy into such a disciplinary stance because they are such forgiving souls, tomorrow is just another day and it's better to use the "time proven" exercise of restorative justice that has worked so well at Bennett and Riverside High Schools.
Good leadership demands that you lead from the front and if you are committed to the effort to really win, you make the hard calls and obliterate anything that stands in your way.
You knew that I was making a point. Nevertheless, despite my having done the same thing many times last year, you were so anxious to point out that I was lame because I did not have apparent support. You are so shallow.
Where was Reverend Pointer and his crowd for the last 20 years as another generation of minority kids circled the drain?
We know where the African American leadership has been. They have been building a power structure more interested in conspiring and covering up the disappearance of $500 million of Joint School Construction money, controlling a $965 million budget and providing jobs for illiterate and incompetent friends and family, than actually providing an opportunity for education for the children held captive in the cycle of poverty.
If their focus was really about the kids, they would be demanding vouchers, tax credits, charter schools, neighborhood schools and SEED schools or other vehicles that would give real choice and alternatives creating competition -which in turn has proven to improve education.
Instead, our 4 minority women have conspired with union leaders to maintain the status quo and avoid the provision of standards for teachers and principals to prevent the tossing of the growing bad element of incompetent educators that is the heart and soul of the dysfunction.
By giving Pointer print to only say that I'm a racist ass, without offering up any better solution, you add to the racist banter, enhancing polarization and acrimony.
How about becoming part of the solution instead? You know that by simply picking your topic you in fact editorialize. Get off the merry go round, stop reading the insane News editorials and recognize that it has been on the watch of the 4 African American women on the Board, most of the exempt administrators of the District, 3 incompetent Superintendents
It's time for you to take a break and figure out who you are and how you will set yourself apart from disrespected mainstream journalism.
We are not on the same page and it is unlikely we ever will be.