Monday, September 10, 2012

Russo and Rotherham: Ed Deform Shills Leach on Ed Industrial Complex

There was a time when I actually took Alexander Russo and Andrew Rotherham (who subscribed to Ed Notes in the late 90s) seriously. My bad. First, Russo.
Some people play Chopin or Bach while writing. I prefer "The Wire." Its fictions are more credible that Russo's "scoops" from Brooklyn.....  he became a full-time scab writing for Tribune. Others can keep in touch with "District299.com" as it unfolds its version of reality on that dwindling number of Chicago readers who can stomach the notion that reporting about Chicago's schools can best be done by a preening minion of the plutocracy out of Brooklyn. --- George Schmidt on Alexander Russo
Alexander,
What the fuck are you talking about? You do not do any reporting. 'Journalistic ethics?' From you! You get paid by the Tribune company to run a blog about Chicago schools from Brooklyn New York!--- John Kulger at Substance.
Alexander Russo pretends to be an honest reporter while he blogs about Chicago from Brooklyn. I never bother to read him anymore. When George Schmidt, who expresses nothing but disdain for Russo, got a scoop of sorts in this story where he caught a pic Barabara Byrd Bennett in the elevator -- she tried to hide her face -- like a perp --- Russo got a bit jealous and on the Substance web site accused George of violating --- you gotta laugh ----

Journalistic standards

George, shouldn't you have disclosed at some point in this article that the reason you were there at the CTU offices is that you work there at the CTU offices, and aren't really functioning as a journalist here?
People in glass houses, rocks, etc. --- Alexander Russo

September 8, 2012 at 11:03 PM

Anthony Smith responds
Dear Alexander,
Seriously, of all the things you could comment on, considering the seriousness of the situation, this is what you come up with?
I have to say I don't care where a journalist works, just as I don't care where a police officer, firefighter, teacher, etc. lives.
What I DO care about is that they are doing there job, properly, professionally, and reliably.
I have to say that George fits that bill for me. A professional journalist is not going to stop being that professional journalist depending on where they are located for a story. Same for first responders etc.
I could care less where someone works. And if the story walks into your area of work who cares, just as long as you report the story accurately.
So I suggest if you are going to choose a particular reason to attack George with your pebble, pick something that has more validity.
In Solidarity! Standing Strong! 

And John Kugler

Alexander Russo — Mr. Brooklyn

Alexander,
What the fuck are you talking about? You do not do any reporting. 'Journalistic ethics?' From you!
You get paid by the Tribune company to run a blog about Chicago schools from Brooklyn New York!
It is clear since SB7 that you promote the ruling class version of events. Remember the nice picture you ran — Vote No! — for strike authorization that you generated? Substance reporters watch all the shit you post. Plus we have notes of all your work since your first contacts in Chicago, back when you arrived, fresh from Harvard, filled with the same self-importance you are still preening.
Instead of pretending to be a journalist covering the public schools, why not get into a public school classroom in Chicago — the inner city — and see how long you last.



George Schmidt responds
September 9, 2012 at 3:22 AM

Russo's silliness? Typical of Tribune's alternative reality

Let's hear it for "journalistic ethics" in Rahm Emanuel's Chicago in 2012! The cool thing about the fierce reality of now is that our enemies in the "journalism" business (and other agents of the plutocracy) are going to try and find even the most trivial distractions from the facts, especially when September 10, 2012 dawns. 

Alexander Russo, — who has been bloviating through District299.com "locally" and at Education Week nationally — seems to believe that the story about those six cowards in that elevator at the Merchandise Mart was all wrong. Instead of reporting who was bargaining on behalf of CPS on September 7, 2012, the story should be about my reporting and other interests (including the fact that I work as a consultant for the Chicago Teachers Union, which I first joined as a member in 1969). 

It's not going to happen. Every Substance reporter will be carrying both our press cards and our vast experiences with us everywhere as the biggest education story of the year continues to unfold in Chicago in the next month or three. Were promising accuracy, not the kind of "fair and balanced" version of "journalism" that has undermined reality over the past quarter century or more. And it's the kind of accuracy you can only get by being at the story when and where it happens, not punditing for the plutocracy from 800 miles to the East.

Most readers seem to think that what that particular group was doing at CTU (especially the latest FNG chieftain Barbara Byrd-Bennett and that Pritzker-Emanuel myrmidon Beth Swanson) was "news". The singular fact that the rest of the Chicago press corps couldn't have answered a multiple-choice question about that "Who's Who" doesn't make it in a world where people are supposed to fixate more on Kim Kardashian than on the tragic facts of Chicago's public schools' realities.

Anyone who doesn't know that I cover Chicago schools from Chicago has been living in one of those plutocratic alternative universes that the ruling class has been trying to create for a couple of decades (almost, sadly, successfully). Every reporter reporting for Substance comes from "inside" — as do our growing number of anonymous sources at all levels who have grown disgusted with the attacks on public schools and unions promoted by the likes of Alexander for a generation now. There are more principals today, in 2012, who despise the way Chicago and CPS are being run than ever before, to take just one example, and "Inside Scoop."

I work as a consultant for the CTU, and as a reporter for Substance. I'm also the parent of two CPS students and one CPS graduate. And I cover the news from Chicago where it is happening, just as our other reporters do. Our bylines are reliable because our reporters are there, whether at the AFT convention covering the shenanigans of the Obama-Biden manipulators with the press (and the protest by Chicago against that) or at Teamster City covering the final hours building up the organization for the strike.

Russo's "Inside Scoop" insiders must really be miffed to have called on him to take a childish shot at Substance after we caught them ducking out of the CTU offices on September 7. I don't even care which of them called him on this one, because it doesn't matter. 

I used to blog regularly around "District 299.com" when Russo was with Catalyst years ago. I stopped when he became a full-time scab writing for Tribune. Others can keep in touch with "District299.com" as it unfolds its version of reality on that dwindling number of Chicago readers who can stomach the notion that reporting about Chicago's schools can best be done by a preening minion of the plutocracy out of Brooklyn.

Our slogan at Substance used to be "Where ignorance is the standard, intelligence is subversive. Read Substance every month and join a subversive activity."

That changed with the 21st Century. Now the best version we have is:
"Ruthlessly accurate in reporting what we see and hear from the front lines.
"Shamelessly biased — for the working class, unions, and public schools."
We did break one policy on this precious moment.

Alexander Russo posted his comment to Substance without following our general rules requiring that a commenter use both his first and last name (and that we can verify it if we decide to). The thing above protruded into our House here under the name "Alexander" — as if everyone knows who that is.

We checked, verified that it was the Brooklyn guy who operates that strange blog on behalf of that scab empire at Tribune, and decided to simply let our readers have his remarks. Usually, when we get something from an anonymous, pseudonymous, or first name only coward we simple hit DELETE.

I hope our readers enjoy this exception, but next time he wants to visit our House, Russo has to follow our rules of good manners. As to "Journalistic Standards." Well, anyone who believes it's possible to "cover" Chicago from 800 miles away has a vivid imagination on that score.

And now we all have better things to do. The first picket lines will be up at some of the central and citywide offices of CPS in 22 hours, and the other 600 (or so) will be up at all the schools in 26 hours.

Anyone who spots Alexander Russo covering this bit of education news in Chicago during the next month should let us know. We'll send a reporter to interview him about his magical sources and "Insidey Scoopiness." 

Meanwhile, I'm going back to some review work in preparation for some of the biggest education stories of the 21st Century, with a nod to "Snoop" and "Chris" (fourth season) before reviewing the recent history of the Tribune Corporation (fifth season). Some people play Chopin or Bach while writing. I prefer "The Wire." Its fictions are more credible that Russo's "scoops" from Brooklyn.

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Andrew Rotherham’s Advice for Obama II

by The Assailed Teacher
Despite his benign delivery, Rotherham is an extremist, an educational Jihadist with a one-track mind. Unfortunately, he reflects the educational policy for the Democratic Party. A Republican could not have such a forked tongue without being called out on it.

Rotherham is saying essentially the same thing as Diane Ravitch and many others: there is no difference between the Democratic and Republican vision for education. Rotherham himself is listed as a “Democrat”, yet is one of the most strident apologists for charters, testing, Common Core and the rest of the corporate reform agenda. What concerns Andy here is the fact that “education special interests are pushing back” against his beloved policies. By “special interests”, does he mean the Chicago Teachers’ Union?


Categorizing actual members of the communities that are being destroyed by education reform as “special interests” is a clever sleight of hand on Rotherham’s part. People tend to associate that term with self-interested bigwigs, like our union here in NYC, with no real interest outside of themselves. It is Andy’s self-serving narrative that pits heroes like himself against entrenched mossbacks like the big bad teachers’ unions. The only union pushing back is the CTU, and they have been all but disowned by their national parent, the AFT under Randi Weingarten.

READ MORE from Assailed
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The opinions expressed on EdNotesOnline are solely those of Norm Scott and are not to be taken as official positions (though Unity Caucus/New Action slugs will try to paint them that way) of any of the groups or organizations Norm works with: ICE, GEM, MORE, Change the Stakes, NYCORE, FIRST Lego League NYC, Rockaway Theatre Co., Active Aging, The Wave, Aliens on Earth, etc.

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