Thursday, August 7, 2014

Re Mulgrew #AFT14 "Punch" Video: What I Told NY Daily News Reporter Steven Rex Brown

Oh, those Martians, who made stops in Seattle and Los Angeles to pick up Gates and Broad before heading for Washington DC to pick up their pal Randi. Conspiracy theories? Who me when there are so few grounds?
I told Brown flat out that I full well knew that the Daily News has an agenda in its interest in the video - to paint Mulgrew and the union as thugs as part of its anti-union bias. He didn't contradict me or even pretend that wasn't the intention. I could tell by his questions how they were going to shape the story.
I rarely trust reporters, particularly from the tabloids. So when Steven Rex Brown, who unfortunately works with that snake, Ben Chapman, asked me to call him today about the Mulgrew AFT video I posted, I did so because he wanted some context. And I gave him plenty of context, especially on this point of derision of CC critics by Mulgrew:
“I’ve heard the stories about how Eli Broad, Bill Gates, Joel Klein and a flying saucer full of Martians designed these things to brainwash us all,” said Mulgrew, mocking critics who deride Common Core as being imposed by billionaires and corporate bigwigs.
Oh, those Martians, who made stops in Seattle and Los Angeles to pick up Gates and Broad before heading for Washington DC to pick up their pal Randi. Conspiracy theories? Who me when there are so few grounds?

I told Brown how the UFT had accepted a million dollar donation from Broad for its charter school and how Broad backed the Al Shanker bio. And how Gates has funneled money to the AFT/UFT to support the common core. And oh that invite to the AFT 2010 convention.  "Do you think Mulgrew looked sort of desperate in the video," I asked Brown? "Yes," he said. "Why do you think he might be desperate? Is it possible there is loads of money somehow involved and in danger?" I always start with "follow the money."
I told Brown flat out that I full well knew that the Daily News has an agenda in its interest in the video - to paint Mulgrew and the union as thugs as part of its anti-union bias. He didn't contradict me or even pretend that wasn't the intention. I could tell by his questions how they were going to shape the story.

I told him:
"If you watch Mulgrew's defense of the common core you will see you guys are on the same side -- all the press supports the common core too. You should be cheering Mulgrew instead of attacking him."

I said my interest in posting the video is in defending the union and making it a better union by exposing the links of our union leaders to groups supporting the common core as a way to rally the rank and file to rise up and turn our union into a fighting union while his paper had nefarious reasons. As long as we were clear on where we each were coming from.

Remember the backdrop to Mulgrew's speech. The day before, Unity did a bum rush to push the Chicago people out of their seats near the microphones and reports of that left them with some egg on their faces. (Leroy Barr had pushed Sarah Chambers). And right before Mulgrew spoke it was Sarah and other CTU teachers who were very strong. So Mulgrew was doing this in some context.

Here is what I posted on July 13:
Gloria in visitor's section just texted - Unity are positioning themselves now near mikes....  Common Core debate begins
[Common Core] will die no matter what the AFT does because, frankly, it doesn’t matter.... Ravitch
UFT throw heavy hitters Mulgrew, Barr - while CORE uses their rank and file -  who are more than capable of holding their own. This is not to say that others around the nation are on the Randi team. So far only Chicago people are opposing the AFT/UFT reso.
UPDATE: See Chicago - reasons to oppose common core.
And this pic of Sarah in a Unity sandwich (though that may be NYSUT Pres Karen Magee, who is Unity clone) with hack Stuart Kaplan behind her, probably holding a bigger shot's spot or to call the question.
Anyway -
So when asked me how I felt about Mulgrew's demeanor I must have disappointed Brown when I said Mulgrew's demeanor is fine with me. I only wish he was like in defending teachers when instead his so-called anger (I forgot to tell Brown it was an act) was really being directed at classroom teachers who opposed the common fore.

I said I want that fighting spirit in a union leader (I certainly prefer Mulgrew's style to the insipid Randi's). But Mulgrew is using a phony fighting spirit on the side of the corporate interests who are pushing the common core instead of using it to defend classroom teachers. I urged him to watch the 2 classroom teachers who followed Mulgrew, Barr and Magee where they talked about the CC being tied to corporate interests, with the last speaker pointing out how it is copywrited.

Brown read back the quote he was going to use and it sounded good to me. I told him if it comes out that way (which I didn't believe it would - and it really didn't) I would get him a birthday present. I don't think so.
The Staten Island native’s fighting words left other teachers feeling insulted, however. “His style is not attacking the real enemies of teachers. He’s attacking the teachers trying to defend their children in the classroom!” said Norm Scott, a retired elementary school teacher living in Rockaway, Queens, who recorded the video and posted it to his Ed Notes blog.
 Brown had asked me about Mulgrew's demeanor, which I am fine with, not insulted. But the rest of the quote looks good to me.

Oh, and when I told him I had a lot more unpublished footage he said he would talk to people about buying it. "Sorry I said, not interested." Ah, the benefits of being a Tier 1 retiree.

More videos of heroic Chicago teachers who spoke before and after Mulgrew.

Postscript
People are telling me that the streamed video of the AFT convention seems to be missing the Mulgrew speech. I don't want to accuse them of playing the Richard Nixon card and deleting it.

Another point. Someone asked me how it worked out that Mulgrew and Barr spoke right after another -- these guys are big shots - do they have to race to the mic and stand in line? Surrogate Unity Caucus slugs do that work for them - they grab a spot at the mics and move aside for the biggies when strategically it is time for them to speak.






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