Correction, DN — Corbett wields the chainsaw

How to send the wrong message regarding Corbett's budget cuts

Here’s Josh Cornfield of the Philadelphia Daily News following up on reaction to the newspaper’s cheesy, Photoshopped front page photo on March 31:

The Philadelphia School District apparently loved the Daily News’ cover yesterday as much as district parents and students will love the massive cuts coming their way. From its Twitter account, @PhillyEducation, the district spent hours blasting the Daily News for the image of Superintendent Arlene Ackerman holding a chainsaw, claiming that the photo illustration and “Chainsaw Massacre” headline promoted violence…

Apparently, it’s more fun to tweet about pretend links between satirical images and school violence than about the 163 school police officers the district threatened to fire on Wednesday. Or the threat to eliminate instrumental music, summer school, sports, teachers, counselors – or more than $600 million in services… The district didn’t stop spending taxpayer resources on excoriating the Daily News there, however. It went a step further, sending two paid staffers to interview Will Jordan, an associate professor of urban education at Temple University, about the cover image…

A paid staffer also edited the video and posted it to the district’s YouTube channel. All of those manpower hours had to be enough to pay for at least a couple of football helmets – you know, to keep students safe from the impending onslaught of chainsaw-wielding high-school students…

Maybe you mean well, Josh, but your newspaper’s approach to this story is a good example of the mainstream media’s uncanny knack for focusing on the wrong villains. Ackerman is a lousy superintendent, maybe even a petty tyrant. But she’s not the architect of the so-called austerity measures designed to kill public schools, cripple unions and bring down wages. It’s PA Gov. Tom Corbett, the crooked old white guy, who should be wielding the chainsaw on your cover.

Sure, the school district people are tone-deaf to satire, and they wasted time and money attacking the DN. But this was only after the DN wasted time and money placing its primary focus on Ackerman instead of Corbett and the Republican legislature — the people dead-set on privatizing our schools.

It’s not enough for you guys to explain the story on an inside page — Oh, by the way, Ackerman would rather not be slashing programs, but she will have no choice thanks to Corbett. You should be hitting people over the head with this fact, so that they’re conscious of who the enemy is and how they can fight back.

Don’t worry, I get it — the DN is a tabloid and you want to piss people off, it’s good for sales. But why deflect anger and blame from Corbett by misrepresenting Ackerman’s role? Why turn one Philly faction against another instead of trying to unite Philadelphians against the corporate-owned skunk in Harrisburg whose politics are the antithesis of everything big-city residents value?

Get your act together, DN. Philly is fighting for its life.

This entry was posted in Great Recession, livable cities, mainstream media, Philadelphia, Politics, taxes, unemployment and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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