Friday, January 07, 2011

Bill Gates Reaches Out

Not content to have Arne Duncan and Barack Obama in his hip pocket, Bill Gates, along with his equally caring partner, the Wal-Mart family, is trying to rate the media. It's not sufficient that nonsensical propaganda films garner wide praise from clueless editorial boards, or that Obama shills for Gates and Oprah shills for Obama and NBC shills for Oprah.

No, Bill Gates wants Howard Stern to stop being king of all media so the goshdarn media will do whatever Bill Gates says it should do. After all, the President of the United States does whatever Bill says so why shouldn't everyone?

Bill likes a certain kind of media coverage. For example, in a Newsweek interview that also features AFT President Randi Weingarten,  Bill got this question:

What about this notion of giving tenure to teachers? That seems ridiculous.

Clearly that's the level of journalism Bill expects us to maintain. That's a perfectly objective question. How ridiculous to have a just cause standard before depriving Americans of their livelihoods! There's be no such nonsense when Bill sets out standards. (Doubtless Wal-Mart wants to improve the country in just the same way.) And, of course, after Bill tells us how to run the country he will naturally need to tell us what we can and cannot discuss, and how we may talk about it. Let's examine just a few of Bill's statements:

For 90 percent of the teachers in America there’s no feedback.

I read somewhere that 68% of all statistics are made up on the spot. And naturally, Bill provides no source whatsoever for this statement. My experience suggests this statement is preposterous on its face. Ms. Weingarten, however, does not contradict him, as she and Bill are BFFs. Troublemakers (like me) who see Bill as disingenuous are simply fodder for ridicule at the AFT convention.

Go read the American Federation of Teachers New York work rules.

It's kind of doubtful Bill did that, as there is no such document. Bill doesn't even know the name of the UFT, so it's kind of hard for me to believe he studied our contract with the City of New York. Perhaps someone told him a story about it sometime. It's hard to say.

In many districts you have to give advance notice before anybody can come into your classroom. That’s part of the contract.  

Boy, I would love to see that contract. I've seen Bill speak of it elsewhere. Apparently, in Bill's concept of journalism, Bill says whatever Bill sees fit, and everyone believes it without question. Bill also criticizes teacher pensions, stating other countries don't provide them. Bill is probably unaware of the social safety nets that exist in other countries, and he probably doesn't know that other countries take care of everyone, whether or not they happen to be teachers. Bill fails to note that other countries also have unions, notably Finland, and that in those countries unionized workers thrive in many other sectors as well.

Perhaps when Bill controls the media, we'll read stories about tasty ways to prepare catfood for both working and retired teachers. It must somehow seem prestigious for Ms. Weingarten to be seen side by side with the guy who thinks we make too much money, we have things too good, and that we need to be fired whenever the hell demagogues like he and his billionaire buds get a hankering for cheaper labor.

This notwithstanding, it's incredible she fails to challenge such nonsense. It's her job, literally, to speak for us.
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