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Queens Chronicle

Be fair to the UFT

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Posted: Thursday, May 15, 2014 10:30 am

Dear Editor:

Sometimes the major daily newspapers have a lot to learn from community papers like yours. That’s especially true in the coverage of education stories. You keep your editorials on the editorial page and the unadulterated news articles where they belong. But such journalistic integrity is not to be taken for granted. Witness one tabloid in particular.

Unlike them, you would never use language like “twisted war,” “spewing hatred,” “sabotage rant” and “satanic details” to describe a calm, clear-headed and accurate clarification of a proposed contract from a union president to his members.

Isn’t inflammatory language like that a bit over the top? And doesn’t it tell more about a paper that used it (it should be slightly renamed the Compost) than about its intended target: the United Federation of Teachers? Either the folks whose employer has been publishing since the days of Alexander Hamilton haven’t a clue what those words really mean or they are distorting them to suit their agenda.

The problem is bigger than one paper. The problem is endemic in the media, which seems to believe that “the end justifies the means.” In other words, propaganda or a warped version of what they know to be the truth is okay if the readership or viewers are swayed their way.

These enemies of public education and unions could care less if our kids get caught in the crossfire. That’s another thing they have in common with the self-proclaimed, darkly-funded “reformers” whom they caress in their editorial-laced news “reports.”

If the UFT existed a millennium ago, these tabloids and their abettors would have praised the Vikings for torching their union hall.

Despite what these crooked headliners print, the fact is that the teachers union is without fail, distraction or contradiction, up front and above-board in all it says and does. To its members and the general public alike. That’s true whether cameras and microphones are on or off.

Now the city and the union are not at each other’s throats. They have a sensible working relationship not because of convenience or necessity but because they all know the struggle is not about them. It’s about the kids. Protecting those kids from the flirtations of the anti-public school lobby. Therefore every blow that is struck against the anti-public school henchmen is an act of conscience and a moral duty.

Ron Isaac
Fresh Meadows

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