I still can’t get over the headline that the Providence Journal gave to Linda Borg’s Providence Journal article about the school choice rally at the State House:
At R.I. State House, Trump proposal overshadows rally for school choice
Add in the contrast with the relatively objective first paragraph, and the agenda of the folks who write the headlines couldn’t be clearer:
Thursday’s annual School Choice rally at the State House, which brought together dozens of private and religious schools, carried some additional weight this year due to President Donald Trump’s pitch to dedicate $20 billion in federal education dollars for vouchers.
So for the first time of this annual event, the President of the United States is bringing “additional weight” to the issue, and that “overshadows” the rally? That’s just a bizarre way to frame the story. It’s as if the headline writer called up the self-interested activists at a teachers union and asked them how to spin it.
For her part, Borg quickly recovers her bias in the subsequent paragraphs, highlighting that charter schools (which are the government’s attempt to edge into the private school market) didn’t attend the event and giving paid lobbyist William Fischer an opportunity to dismiss broader school choice than that provided by his paying clients in the government charter school interest group. (Observe that Borg doesn’t label Fischer as a lobbyist, but as a “spokesman” — “lobbyist” having the unavoidable taint of organizations that want to push their selfish interests.)
The open question is whether the journalists at the Providence Journal are akin to activists deliberately pushing an agenda or are just so steeped in left-wing ideology that they really can’t get their brains around a truly multicultural movement, aligned more with conservatives than progressives, that wants to increase freedom and improve students’ education with much less direct personal interest than cash-flush labor unions.
Or maybe it’s just personal allegiances on the journalists’ part. After all, although they don’t like to talk about it much, they are all AFL-CIO union members, themselves, and the AFL-CIO has a “partnership agreement” with the National Education Association (NEA), which is very strong in Rhode Island.