PERSEPOLIS WATCH: 'Our students can handle it...' is the last word (from CTU Financial Secretary Kristine Mayle) as Chicago Tonight March 18 show allows Chicago Public Schools, Rahm Emanuel, and Barbara Byrd Bennett to dodge blame for censorship

The book has been in print for a decade. The movie has been out for half decade. Yet suddenly under Barbara Byrd Bennett's regime as "Chief Executive Officer", Persepolis is ordered out of libraries and classrooms of Chicago's public schools. Then there is a "communications problem" -- it wasn't really censorship at all. And Rahm Emanuel says "We don't ban books." Next thing you know, he will be saying, "We don't close real public schools and replace them with charters..." Or "We have our libraries open all day every day..."

A dramatic episode of Chicago's "public" TV station, WTTW, helped Chicago understand what's been going on as the city faced the attempt by the mayor's school officials to ban a world famous book. But for the future, the show, which aired on March 18, 2013, may serve as a good example of how corporate reporters try to steer stories in the direction of the corporate party line -- and in this case failed only because four women wouldn't let one of Chicago's most prominent reporters get away with the diversion.

What? On Channel 11, Carol Marin said, "Barbara Byrd Bennett said this book has never been banned..." less than five days after her administration banned the book. Of course, Barbara Byrd Bennett, Annette Gurley, David Vitale, and the rest of the CPS hierarchy avoided Channel 11 on the night of March 18.

But what's the "alleged" part now pushed into the mainstream media pool? The book was banned. The book would have stayed banned had students and teachers not exposed, then protested the banning.

As was said as far back as "Watergate" -- it's even more the coverup.

The trouble is that Carol Marin, who usually is a decent reporter, winds up asking "Is it possible that...?" Then, following the talking points and propaganda slants of CPS, Marin tries to drive the Chicago Tonight discussion as if the Teachers Strike provoked the response -- ignoring the censorship.

WTTW has long been a part of the almost theological apologetics for the corporate school reform in Chicago. Substance was blacklisted by Elizabeth Brackett (after dozens of appearances) from Chicago Tonight nearly 20 years ago.


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