MEDIA WATCH: New York Times gets it right about the Chicago Teachers Strike of 2012 — not in its 'news' or from its pundits, but it its one cartoon each week

By September 16, 2012, The New York Times was batting about .100 (if it were in a baseball league) for its tardy and inaccurate coverage of the Chicago Teachers Strike of 2012. A front page story on September 15 had joined the other newspapers (Sun-Times and Tribune) in hyping a settlement which hadn't been reached, and its pundits, including David Brooks and Joe Nocera, mindlessly prattled the talking points of corporate "school reform." An editorial was even worse.

The New York Times does not run its editorial cartoons on the editorial page, but on the third page of the 'Review; section every Sunday. The Times combined an appreciation of the scabs in the National Football League and the potential for scabs in the Chicago Teachers Strike of 2012.But suddenly, in its lone cartoon each week, published in the Sunday Review section, the Times "got it." The cartoon (which we won't share here even though Substance is paying more than $600 per year for the print edition of The Times) depicts Rahm Emanuel as a strikebreaking sports fan who brings in scabs — as the National Football League has done — to staff its Scab Schools. The scabs, of course, are the "replacement" officials who have been covering NFL games since the NFL owners refused to negotiate with the officials (you'll probably guess the issues from pension to staffing: the only one they wouldn't recognize from our side is class size).

It's sad that the NFL players, whose union has made their lives a lot easier since the same time as the Chicago Teachers Union began getting contracts, too, has simply refused to scab on the field. But season ticket owners might be lining up to demand their money back. "Replacement" officials are doing a job about as credible as the replacements who are currently staffing the CPS scab centers. The difference is that parents aren't bringing their kids across picket lines at Chicago schools, while Bears fans are still crossing into Bears games despite the union busting scab herding of the owners.


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