MEDIA WATCH: Corporate 'reporters' ignore CORE election campaign launch on April 14 at Haymarket

I just got back from the CORE election launching party, and as usual the corporate media boycotted it (even though it is a Sunday, and a slow news day). Only ABC TV turned up (and without a reporter) -- plus Labor Beat, Socialist Worker, and Substance. But since CORE had more than 100 people at the shindig on a Sunday morning (and early afternoon) facing the parking challenges of Halsted and Randolph on the day of the Greek parade... It was not a bad event. Each of the four candidates for union officers gave a brief speech, people talked and planned at length, and the election campaign now goes into the schools for a Chicago-style bit of fun between now and the day less that five weeks away when everyone eligible gets to vote.

But wait, forsooth! Could it be that the Chicago Tribune forgot to cover the big story from the union election, especially after they covered the little story months earlier? Guess so...

Let us get this bit of history straight:

On February 20, 2013, the Chicago Tribune and Chicago Sun-Times both covered the announcement that the Salvation caucus people (er, "Coalition to Save Our Union") were going to try to run.

That was like preliminary previous possible foreplay -- a concept maybe they could explain but nobody else would want to try as a thought experiment -- and talking about it like it was a woweezowee honeymoon night. (Maybe they really don't know the difference, hmmmmm).

That day back in February, the Tribune and Sun-Times even had photographs of the four horsemen of the CTU apocalypse -- sorry, the four candidates for union office from the "Coalition to Save Our Union" -- striding down the Merchandise Part hallway towards the union offices. Then posing in front of the wall sign that said "Chicago Teachers Union." Then prattling on. Two months before the petitions for slates were due and nobody could be sure who was actually going to be on the ballot on May 17.

Of course the Chicago Tribune always covers union election four months before the union elections. Just Google and see -- the facts? And the Chicago Tribune loves unions. Just ask the members of the old "CTU Local 1" (the typographers union, not the teachers) 25 years ago, when John Kass and others guaranteed their careers by scabbing.

It's a good thing that CTU members and most people who care about the union, democracy, and public schools know that anyone who gets positive ink from the Tribune and other scabs is probably a -- well, let's leave that to the imagination. Hopefully, teachers and other school workers who are still reading the city's daily propaganda sheets will call, write, email, Tweet and fuss about why the Salvationists were "news" and the actual leadership of the most militant teacher union in the USA wasn't.

But tomorrow morning, April 15, 2013, when the newspapers are delivered to our homes, let's eagerly read through them and then go to Catalyst and the other propagandists for corporate school reform.

All of them were told that Karen Lewis and the CORE officer candidates (and just about every candidate for the executive board) would be at the Haymarket on the morning of April 14, 2013, with the show beginning at 11:30. And since people remained at the Haymarket until nearly 2:00, there was time for any reporter to get that significant bit of news.

Unless, of course, the people who fund corporate "news" in Chicago want the CTU to return to the days when it was a company union, whose treasury was being looted by the union officers for a decade until CORE won, and whose staff took home six figures while trying to figure out how to avoid phone calls from the members and pad their pensions -- while a scab worked in Springfield at a $100,000 a year union lobbying job to make sure the union had no power in politics. That was how you could spell "company union" prior to 2010. And that seems to be what the corporate propagandists posing as reporters in Chicago in 2013 think they can pass of as "news."


April 15, 2013 at 8:28 AM

By: Larry Duncan

Democracy at CTU. Tyranny at Chicago Board of Education

Do the Tribune and Sun Times make note of the fact that the Chicago Teachers Union leadership regularly has to undergo a democratic election, whereas the School Board does not?

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