In an earlier post today, Anthony Cody questioned just how independent our news media are. A reader from Srattle has a vivid demonstration of the way the Seattle Times plays the education issue.
Puget Sound Parent writes:
I’m still waiting for the Seattle Times to explain why they gave multiple pages of coverage to Michelle Rhee when she was here last February. (However, not one mention of the cheating scandal she was deeply embroiled in nor anything else that hinted at any controversy.)
In fact, the coverage of Rhee was bizarrely over the top; you would have thought that Jesus AND Elvis had both returned that night. The Seattle Times covered her visit extensively, including a straight news story, a long interview with the editorial board, and a feature piece.
But, unfortunately, it was exceedingly poor journalism. It resembled the “puff pieces” I normally associate with some mass market magazines, replete with full page, full color ads, targeted to a demographic obsessed with frivolous distractions such as celebrity, fashion and “lifestyle”.
In case there were any doubts about the poor quality of the Rhee coverage, this view was reinforced, right down to a jarring, pseudo-Saskia de Brauw “wannabe” photo image of Rhee attempting to appear “glamorous” while peering out over the city.
In contrast, when you came to town in September, the Seattle Times didn’t print one word about your visit. Not one word. Nothing. Nada. Two weeks earlier, on an “educational events” calendar, in very small print, they mentioned your upcoming appearance at the University of Washington. But when I went back to check it, just before your visit, it had vanished.
I’ve written to the Seattle Times since you were here, asking them why they never covered your visit, or reviewed your book, or anything else. I’m still waiting to hear from them.
Something tells me I’ll be waiting for a while.