@thechalkface calls for #msnbc #boycott

Why in the hell would MSNBC’s morning joe prominently feature Michelle Rhee and her ridiculous state report card?  Why does this woman continue to get media attention? Every reform that she either implemented or advocates for has been demonstrated to lead to deceitful behavior or simply not work!  She advocates an ideologically driven, corporate-based reform movement that puts money first—not students.

Corporate based education reform is killing the American system of public education and eroding any democratic tendencies left in the public sphere.  After spending more than $1 trillion dollars on 10 years of No Child Left Behind and four years of Race to the Top we have successfully 1) sent poor and minority students to a failing system of privately managed charter schools, 2) defunded and closed community schools, 3) defiled professional teachers, and 4) harmed our most vulnerable children.  However, to me, the biggest crime is that the media remains silent or serves as a mouthpiece for the people responsible for the damage and harm.

In the past I wrote a letter to Ed Shultz asking for his help.  Ed seems to be one of the few hosts in the national media that occasionally attempts to expose the corporate education reform disaster.  However, he just never takes it to the next level.  My guess is that this is not a character flaw of Mr. Shultz but rather the reality of the situation he finds himself.

He works for MSNBC.  And as much as MSNBC tries to “Lean Forward” their hosts can only lean so far—MSNBC is a corporate-owned media conglomerate.  The hosts’ freedom to report has a limit and right now for some reason (Bill Gates maybe?) the only time a semi critical look at corporate education reform occurs is when the blame can be easily ascribed to a Republican.

I hate that I am suggesting this but I believe the time has come.

  1. If the one media outlet—MSNBC—that claims to be “progressive” continues to fawn all over the likes of Michelle Rhee,

  2. If the hosts on MSNBC fail to unveil corporate education reform as an attack by the wealthy to destroy American public education,

  3. If MSNBC continues to ignore the informed voices (professionals with legitimate education credentials),

Then I can think of nothing else to do other than launch a boycott of the most popular shows and hosts on MSNBC—The Ed Show, The Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell, and The Rachel Maddow Show.

Why these?  Why not?  Obviously writing letters, sending emails, tweeting, and posting to the Facebook pages of these MSNBC hosts results in nothing but crickets.  If you’re an individual or a group please push this boycott announcement to your friends and members.

Extreme? Only if you think shuffling our most vulnerable children off to for-profit charter schools that practice prison style behavior management and employ the least qualified teachers is how you put students first.

Follow Timothy D. Slekar on Twitter: www.twitter.com/slekar

About these ads


  1. Clara Fitzpatrick says:

    MSNBC is one of the few Cable networks that tries to present the progressive point of view. If we are going to boycott anything, it should be the lack of educational experts as hosts. My own very Black oriented radio station to which I listen all day when I am not watching MSNBC, does not have hosts who know much about education. Instead of boycotting, let’s suggest to MSNBC (because there are no other cable networks that will listen) that they either give the hosts background information, have their researchers check with experts, or have an expert on with them when they interview any educator, including Rhee. I am also forwarding these comments to all of the hosts you mention, whom I love.

  2. Tired of fake news & fake ‘progressives’ & the whole fake left/right bullshit. I don’t know if a boycott would be effective, but something to make them understand that we don’t buy their fake BS, as well as to get the word out more effectively to the general public.

  3. Brian Ford says:

    What does MSNBC say about the privatization of education that calls itself reform? If nothing, then a boycott is justified. Public education is the lynchpin of Democracy, without public education we are lost.

  4. Joe Scarborough is MSNBC’s token conservative. Boycotting the entire network may be premature. However, I’m all for putting the pressure on the rest of them. We need to actively send the message that our side needs to be heard.

    Send those tweets to @joenbc and let him now how off base he is. let’s start by sending him the link to this site.

  5. Lisa Haver says:

    Thanks, Gail. I agree that all of the hosts should hear about this. Stop pretending to be a progressive media outlet while being cowardly about taking on the issue of corporate reform.

  6. gailrichmond says:

    The direct line to leave phone messages for each host is: 212-664-4444. You have to call back for each host. I called Joe, Rachel, and Ed. My message went something like this : ” Hello, this is Gail Richmond, phone number xxx-xxx-xxxx. I am calling in response to the interview with Michelle Rhee on the Morning Joe Show. I, along with my fellow education activists, am very unhappy with the softball questions placed before Ms. Rhee. While I enjoy MSNBC, I am not naive. I understand the corporate giants who pay the salaries of the hosts and that their hands are tied in questioning. However, due to your continued lack of attention to the takeover of public education by profiteers, I, along with many other education activists will be boycotting MSNBC and calling on others to do this as well. We will gain momentum and continue our call for boycotts in Washington D.C. In April, as we rally at the DOE.

  7. I think we need should have another twitter campaign to get Diane Ravitch on the Ed Show. And of course Yong Zhao.

  8. The subject is too deep to cover. It also requires them to take sides against Corporate Amerika and neither the issues nor the ‘bad-guy’ players are clear enough for them. CIP: Michele Rhee gets more screen time than any three of those fighting corporate sponsored reform. It’s ok to fry someone for some stupid position they took but you have to wait for someone like Bill Moyers to take on the issue again (I think the last time he did was in 2003.

  9. Michael Paul Goldenberg says:

    No, that’s not sensible. Joe Scarborough is a former GOP congressman from FL and is one of the, if not the, most conservative voices on MSNBC. And it’s good that there are a couple. That keeps them from being the mirror image of Faux.

    Now, if Ed Schultz, Rachel Maddow, et al., bring on Rhee and/or tout corporate deform positively, that’s a different issue. You’re reacting as if Faux had someone actually liberal on and so you wanted to boycott the rest of the network’s truly conservative/reactionary talking heads.

    • Paul,

      I agree that Scarborough is a conservative but the issue isn’t really morning joe. Ed’s, Lawrence’s, and Rachel’s silence may as well be an endorsement of the corporate agenda of ed reform. They won’t touch it! It’s time. If you’re going to be a “progressive” advocate then the dismantling of public education should be a prominent feature of “leaning forward.” I’m reacting as a p%$$ed off advocate of public schools (A progressive position) that constantly sees and active advocacy of ed reform either in featuring people like Rhee or acting as if it’s not happening. Silence when you know better is sinful.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 13,852 other followers

%d bloggers like this: