Monday, July 19, 2010

Watch a Right-Wing Lie Spread

Watch this right-wing lie spread and see how long it takes to get to Rush or Glenn or Sarah.

On the Chicago Tribune website I saw a link today with the headline Something Must Be Done About Excessive Teachers Making $100,000.

First of all, it's illiterate. The teachers are excessive? There's an excessive number of teachers? The irony of someone criticizing the educational system with an incoherent sentence that could use some editing from an English teacher . . .  but I digress.

If you follow the link you get to a ChicagoNow blog (facilitated by the Tribune) from a Warner Todd Huston aka Publius (they always think they're writing the New Federalist Papers) with the title For All Teachers' Whining, Almost Half of Chicago Area Teachers Make $100K a Year. And that links back to yet another blog.

Wow. That's an astonishing number. Almost Half of Chicago Area Teachers Make $100K. Clearly teachers are overpaid whiners.

But if you actually read down to the 3rd paragraph, or click through to the original Tribune article, you find out

"only four percent of Illinois teachers make the big bucks".

And if you read the original Tribune story, you find out that only in wealthy towns such as Highland Park and Deerfield and Park Ridge and Hinsdale do almost half the teachers make six figures.

As the Tribune notes, "Six-figure teacher salaries of that magnitude are rare elsewhere in Illinois."

(Let's just ignore the whole question of whether this isn't exactly what the right-wing has been advocating for years - localized decision-making that allows wealthy people being able to choose to hire the best teachers money can buy to teach their children, and not have to spend their money on inner-city kids (until they end up paying for the inner-city kids to rot in prison for life))

So "Almost Half of Chicago Area Teachers Make $100K a Year" is not true. It's a fiction. It's a lie. You can't attribute it to argument or a difference of opinion, it's factually not true. If you actually read the story cited, you know that this blog post has no credibility.

But if you do a Google search for For All Teachers’ Whining, Almost Half of Chicago Area Teachers Make $100K a Year, how many results do you get?

At this point, 110 results. About 110 other sites have simply linked to a ficticious blog post simply because it has a juicy headline. It gets linked, and re-linked, and some radio talk show host sees the headline and rants about overpaid teachers for 5 minutes, the faithful believe it, and it becomes a right-wing factoid, just like Obama dismissed the charges against the New Black Panthers or Obama spends all his time golfing.

"We're an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality." I can't wait until somebody tells me that half the teachers in Chicago make $100K. Not that I expect that I'll be able to refute that misapprehension with mere facts, but I'll be able to say "told you so."

1 comment:

  1. If only this was an anomaly. It becomes harder and harder to find hard news in the media in general. Juicy and sensational rule these days. Much of the tripe being reported these days has no interest for me -- regardless of its level of truthfulness or accuracy.

    Day after day of Mel Gibson's troubles? Lindsay Lohan? Please . . . don't we have bigger issues to be addressing these days?

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