NBC News’ (potential) Free Speech Problem
Like many “progressive” educators, I have been alarmed by the lack of intellectual, pedagogical or ideological diversity represented in NBC Universal’s week-long series of discussions and reporting on how we have “allowed our students to fall behind.” Education Nation could play a vital public service if it truly engaged a diverse group of thinkers in discussions of the complex and important topic of public education.
Instead, it will feature politicians, billionaires and other assorted advocates of charter schools, more standardized testing, Teach-for-America and turning urban schools into obedience academies for “other people’s children.”
Last week, I sent an email to 14 NBC executives, producers and publicists expressing my concern, congratulating them on their commitment and offering to help them add critical voices to their coverage. To date, I have received no response.
Tonight, I found Education Nation on Twitter and Facebook, so I decided to use social media – well, socially. I expressed my concern, shared some articles, including research that contradicts claims made frequently by Joe Scarborough and commented on their inclusion of Diane Ravitch in their programming.
All of a sudden, I was having difficulty posting another link to an article I thought I would share with my new Education Nation “friends” and Facebook was suddenly not working properly.
a) Could this be the fault of my Australian net connection?
b) Could it be because I’m taking allergy medication and am awake at 3 AM instead of sleeping before an 16-hour flight in the morning?
c) Could it be that I’m a digital immigrant incapable of using Facebook?
The answer is d) None of the above
Apparently, Education Nation, a division of NBC News has reported me to Facebook for being annoying and abusive – essentially a spammer. How about them apples?
It’s like taking the pencil and paper away from a person writing a letter-to-the-editor.
In case NBC or their Education Nation producers are interested, here is my bio and CV. You might notice that I too am a journalist, except a little less gullible than the journalism demonstrated in this clip.