Taxpayer Group’s Message Spun

The East Providence Taxpayer Association is getting a lot of well deserved press, lately. The dispute in their city is big news, and the EPTA is keeping a consistent and measured message out there. From today’s Providence Journal:

Standing in the cold outside East Providence High School yesterday, a lone spokesman for the East Providence Taxpayer Association said public school teachers are being misinformed by their union in their ongoing dispute with the School Committee.
“We are pleading with our teachers not to let an out-of-touch leadership lead them off a cliff that perhaps will result in layoffs, missed payrolls or even the closing of the school system,” William Murphy said. “Solidarity is little consolation at the bottom of the abyss.”
In a statement, the association said one misconception is that the teachers were “attacked and victimized” by the School Committee when it decided earlier this month to reduce the teachers’ salaries by nearly 5 percent and force the educators to pay 20 percent of their health insurance costs. The taxpayers group said the changes were “in no way motivated by the ill will toward teachers.”

Of course, it’s worth a moment’s note that the Projo’s headline for the report amounts to spin: “Taxpayer group says teachers misinformed.” The group’s tempered plea thus becomes an insult. Yesterday’s Projo headline was “Taxpayer group criticizes teachers.” Funny how the passive voice comes and goes. It would not have been grammatically unusual for the paper to have gone with “Teachers’ Behavior Criticized.”
The phrasing is a matter of interest within the belly of Alisha Pina’s Friday report, as well:

The audience erupted in cheers when union President Valarie Lawson told the committee it should accept a recent arbitrator’s recommendation for a new contract, which included a wage freeze this year and teachers’ contributions to health care that would increase to 15 percent — 5 percent this year and 10 percent next year — within three years. She said the teachers were willing and simply want to get back to the business of teaching.
The rest of the meeting was dominated by boos and outbursts, most of which were directed at School Committee Chairman Anthony A. Carcieri.

Note that it was the entire audience — not the teachers and their unionist allies — who applauded the union president and that the union supporters are taken entirely out of the sentence about “boos and outbursts.” Teachers of English and writing take note: These are some illustrative examples of bias’s insertion into ostensibly neutral reportage.

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Ragin' Rhode Islander
Ragin' Rhode Islander
12 years ago

The ProJo’s reporters are probably union themselves.
And they are lefties – just look at the coverage of “immigrants” (illegal aliens) and the not just non-critical, but approving coverage of “single mothers” (welfare queens).
It seems beyond them to try to fulfill their professional duties to try to report what occurred as objectively as possible so that the reader can draw their own conclusions.
So as these semi-propagandists masquerade as “professionals” I guess that we would expect that they should be sympathetic to the union hack teachers masquerading as “professionals.”

Ragin' Rhode Islander
Ragin' Rhode Islander
12 years ago

Attention coddled, spoiled, greedy public school teachers. Here’s the real world – meet the people you expect to sacrifice even more to cover your no minimum retirement age 75% of highest three years salary gold-plated health care for life PART TIME NO ACCOUNTABILITY “JOB.”
“CINCINNATI (Reuters) – Miriam Gorman wanted to retire more than a year ago, but steep financial losses in her retirement savings mean the 71-year-old bookkeeper now plans to work on indefinitely.”

Mike Cappelli
Mike Cappelli
12 years ago

Yes, the ProJo reporters are in a union. Of course, just seeing how the paper is being run into the ground would be the first indication of union involvement. I give the proJo another 6-12 months before it is dead.
Look at the automakers, look at the schools. It’s all the same. Like organisms that have a cancer, these organizations with unions are being killed. It’s only a matter of time when these stupid union pigs destroy whatever it is they inhabit. Guaranteed!

George Elbow
George Elbow
12 years ago

Mike Cappelli’s comment appropriately ended with the Union’s favorite word …”Guaranteed”.
Union parasites go thru life believing they are ENTITLED to GUARANTEES in a world where NOTHING is guaranteed.
Why are they entitled to Guaranteed wage increases over X number of years into the un-Guaranteed future?
Why are they entitled to Guaranteed Pension payments that increase 3+% a year when there are no guarantees of market performance?
Partial Answer: lazy, compliant journalists that buy into, rather than expose, false Union rhetoric. Witness Justin’s and Marc’s recent posts regarding the spending growth on Teachers that has far outpaced the rate of inflation, despite idiotic and unchallenged false claims by the Unions.

12 years ago

Hey Ragin’…
As any self respectin’ teacher will tell ya…
“Too bad for that old lady, if she woulda’ done it differently, she shoulda’ become a teacher in Rhode Island and she coulda’ been retired for fifteen years collecting $40k plus a 3% compounded COLA. She wanted to not get the protection of our union and actually have to work, well, nuts to her! We certainly don’t give a damn about her, so long as she keeps working to pay our pensions. Toil on Miriam!
Woulda’, shoulda’, coulda’!
That’s all.

12 years ago

If we all boycott the Projo it will go the way of the Rocky Mountain News.

12 years ago

Oh, here we go again.
Given the way the corporate media is operated, unions are a necessity in the newspaper business. If those who own the big corporate media could be trusted to operate their businesses in a fair media, unions wouldn’t be needed there. But we’re not naive.
The problems of newspapers can be traced back to one source: the desire to retain outlandish profit margins (historically, 30-40 percent of more) that most American businesses, unionized or not, would kill for.
If you want to complain about unions in this businesses, look at the presses, the truckers, etc. Their unions (sometimes represented by the Teamsters) are much more powerful than the unions representing journalists, but it’s funny…the right is conspicuously silent about those. Newspaper moguls have routinely caved in to their demands to isolate the journalists.

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