Sunday, December 6, 2015

Paladino Attacks B-Lo Blogger, Invokes Roosevelt

B-lo blogging brother Sean Crowley recently drew the ire of former New York gubernatorial candidate and all-around assclown Carl Paladino:
"As for Sean Crowley, I observe him as an irresponsible, muckraking conspiracy theorist who...commands no respect in the Buffalo community." 
Note how Paladino refers to Crowley's fine educational musings as "muckraking." A close reading of an American history textbook reveals that President Theodore Roosevelt popularized the term at the turn of the 20th Century, when public corruption and abuse ran as rampant as rats.

Revolutions in printing created a media vacuum that was rapidly filled by writers whose words scraped the depths of injustice. Muckraking extraordinaire Upton Sinclair exposed the horrors of meat factories in The Jungle, for example, while Nelly Bly faked insanity to expose the horrors of a women's lunatic asylum in New York City.

Far from "irresponsible", Sinclair, Bly and others prompted plutocrats to be responsive to the public, the essence of any healthy democracy. 

Perhaps Paladino agrees that we've entered a new age of muckraking. With the 
explosion of the internet, bloggers and social media gadflies are subsuming mass-printed paparazzi. Meanwhile, the truth is just as tenuous as it was 100 years ago, though lies now circle 
the world before the truth gets its pants on.

Like the First Amendment, the truth has always been a messy thing, especially when it's buried in the muck of graft. Paladino must therefore carefully consider the veracity of such toxic tags as "commands no respect" before slinging them at others.

It seems Paladino's own brand of respect includes physical barbs, as demonstrated by this 2010 confrontation with muckraking journalist Fred Dicker:

In the midst of his gubernatorial campaign, Paladino, ever the conspiracy theorist himself, accused Dicker of being a "stalking horse" for New York Governor and King Bullshit Andrew Cuomo. It's one thing to rake the muck; it's entirely something else to add to it.

It should surprise no one that an unabashed privatizer of public education like Carl Paladino has allowed B-LoEdScene to breach his skin. 

On the other hand, as also seen recently with this blog, it should appall everyone that yet another leader of New York State United Teachers (NYSUT) seemingly has more in common with Carl Paladino than the First Amendment.

NYSUT's western New York director Mike Deely recently used Facebook to second Paladino's sentiments about Crowley, commenting:
"As long as your [sic] reading Bloedscene consider this: AFT, NYSUT, UFT and BTF fought and continues to fight corporate education reforms. Your enemy is not your union. Instead of conspiracy theories get involved." 
Though working teachers in Buffalo and across the state are in the cross hairs of receivership (i.e. we don't give a fuck what your contract says), Deely and NYSUT executive vice president Andy Pallotta think that if they say something often enough, people will believe it—even if it rings more hollow than a dead man's fart.

Bloggers who dare question the Union's obtuse political postures are divisive conspiracy theorists who should have their keyboards confiscated. With the possibility of dues soon becoming optional, the least Deely can do for members is identify what other "conspiracy theories" Crowley is spreading. Maybe Deely can compare notes with Paladino and release a joint statement.      

Those who rake the muck provide an essential service to democracy, so long as they don't underestimate the intelligence of their readers by spewing unproven pejoratives and platitudes, as our political leaders often do. The First Amendment is a tool to unearth the truth, which festers and fades in absence of this tool.  

And though in a 1906 speech called "The Man with the Muckrake" Roosevelt cautioned about being drawn too deeply into the muck, his words ring louder today than ever before:


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