by James A. Bacon
When The Washington Post published an article four days ago claiming that “all 133 Virginia public school division superintendents” had called upon Governor Glenn Youngkin to end his campaign against “divisive” concepts in schools, only two media outlets in Virginia questioned the veracity of the statement. One was Kerry Dougherty’s blog, Kerry: Unemployed & Unedited (republished in this blog). The other was WJLA-Channel 7.
Stories published in the Post, the Richmond Times-Dispatch and other media were based on a letter issued by the Virginia Association of School Superintendents. In the letter, VASS executive director Howard B. Kiser stated that he was writing “on behalf of the 133 public school division superintendents” and reiterating “key points that were shared by division superintendents.”
Yesterday Dougherty picked up on a statement buried in a WRIC-television news report — “Kiser clarified that the letter was crafted and adopted by the 12 member board and doesn’t necessarily reflect a consensus among all of its members” — that triggered her journalistic spidey senses. What were the odds, she asked, that 133 school superintendents would unanimously endorse a letter critical of Youngkin’s education policy?
More reason to question the argument that Virginia’s school superintendents were “unanimous” in their opposition to Youngkin appeared in an article published by WJLA today. The television station quoted Youngkin as saying, “It’s my understanding that in fact there was not a vote, this was a board of an association that wrote a letter and mischaracterized the support they had for that letter.”
Then the Washington-area television station did something remarkable. Its news team actually started calling public school superintendents. Continue reading