A lot of readers have written to ask why Eduwonk hasn’t weighed in on John Stossel’s recent 20-20 story “Stupid In America”. There is certainly plenty of buzz and angst about it in around the edublogs. The answer is pretty simple and two fold: (a) Eduwonk didn’t watch it and (b) that’s because Stossel tends to be pretty tendentious on education issues.
PS–The education interest groups are apparently ramping up to make this a big issue targeting 20-20, ABC’s parent company Disney, and the show’s advertisers. . Is that really wise? First, the optics are bad, of course they’re not going to like it — even if Stossel’s piece was completely fair and balanced. The media accuracy and transparency groups are a better messenger. Second, in today’s ratings-driven environment a story that sparks lots of controversy and follow-up attention seems a more valuable commodity to a network than one that everyone ignores. Finally, if it has no effect, (Eduwonk drove by a Wal Mart with an almost full parking lot the other night at about midnight so that boycott, for instance, doesn’t seem to be going very well if uber-blue Charlottesville, VA is any indication) which seems likely, doesn’t it just expose them as paper tigers?