At a Chicago Teachers Union protest in November, NBC Chicago’s Charlie Wojciechowski refused to cover Chicago Teachers Union members’ connection to the International Socialist Organization and told me Breitbart News was “full of s**t,” after I asked him if he would do so. Tuesday night, NBC Chicago’s Christian Farr followed suit by also refusing to cover those same ties displayed at a CTU protest he was covering.
Chicago Teachers Union organizers teamed up once again with Action Now for a protest directed at Mayor Rahm Emanuel and his so-called “fat cat” friends ahead of Wednesday’s vote to close underutilized Chicago schools. The protest was staged outside of the Chicago Public School headquarters.
As is typical of many CTU protests, however, few actual teachers and parents were present at the protest themselves, while many left-wing front groups were.
Action Now, formerly ACORN, had the largest presence, along with Stand Up Chicago, Teachers for Social Justice, and members of the International Socialist Organization.
I approached Christian Farr, the street reporter for NBC 5, about the coordination between CTU members and the International Socialists in the protest. He responded, “You just used the word socialist, you have an opinion of what they are doing.”
I proceeded to ask Mr. Farr if he would report that they were marching around with International Socialists and carrying Socialist Worker newspapers. Hostilely, Farr snapped, “No, I’m not going to report that! That’s a judgment.”
As revealed in the video footage of the protest, participants and leaders of the demonstration, such as Brandon Johnson, a social studies teacher in Chicago Public Schools, can be linked directly to the International Socialist Organization. Others can be seen waving around Socialist Worker newspapers. These are facts, not opinions.
WLS radio’s Bruce Wolf and Dan Proft have been the only “main-stream media” in Chicago to question the ties between the Chicago Teachers Union and the International Socialist Organization; when they interviewed CTU Vice President Jesse Sharkey, they asked him about his participation in the Midwest Marxism Conference held in October at the Northwestern University Medill School of Journalism.
Farr, despite watching protesters march by with socialist publications and being told of the relationships of specific protest organizers with the ISO, appears to have a complete misunderstanding of the words “opinion” and “judgment.” It would be laughable if not so alarming that, to him, simply uttering the word “socialist” rendered me opinionated and judgmental, while he claimed to be “objective,” despite his outright refusal to cover the facts before him.