NBC Chicago's Christian Farr Ignores Local Parents in Charter School Battle

NBC Chicago's Christian Farr Ignores Local Parents in Charter School Battle

In this week’s showdown over newly proposed charter schools, organizers of the Chicago Teachers Union teamed up with hard left-wing community organizations, Action Now, Stand Up Chicago, Teachers for Social Justice and members of the International Socialist Organization under the self-proclaimed banner as “parents and teachers” to protest potential school closings.

On two recent occasions reporters from NBC 5 Chicago have seemingly aided the CTU in this process by refusing to expose their radical ties and report these activities as “parents and teachers,” despite the overwhelming majority of protesters being professional activists. On Wednesday, NBC showed up to cover another protest organized by these same groups, to the newly proposed charter schools. However NBC 5’s Christian Farr failed to show in his report, any of the parents who attended the school board meeting to voice support for charter schools.

Farr narrates, “The Chicago Teachers Union and community organizations gathered at Chicago Public School headquarters Wednesday, in the hopes of stopping school closings and slowing down the rise of charter schools.” Farr echoes the talking points of the protesters, citing a report filed by the Chicago Tribune that claimed up to 100 schools could be closed. He continues to then report the Chicago Public School Board Chairman Barbara Byrd-Bennett’s denial of those claims, stated that no plan is in place to close schools.

Only, after a review of ABC and CBS Chicago’s coverage, it becomes apparent, Farr left out a critical part of the story. Chicago Parents attended the school board meeting to support and praise charter schools.

ABC 7’s report includes Tim Williams, a Chicago parent who spoke at the school board meeting and told the board about the positive results charter school has delivered for his daughter. Williams said, “When I put her in this charter school, she’s been able to focus, she’s been able to have some one on one attention, it’s just been a better environment….”

At the very end of Farr’s coverage for NBC, he leads into a closing segment with a shot of the school board, and explains to viewers, “CPS says it has an obligation to create high quality schools, and charters are just one of those options.” The video then cuts to an unidentified man giving an on camera interview who says, “I’m a supporter of traditional high schools as well, but they have to be high quality, that’s the key.”

What’s the problem? In CBS 2’s report that same individual left unidentified by NBC also appears in an on camera interview. But, CBS identifies the man as CPS parent Marion Frazier, who was also at the meeting, and spoke about his daughter’s experience with charter schools. Frazier told CBS, “She’s had an excellent experience there. The teachers are very supportive. The environment is safe, and conducive to the learning experience.”

Was Farr’s edit that leads the audience to believe Frazier is a member of the school board and not a Chicago parent in attendance to support charter schools deceptive?

This is just one more example of NBC’s apparently blatant refusal to cover the Chicago Teachers Union activity and the current school battles in Chicago accurately.

Last month, when questioned on camera by Breitbart News as to whether or not NBC’s Charlie Wojciechowski would investigate the Chicago Teachers Union’s Vice President Jesse Sharkey’s participation in the Midwest Marxism Conference, Wojciechowski said Breitbart was not a legitimate organization and was “full of s**t.”

Prior to Christian Farr’s filing of his report for NBC, he also said on camera, he would not investigate or report the relationships with or participation of members from the International Socialist Organizations with Chicago Teachers Union protests. Farr declared, “I’m too objective,” when giving his reason for not digging deeper into the roots of the CTU’s activities and unholy alliances.