All kissy-facebook in Chicago

Well, 26-year-old facebook owner Mark Zuckerberg’s $100 million gift to Newark now has a name: “Start Up Education Foundation”. The Oprah Winfrey program that airs live in Chicago at 10am their time has now just ended, though New Jerseyans won’t see the broadcast until 4pm today, on ABC.

We do know – because Star-Ledger sent reporters to Chicago to watch in real time – that there was a standing O in Oprah’s audience (they are given to standing ovations, and tears, for what it’s worth). And that US Education Commission Arne Duncan (last read about as the recipient of messages in NJ’s bungled Race to the Top application) called in and said, “I’m really proud of these guys,” and that he was talking about both Cory Booker and Chris Christie. Though, it’s hard to grasp what, outside of political opportunism, put Christie on Oprah’s stage, on her air, and in Commissioner Duncan’s good wishes. This gift is so obviously Zuckerberg’s statement of faith in Booker, and Booker’s Newark, that I’m not sure how Christie deserves the spotlight. But then, I haven’t seen the show yet.

Zuckerberg distanced himself from any talk that his timing was set to misdirect attention from The Social Network, a feature film opening next week about how he stole facebook from his Harvard classmates. I think the timing is more likely related to the release (today) of the pro-charter Waiting for Superman, which positions charter schools as the savior of urban minority kids. And of course, the political troubles both Booker and Christie leave behind at home this week.

The Oprah Show, which flashes on Garden State screens in just a few hours, features the Oprah-adulation of Booker you expect (she’s given millions herself to Booker’s Newark), but also features a warm hug from herself to the Governor. Makes me wonder if her people prepped her to understand that while we’re talking $100 million, he just pulled a $400 million dollar rug out from the rest of New Jersey’s kids.

Tick tock.  

Comments (15)

  1. 12mileseastofTrenton

    I just ate lunch.

    I won’t be running home to watch that.

  2. Hopeful

    I presume Newark will be seeing very lttle of it, a few million per year. We’ll see I guess.

  3. carolh

    300 million more to go, to get us where we SHOULD HAVE been.

  4. Nick Lento

    Does anyone know if the “gift” was contingent on giving Christie the national spotlight?   Or if this was Booker’s idea?

    Either way it stinks to high heaven.

    It would be a shame if Christie succeeds in co-opting more NJ progressives to what might appear to be the “winning” side.

    Christie was and remains a creep.   I don’t trust him to do anything other than advance his own lust for power and the ideological/economic agendas of anyone who can help him to acquire more power.   I believe he’s a morally corrupt and unethical dishonest politician……and it’s a shame to see Cory Booker (and other prominent NJ Democrats) sucking up to him in this way.    

  5. Nick Lento

    …the Schundler-NJEA proposal would have added 50 points to the score.   In that scenario losing 4.8 points would have been nothing much.

    Christie nixed the Schundler proposal because he begrudged giving anything to teachers.   Then that put pressure on the process to redo the whole application quickly.   That’s how mistakes get made.

    If Christie had any balls or integrity at all, he would have jumped on the opportunity to testify under oath,  instead he acted like a guilty man and managed a plea bargain with Steve Sweeney.

    Schundler or Christie lied to us.   Now we may never know for sure which of them was lying….but we do know for sure that it was Christie who punked out when he had a chance to put his balls on the line and testify like a man.

    William, carrying water for Christie is a losing proposition.  He deserves to be a one term governor…….and will be.



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