After decades of covering New Jersey for the Star-Ledger, Bob Braun retired last year and started his own blog. Now off the chain, Braun has written a few stinging pieces about the editorials found at his former home, including a beaut that excoriated the S-L for endorsing Chris Christie in the last election.
What’s been especially interesting to watch is the reaction of the S-L’s Editorial Page Editor, Tom Moran, who has left comments at Braun’s blog before, defending himself against perceived “personal insults.”
(Full disclosure: I think it’s fair to say that Braun’s world-view often matches our here at BJ. And I have had more than my fair share of run-ins with Moran, both here and at my blog.)
Well, yesterday Braun published another piece taking on one of Moran’s editorials; this time about education “reform” in Newark:
Once again, The Star-Ledger has the audacity to tell the people of Newark how they should lead their lives while remaining silent about how the rest of the state lives has helped create the problems in Newark. Another typical example of “us” vs. “them” in what should be a unified discourse.
What the newspaper calls “sensible and bold reforms” amount to the elimination of neighborhood schools in much of the city, a transfer of assets to corporate-backed charters, and the destruction of much of the city’s history and culture-Weequahic High, one of New Jersey’s most historic high schools, should be on the National Registry, not on the auction block, nor on the table for a “redesign” that will close it.
Perhaps no one has looked outside the window there recently but, yes, there are neighborhoods in Newark and they are filled with people, struggling men and women, parents and grandparents, who want the best for their children, including safe places to live. This was the same mistake-with disastrous consequences-that led the newspaper to campaign for the destruction of much of the Central Ward for the construction of the medical school. Much of that land remains a prairie today.
Those who criticize the plan are “shrill” and they “shriek”-how is that for subtly racist comments? Not unlike calling ambitious women “pushy.” The editorial called critics “demagogic,” but the people I saw speak out last week were elected officials-members of the elected school board, members of the city council, a member and the speaker of the New Jersey Assembly, a senator who chairs the Joint Committee on Public Schools.
After that rebuke, Moran decided enough was enough: