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What is the AFT Afraid of?

Rich Gibson wrote a fine letter to the AFT, asking why they are denying press credentials to Substance at their upcoming convention in Chicago. Go forth and do likewise.

Dear Friends,

The American Federation of Teachers has rejected Substance News'
request for press credentials for their upcoming convention on the
grounds that SN is not a "legitimate news organization."

While one could make a pretty good case that the AFT is not a
legitimate union, there are plenty of narrower grounds for
complaints. One is made below.

NEA, about three times the size of AFT, has issued press credentials
to Substance, as did George Bush.

I hope others who write for, read, or just respect the work Substance
does, will notify the AFT that this kind of censorship is unacceptable.

All the best

Rich Gibson

Date: Fri, 27 June 2008
To: jbass@aft.org
From: Rich Gibson
Subject: Substance Press Credentials
Cc: substanceGeoSchmidt

Dear Ms Bass,

I understand you have rejected Substance News editor George Schmidt's request for press credentials for the upcoming AFT
convention on the grounds that Substance is not a legitimate news organization.

This decision will do you and the AFT no good.

Substance is indeed a legitimate news organization. Fulbright
scholars, renowned authors of education books, education theorists
and reporters coming from many different angles write for Substance.

We have, of course, sources inside the AFT who can keep us advised
of what is up in the convention, credentials or no. And the
convention will be covered by Substance.

The upshot of your action will be to create an issue where there
should be no issue. You will make people distrust, from the outset,
AFT's designs inside the convention hall. This diversion you create
will only lend credence to those who are already critical of AFT's
sense of union democracy, transparency, and honesty.

Who, Ms Bass, are you to make this decision? Please let me know if
the decision is not yours, but that of an elected top official of
AFT, and who that is.


Dr Richard Gibson
Emeritus Professor of Education
San Diego State University

— Rich Gibson




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