Will I Ever Learn Not To Read the Sun?

The local newspaper, the Lowell Sun, seems to just love to stir up the locals  by telling about half the story – if that.

Normally I don’t read this rag – reading inflammatory and sensationalized news is not how I care to spend my reading time. However, this morning, we were having a discussion about who was running for elected office in Lowell (outsider, can’t vote, but still interested); I heard that there were candidate statements on the Sun’s website and went searching for them.

However, I was stopped by an article claiming that the UTL – the local teachers’ union to which I belong – had categorically rejected a 3% raise offer made by the school committee at the last negotiation session. I stopped dead in my tracks as I read the anonymous contribution by a school committee member who a) asked to remain anonymous and b) was violating executive session by speaking to a reporter.

What kind of a moral compass must someone have when that same person has agreed to the rules of executive session, but violates that trust by speaking to a reporter and “sharing” — by sharing I mean telling only the part of the story that makes one look good to the electorate? Is there an agenda here?

The Sun tried to get a comment from the UTL  president who took the moral high ground and would not comment. The reporter also asked another school committee member who also refused comment citing executive session. Thank goodness for people who operate under acceptable behaviors and do not hide behind “anonymous” super secret conversations with a reporter.

As a union member, I know that this is not about money alone. That much has been shared with the general membership. There are other issues – issues that probably wouldn’t sit too well with the regular Sun readers if their employer tried to pull the same stunts. But I do not know the exact conversations – I am not a negotiating member, am not privy to detailed conversations held under executive session, and even if I were, I would not stoop to violating those executive session expectations.

Too bad anonymous didn’t have the intestinal fortitude to say what they wanted to say without the cloak of anonymity.

The local paper posts what suits them in order to sell newspapers.  Their agenda is their agenda. And I don’t have to read it – even online. Will I ever learn that?

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