Supplemental: Chris Hayes diagnoses Park Slope Collegiate!


One parent’s important complaint:
What actually makes a good school good? That’s an important question.

On Monday night, Chris Hayes did a segment about Park Slope Collegiate, a Brooklyn public school which is suddenly attracting upper-income white students from the surrounding neighborhood.

Yesterday, we did a post about this segment. We forgot to include this videotaped exchange, in which Hayes discussed the school with a black parent:
HAYES (6/23/14): Casey Robinson, a parent whose son attends Collegiate, has seen the influx of white neighborhood students in the building bring not only more diversity, but also more resources.

Do you feel like, “Oh, OK! The city starts paying attention, like funds start to flow, like stuff starts getting done, when there’s a certain kind of parent who’s got their kid there?”

Do you feel that’s true?

ROBINSON: Yes, but you can’t get around it because it’s true.

HAYES: Right.

ROBINSON: It’s not something that you want to sugarcoat and say, “That’s not true.” It is true.
That was the full exchange on this important topic. On a journalistic basis, we call Hayes’ conduct just this side of heinous.

Here’s why:

This segment was a pre-recorded, videotaped report. Hayes interviewed teachers, students and parents about Park Slope Collegiate.

He also interviewed Jill Bloomberg, principal of Park Slope over the past ten years.

In the brief exchange shown above, a parent makes a very serious charge about the recent operation of this public school. Is the charge accurate?

Hayes prompts the parent, then quickly agrees with what the parent says. He is never shown asking Bloomberg, or anyone else, about this serious charge.

Again, this was a prerecorded report. As a piece of journalism, that exchange is heinous.

On the brighter side, we liberal viewers got to feel good when the parent made this charge. We heard a pleasing, feel-good, simple story:

The problem with low-income urban schools? Such schools are under-resourced!

Was Park Slope Collegiate under-resourced before the white neighborhood kids arrived? Was the school suddenly better equipped when it got its first few upper-income white students?

We have no idea. But there’s a reason for our ignorance:

We learned about this public school from watching the Chris Hayes program. And on a journalistic basis, Hayes wasn’t working real hard.

To watch the full segment, click here.


  1. You are so right. That one exchange made me feel better than any other part of the story.

    1. The parent was asked how she felt. She said how she felt.
      Bob says this makes us feel good. He is right. It made me feel good.

      You call me a scum for complimenting Bob and agreeing with him?

      You are nuts. Certifiably cuckoo.

    2. Worthless troll.

  2. On a journalistic basis, it was never disproven that Wildstein and Kelly ordered up a legitimate traffic study.

    On a journalistic basis, it was never disproven that Saddam didn't have WMDs, so we shouldn't be surprised if 10 years later, we find them.

    And on a journalistic basis, I've learned a long time ago not to take Bob's word on what any MSNBC host said or didn't say. That's because, on a journalistic basis, Bob quite often lies through his teeth about whippersnappers he hates because they are far more successful than he ever was, and is thus full of shit. Journalistically speaking, of course.

    1. How exactly does Somerby lie through his teeth when he always provides site info and transcripts (whatever is available) so that readers can check things out themselves. If you are saying you've found lies after doing that, I think you should substantiate that claim by posting evidence. I have regularly followed his links and found him to be accurate. You may disagree with his opinions, but I've found his quotes to be correct.

      I'll bet you are counting on readers here to just take your word on this and you are attempting a baseless smear on the assumption that readers here are too lazy to check.

      I wish Somerby would moderate these comments so that we don't have to deal with this crap.

    2. You can hide behind anonymity all you want you crazy coward. I can tell from the time of your comments you are the same person who called me scum for agreeing with Bob. I am glad Bob does not read these comments. He would be embarassed by people like you.

    3. Bob's fudging with, cherry-picking through, and outright misrepresenting NAEP scores has been well documented. to give you but one example.

      Of course, we believe what we want to believe. If you want to believe in Honest Bob, go right ahead. But answer me this. If you truly think Bob is honest as the day is long, then why do you "regularly follow his links"? Just to find him to be accurate?


    4. No it has not been documented. KZ has written a bunch of garbage proving nothing and you are probably KZ which makes you a worthless troll.

      Links let you find out more, not just verify accuracy.

    5. He is not us, Anon @ 10:19. I see you have covered your eyes and ears with your thumbs.

      One day you will make a whole year of progress, recognize the Polish PISA miracle, accept the non-existence of WMD and root for D'Leisha Dent as she shot puts her way to a degree at Miles College.


    6. [I]t was never disproven that Wildstein and Kelly ordered up a legitimate traffic study

      Actually to this day it's never been proven what Wildstein and Kelly thought they were doing, even as TDH noted any of their claims could well be a hoax or a ruse.

      Bring in the trolls.

      [I]t was never disproven that Saddam didn't have WMDs,….

      Actually it was proven long ago. One month after the invasion, TDH said it was too soon to conclude that they wouldn't be found.

      There ought to be trolls.

      TDH's… fudging with, cherry-picking through, and outright misrepresenting NAEP scores has been well documented.

      Sadly, no. The broadcasts from the Galaxy Schizophrenia do not count as documentation.

      Don't worry; they're here.

    7. Poor deadrat. To deny BOB misrepresents NAEP data he must resort to engaging in a medical practice on a being he has not met and ignore a report by the NAEP on the very deceptive practice in which BOB engages.

      But if you give him a backhanded compliment he will be back within 24-36 hours to recount for you his greatest hits. Bet he know where the key to the starwberry locker is as well.

  3. “…a Brooklyn public school which is suddenly attracting upper-income white students from the surrounding neighborhood.”
    “Was Park Slope Collegiate under-resourced before the white neighborhood kids arrived? Was the school suddenly better equipped when it got its first few upper-income white students?

    What does this mean?

    I lived in Park Slope in the early ‘70s. At that time it consisted mostly of old homeowners with a large ethnic mix, lots of immigrants, a mix of working class and some middle class.
    Also at that time, doctors, lawyers and other well-heeled types started moving in and doing massive restorations of the old Brownstone and Federal buildings.
    Adjoining Prospect Park were some formerly posh Belle Époque apartments still being used in various states of restoration.
    Two blocks west of Park Slope is Red Hook, home of the notorious Gallo mob.
    Cops traveled in pairs through there.
    Also there is the notorious Gowanus Canal. Legend has it that the bottom is lined with “cement overshoes”.

    Anyway, the influx of yuppies in the 80’s and 90’s has made Park Slope one of the more desirable neighborhoods in NYC.
    Park Slope collegiate is base in the old John Jay HS building.

    JJHS closed in 2004 for poor performance.

    40 years ago, Park Slope was a colorful, diverse neighborhood.
    It had hippies, freaks, Wall Street accountants (me). Downstairs was an eye surgeon, across the street a Mohawk Indian telephone linesman (on strike), a schoolteacher and cantor, several artists for Marvel Comics, welfare mothers, gang members, a lawyer, a NYPD patrolman, etc.

    If you look at the currant demographics, it’s obvious the white upper middle classes in aren’t sending their kids to school in Park Slope; They LIVE there.
    Park Slope didn’t suddenly change. It evolved.

    If readers want a glimpse of what it was like back then get a copy of “The Landlord”, Starring Beau Bridges, Diana Sands, Lee Grant, Pearl Bailey, and Louis Gossett, Jr.
    I especially liked the scenes in Tarzian Hardware. I spent a lot of time there since I was doing renovations on my Federal on 4th St. in lieu of some rent.

    1. gravymeister, thanks for this. You're actually evoking the lived world of NYC (something completely beyond bob's ken; I don't know about Chris Hayes' segment -- maybe it had some problems, but Chris certainly knows some basics about NYC, whence he comes (Bronx, I think), and nothing bob s. reports supports his charge against Hayes of "heinous...." god, bob s can be irrelevant)

      My NYC world only came to include Brooklyn recently. My daughter has lived there since about 2005, first living in "Park Slope" (near 5th Ave. at an address that would once not have been Park Slope -- boundaries shift). For a while she lived in a very dangerous area (though, you know, the dangerous areas are full of real and good people). Since then to two other areas, each always only newly part of the neighborhood its taking its name from. You get my drift -- like what was once Crown Heights is now part of Prospect Heights? All this so she can defend, mostly, poor black and brown people in Manhattan courts.... Now preparing for children, she is facing the reality of schools. If she's going to defend those poor black and brown, she won't be able to afford Brooklyn and provide her own children the education she wants for them. Bob s., as I said, irrelevant....

    2. Why should Somerby know the "lived world" of NYC when he lives in Baltimore? More specious criticism of someone you obviously don't like. Why are you even here?

    3. Yep. Why expect Bob to know anything about what he is writing? How unfair and specious to say so.

    4. Of course Hayes knows as a matter of fact that money was withheld on the grounds of race. It comes from a infallible gut instinct developed as Hayes' did, from a life lived out on the mean streets. It entails so much Somerby and his ilk will never understand- what it's like to get the gang together for an impromptu game of stickball, or when to have to pull your switchblade during a rumble.

    5. Why should TDH be expected to know about stuff he is not writing about? As much as I appreciate the informative history and fascinating local color of Park Slope, who gives a shit? There's a high school that has recently had an increase in white students. Maybe white parents are smuggling their children into the school. Or maybe white parents are moving into Park Slope, where they can send their children to the school while they enjoy the colorful and diverse neighborhood while they are defending people of color in Manhattan courts. Or something.

      Why does any of that matter? A short time ago, the school had fewer white students. The claim is that the school was underfunded. Now, the school has more white students. The claim is that the school thereby found some extra funding. Is the claim true? It wouldn't surprise me if it were, but isn't it the journalistic basis of Chris Hayes' job to find out?

      And wouldn't "currant demographics" mean that the overall complexion of the neighborhood was getting darker, not lighter?


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  5. Heinous? Look up the meaning of the word. Now it's Hayes as well as Hannah-Jones. The man who was so careful about using the "L" word (lie, liar) either doesn't know what it means or his standards are for thee but not me.

    1. And remember that, in another famous use of the word in these parts, the alleged crimes of poor Gov. Ultrasound didn't seem that "heinous" to Bob.

      But Hannah-Jones's article and Chris Hayes' report do rise to the "heinous" level.

    2. We like the way the mysterious mind of the OTB works.

      As he started to express his emotional reaction, he described things this way:

      "On a journalistic basis, we call Hayes’ conduct just this side of heinous."

      Then, after eight short sentences broken inexplicably into five paragraphs in which he explains why that is so, he declares:

      "As a piece of journalism, that exchange is heinous."

      We are not sure if those sentences, one in the form of a question, adequately explain why Hayes's conduct is just this side of heinous on a journalistic basis. We are certain, however, nothing about the conduct changed in those eight sentences to move it over to the actual heinous side on a journalistic basis.

      We are not sure if we learned from these posts what makes a good school good. We are sure we have no idea where you find heinous of the map of journalistic basis, how far "just this side" is on that map, and how prerecorded conduct can change its location. Your results may differ.

      Perhaps you measure the conduct and the product differently. We don't know.


  6. The Principal of the school, also extensively interviewed, rebuts the black parent by asserting that the school has not changed in terms of resources, regardless of mix of student population. Chris Hayes thus provided an opposing point of view. In this context, where it is really a matter of opinion, Hayes did what good journalists do...present both sides of the story. Bob S. apparently missed that portion of the segment. What is Hayes to do, compare the number of chalk boxes pre and post the increase in white students?

    1. Tell that to our friend at 8:28 PM, who claims Bob always speaks the truth, whole truth, and nothing but.

      "Bob S. apparently missed that portion of the segment."

      That's a nice way of putting it. But Bob S. is in the habit of "missing" all sorts of things that don't quite fit the narrative he tries to sell.

    2. So, if Somerby is unreliable and not worth reading, why are you here?

    3. Because it's fun to see you whine about my being here.

    4. Are you trying to say the often attemtped instruction to "just go away" has little to no effect on you? You seem to be saying that. Or implying such.

    5. He's here to defend the honor of his favorite corporate media stars. Yesterday it was Diane Sawyer, today Chris Hayes is the victim. How dare Somerby.

    6. Right. That's why I am here. To defend my favorite corporate media stars whose shows I don't even bother to watch.

      My how the synapses of Bob's sheep have slowed down so much that they can only divide into tribles. Those that call bullshit on Bob's bullshit are merely tools of their favorite corporate media stars.

      Let's never entertain the silly notion that Bob's bullshit is actually bullshit.

    7. But let's entertain the notion that you can't tell bullshit even when you have a mouth full of it.

      Fair's fair.

    8. Anonymous @11:16A,

      I often ask the same question as Anonymous @10:44A. It's not whining; it's just an expression of curiosity. You're in numerous if not good company, those who think that TDH is unreliable, worthless, and boring and that reading him is a hateful experience. Who endures this kind of torment when they don't have to?

      For the pleasure of my pointing this out? Really?

    9. Hayes did what good journalists do...present both sides of the story.

      No, Karl, sadly, no. That's what today's excuse for journalists do -- "these said; those said." The principal may be right; the parent may be right; they both may be partially right. Somebody will have to check the school budget before we know which. That somebody evidently won't be Chris Hayes.

    10. I do come just for you deadrat.

      It is one thing to marvel at people, yourself included, who love to restate, at times with great poetic license, what Bob Somerby just tried to say, seemed to say, or perhaps merely implied.

      It is quite another to see people who can regurgitate worthless comments made by others, while frequently pronouncing the entire commentary thread worthless and many of its participants lunatics.

      You are, as the blogger himself says about a media figure or two, a real piece of work.

    11. Here's a little mental exercise for you. See if you can imagine just how thrilled I am at your reaction to my comments.

      I see you've joined the trollish chorus that claims that commenters like me routinely take great poetic license interpreting TDH. I find this odd, since TDH is resolutely, poundingly, repetitively on point.

      Who pronounces the "entire" commentary worthless? There are those who think trolls have damaged the discussion and should be filtered out. I'm not among them.

      And I can think of only one lunatic.

    12. "And I can only think of one lunatic."

      Mark Davis?


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