Saturday, September 05, 2009

We've Got Mail

I picked up a note from WLAP's Leland Conway on Facebook this morning asking for a correction on my recent "Robertson and Conway: Giving Conservatism a Bad Name" piece.

I had written,
"Conway and Robertson are concerned that such an event might bring partisan politics into the schoolhouse, so they decided to politicize the event. Conway advised parents to keep their children at home."
I based my statement on a Herald-Leader report, that
Originally, Conway said, he advised concerned listeners to either take their children out of school and read the Constitution to them instead or attend school with them that day and watch what teachers did "because it's important for parents to know what goes on in the schools."
Then from Conway, this congenial note:
"I hope this email finds you well. I was writing to see if you would please correct an attribution you made to me in your column. I did not recommend people keep their children home. In fact, I recommended that they go to school with thier [sic] children and participate in the process. I did say, however, that I am supportive of parents rights and would support any parent's decision not to have their child participate."
Readers can judge if I got it wrong, based on H-L's report. But since I wasn't listening at the time whatever comments were made, I'll take Conway at his word.

Then he invited me on his program, WLAP-630's The Pulse (3-6pm)...for a spanking one supposes.

That will depend on how much work I can get done this weekend...but for today, it's a road trip to Cincinnati to support the CATS.


Anonymous said...

Your mistake was assuming the Herald Leader was accurate in its reporting.

Anonymous said...

Readers can judge if I got it wrong, based on H-L's report.

If you base anything on a HL report, then chances are you got it wrong!

Anonymous said...

A reader can easily infer from your comments that you have distain for Leland Conway, a person you have never met. I know both of you and would predict that you two have much in common and could become friends.

Richard Day said...

Thanks for the comments.

A couple of things:
I rely on Herald-Leader reporting daily, and while not perfect (who among us is?) I find H-L to be very reliable the vast majority of the time. I know it's popular to disrespect the press - and folks are expected to disagree editorially. But in my experience, the news gathering function has been highly reliable.

My "philosophy" of political debate (and school administration) is best expressed in an old Steely Dan song: "Throw back the little ones and pan-fry the big ones..."

Robertson & Conway's comment struck me as a big fish - way over the line - and something that deserved a strong response.

Remember, I spent 31 years patrolling school campuses and keeping some real creeps away from our children. And people don't know this, but somewhere in my personnel file at FCPS is a reprimand I received in the early 90's. We had a guy trolling the neighborhood, trying to get elementary kids in his car. ...what I'd call a creep. I was reprimanded because I sent a letter home to parents warning them. The district wanted it kept quite. They said that I exceeded my authority. And when I told the deputy superintendent that I would do it again, if it happened again, I thought I might lose my job.

Had Conway not used the personal characterization "creepy" I probably would have let the whole story pass. I really needed to be working on other stuff this week. But, good guy or not, I believe Conway went to the gutter. To my discredit, perhaps, I went with him in response.

On his website at WLAP, I noticed that he is trying to redefine what he meant, by posting a couple of lefty videos as examples of what he thinks is creepy. But the videos have absolutely nothing to do with a sitting president publicly addressing America's school children in a public forum.

It's a head fake for his suporters - to give them a rationale for feeling OK about agreeing with him.

OK. I get that. He's trying to build an ex post facto justification to keep him from having to apologize - as though that would reveal some kind of moral weakness.

But if Conway was raised anything like I was, he already knew what he was doing when he (or was it Robertson) chose the word "creepy" and applied it to the president - and he will come around and admit that he went too far.

But maybe not. I don't know Leland.

Conway might be a hellavafella. My daughter worked with him for a while at Clear Channel and liked him very well. And let's be honest, he is paid to oppose the Obama administration. He would lose his market niche if he didn't. But as an American, I would hope he would have better controlled his rhetoric in this case.

He inferred the president was some kind of molester. I inferred Conway and Robertson were race-baiting. When he shows that that was not his intent and takes it back, I'll stand ready to do the same.

Anonymous said...

Richard, you ignore part of the story here. Nobody's arguing that politicians should not speak to children, as they have done in the past and as you have noted. That's not the problem, and if you're honest, you'll admit it. Rather, it's what Obama wants to follow that's the problem.

GMU economist Don Boudreaux made this pointed observation on his blog at "While it's true that many conservative pundits, such as Michelle Malkin, have overreacted to this upcoming speech, the legitimate reason for opposing it is that ours is not a country dependent upon any Great Leader. Suggesting that students be asked to ponder how they 'can help President Obama' tells students that 'leaders' deserve help simply because they are 'leaders.' Even worse, it evokes the catastrophic collectivist notion that society's progress depends upon the successful carrying out of a 'leader's' program."

Richard Day said...

Catastrophic collectivist hogwash.

The argument was that President Obama was creepy for wanting to publicly address America's school children.

Some White House flunkie "inartfully" worded one line is the so called lesson plan. Big whoop.

Anonymous said...

He inferred the president was some kind of molester.

Way over the line here Richard...that may be what you assumed, but to say he Inferred this? Even the Rush Limbaugh's of the world, wouldn't go this far.

You talk about apologies...maybe you should offer one here?

Anonymous said...

I agree...Our children do not and should not buy into the idea of any Great Leader....