I’d go into hiding.

Today’s Moment of Poignance, Old Newshound Division: Thousands of Michigan schoolchildren, perhaps including my own, will have to retake part of the MEAP, our state test to make sure no child is left behind (God FORBID), because of a security breach.

Which was? A newspaper doing a story on the testing revealed essay topics before all students in the state had been tested. The fear, evidently, is that perhaps an untested child in the Upper Peninsula read the website of the Jackson Citizen-Patriot, and might have gotten an early warning on the test topic. Yes, really.

And the moment of poignance? Ahem:

“It’s not like we were going to find out the answers,” Brooke Nemens, 10, a sixth-grader at L’Anse Creuse Middle School — North, said after she heard the news. “I don’t even read the newspaper.”

Well, Brooke, you should. God knows what you could have learned.

The offending newspaper in Jackson (motto: “Home of the Largest Maximum-Security Prison in Michigan, and also the Jackson Cascades“) is making the usual mea-culpa sounds, although this blog entry, by an “opinion columnist,” is sort of weird — “testicles on a pitchfork”? How times have changed. (I don’t generally talk about my last, strange months in the newspaper business, but in the interest of making wicked fun, I’ll reveal this: Upon my return to the paper post-fellowship, the editor felt compelled to propose a blogging policy. Among the proposed rules: All blogs must adhere to newspaper standards of content and propriety, which at that time included a blanket ban on the word “butt” as a description of the fleshy pads we all sit on. And now, barely three years later, a paper in a city just as conservative as Fort Wayne, arguably more so, is allowing pitchforked testicles under its online brand. Ha. Ha. Ha.)

So what do we think of Al Gore’s Nobel? Lost Bush v. Gore, but got a couple of nice consolation prizes — an Oscar and now this one, which also includes dinner with the King of Sweden. I’ll start: I’ll enjoy this if only for the apoplexy it will induce in the needs-more-evidence community.

Had a good interview yesterday, and now must go over notes to make sure I didn’t forget anything, because the subject leaves for two weeks in Fiji in about 12 hours. How’s that for a ducking-out-early excuse?

Later, maybe. If not, have a good weekend.

Posted at 8:59 am in Current events, Media |

15 responses to “I’d go into hiding.”

  1. Kirk said on October 12, 2007 at 9:08 am

    We’re going to let the state attorney general say, “That’s bullshit!” in a story in the Sunday paper.

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  2. ashley said on October 12, 2007 at 9:24 am

    I’m not surprised Gore’s having dinner with the king of Sweden. King gave him things that he was needin’.

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  3. MichaelG said on October 12, 2007 at 9:37 am

    No child left behind. Except the sick and crippled.

    That’s the fun of the Gore Nobel. It’ll drive the right wing nutsos crazy.

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  4. MarkH said on October 12, 2007 at 9:52 am

    Not any more than usual considering the politicization (sp?) of the Nobel prize, Michael.

    A “Peace” prize, for a submission of a purported science study of one of the most politically correct topics in the universe? By a giant in (liberal) politics, and now (liberal) celebrity? A guy who would have saved the world had not an election been rigged to steal victory from him?

    I’m shocked, etc., that you think anyone would have a problem with this. I’m just having fun with the upswell of the whole Gore-For-Prez movement that’s going to be driving Hillary nutzo-crazy. This could really have legs, whether Gore agrees or not.

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  5. Peter said on October 12, 2007 at 10:00 am

    Is it just me, or is Al Gore becoming the incarnation of Henry Wallace? Would that make Barack Obama Harry Truman?

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  6. Kim said on October 12, 2007 at 10:03 am

    I laughed so hard this a.m. when I heard the Gore news for the same reason as you, Nancy. I have one neighbor in particular who argues against global warming being an issue (never mind fact), and thought how fun it is that the international community has commended Gore for something many idiots don’t believe exists. Can’t wait to hear what Colbert has to say on it.

    I hope Gore doesn’t run. He’d get more mileage out of these legs if he stuck to the morality angle.

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  7. Sue said on October 12, 2007 at 10:17 am

    Maybe Gore got the peace prize because there was just no one else to give it to.

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  8. brian stouder said on October 12, 2007 at 10:19 am

    I hope Gore doesn’t run. He’d get more mileage out of these legs if he stuck to the morality angle.

    Agreed. Have you noticed the now-cliche’ Gore news picture? msnbc is loaded with them –



    The preferred portrait seems to be of the subject looking off into the distance (and no doubt perceiving a looming crisis), with a serious, reflective cast upon his features. Oh – and shadow – gotta have the oracular cast upon the seasoned Gore visage

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  9. Julie Robinson said on October 12, 2007 at 10:26 am

    Sue, I think you have it there. What a sad commentary on the state of the world today.

    Since Gore hasn’t been raising money, his only chance would be to step in at a brokered convention, which won’t happen. It’ll be over by February, or even January, and as usual, Democrats in Indiana will be completely shut out of the democratic process.

    But who would want to be the next president anyway? All they’ll be doing is cleaning up Bush’s messes and that’s going to be ugly. Gore can be more efffective staying where he is.

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  10. Joe K said on October 12, 2007 at 10:45 am

    suppose the king gave him his racing horses and I guess each meal he ate was a dozen courses.
    Go Cab.
    Joe K

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  11. alex said on October 12, 2007 at 10:54 am

    Speaking of inconsistency at the paper, Nance, when you read some of Leo Morris’ inane and patently offensive diatribes in the News-Sentinel’s blog, it’s inconceivable that the paper could have restricted yours in the least. There’s a lot worse garbage than “butt” on his blog on any given day. At times I fully expected someone higher up might put a muzzle on him, but evidently they’re okay with it.

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  12. Casey said on October 12, 2007 at 10:55 am

    re MEAP snafu. before I changed channels last night for Jon Stewart, I caught the Channel 4 tease on the issue. So I hung out and watched the story. This morning, I called the office at Pierce (my daughter’s school) and they said it does not apply to Grosse Pointe Schools. The person I talked to was an office assistant and she was adament that the Channel 4 report I saw last night was wrong. It will only apply to schools in the district where the reporter was. She didn’t make me breath easier.

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  13. nancy said on October 12, 2007 at 11:14 am

    To be sure, Alex, the “proposed” blogging policy — which, to my knowledge, was never put in place, at least before I left — was a targeted weapon. By the time the in-house blogs got off the ground, I think the editor who had the burr up her, um, hips had either softened or just didn’t give a crap anymore. The problem (i.e., me) had been eliminated, and lord knows, no one ever went broke in Fort Wayne throwing meat to trolls.

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  14. mouse's moom said on October 12, 2007 at 11:29 am

    When my 23-year-old was a 4th grader here in Ann Arbor, she came home immediately after taking the MEAP test with the news that she had gotten a perfect score on the math test. I asked, “how do you know that already?” and her answer was that the teacher had checked the answers. That made me stop and think for a split second but not long enough to ask any of the authorities at the school about it.

    The next year, that teacher was caught correcting her students’ MEAP tests: “Why don’t you try that question again?” and was very soon bounced out on a “medical leave of absence.”

    (My humble opinion? Ditch the darn MEAP test and give the kids more time to run wild in the great outdoors.)

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  15. retro said on November 20, 2007 at 2:32 pm

    Go Colbert! As wacky and wierd as he is, I’d vote for him.

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