Thursday, March 8, 2012

Carolina Journal claims its Tempest Trophy

Jeff Martin (aka Fec) reports on the fall-out from the Tempest in a Lunchbox.
Sara Burrows and the Carolina Journal, with their inaccurate reporting and subsequent cover up, are directly responsible for the suspension of an educator merely attempting to abide by school policy.
You may recall that the under the hysterical headline "Preschooler’s Homemade Lunch Replaced with Cafeteria 'Nuggets:' State agent inspects sack lunches, forces preschoolers to purchase cafeteria food instead" the Pope-funded Carolina Journal falsely reported that a state agent inspected pre-schoolers' lunches at West Hoke Elementary school on Jan. 30 and told a 4-year-old that her home-packed sack lunch didn't pass muster. The CJ eventually backtracked on some of those falsehoods when its shoddy reporting began to fall apart: first by slightly editing the story to say that "the school" told the child that the lunch "was not nutritious" and second, by editing the headline. The headline of the current version of the story continues to implicate a "state agent" and indicate that children "purchase(d) cafeteria food," and the story itself says that the little girl was "told" that her lunch "was not nutritious."

The original false story caused quite an uproar, what with state lunch inspectors poking into lunch sacks and taking 4-year-olds' turkey and cheese sandwiches away. However, the CJ continued to fan the flames of outrage from the story that it had inaccurately reported, asking "Who is the Mystery Food Monitor?" and describing reports from state agencies that they weren't involved "sketchy--and sometimes conflicting."

Turns out that the entire story of any encounter with a state official or agent on Jan. 30 was completely false and that the "sketchiness" was multiple state and federal agencies trying to prove a negative. The CJ reported on Feb. 23 that a state consultant had "observed the lunch routine" on Jan. 26 (there's no longer any mention of sack lunch "inspections") and that parents had been notified on Jan. 27 that lunches needed to include certain items. There was no state official in the school on Jan. 30.

Instead, CJ's story is now
A teacher offered a 4-year-old girl a cafeteria tray with chicken nuggets, a sweet potato, bread, and milk to replace the turkey and cheese sandwich, potato chips, banana, and apple juice her mother had packed for her.
No state agent, no purchase, and no statement to the child about the quality of the lunch.

Now comes the kicker that Fec blogged about, the incident has finally cost someone her job...the children's pre-school teacher!

The CJ reports
The teacher involved in “supplementing” a preschooler’s lunch with chicken nuggets in Hoke County has been suspended indefinitely.
Art Pope, Sara Burrows, and the "responsible" folks at the John Locke Foundation are likely toasting their success in taking down a public employee. Kudos to the whole crew on a smear well done!

The parents and children from West Hoke Elementary seem less pleased. You'll understand if they aren't raising their milk cartons (school-provided or brought from home) with you.