Brahm Resnik: Blog for Arizona Post “Grossly Distorts” Garcia Book

Disclosure: I voted for David Garcia.

Further disclosure: I know Brahm Resnik better than I know my co-blogger, Larry Bodine. I put Brahm at the top of Arizona’s political media. When it was time to go public with the John Huppenthal’s racist comments on this site, it was a huge plus having him be the one to break the story.

Here’s what Brahm Resnik said when he learned of Bodine’s hit piece from Tim Steller on Twitter:

I read the book. The blogger and the professor grossly distort the content. It’s not even a close call. 

So, one of the most respected reporters in Arizona just said this blog grossly distorted the facts. If Brahm Resnik’s tweet is correct, we committed a fraud on our readers. Ugh.

The Farley campaign reportedly is broadcasting the Bodine post, which Brahm characterized as a gross distortion, far and wide. That’s how politics works. It’s a dirty business.

David Garcia’s own statement regarding his book follows after the jump. If you think we owe David an apology, say so in the comment section.

 

 

 

 

20 responses to “Brahm Resnik: Blog for Arizona Post “Grossly Distorts” Garcia Book

  1. Carolyn Classen

    Former BfAZ blogger/educator David Safier’s take on Garcia’s book: https://www.tucsonweekly.com/TheRange/archives/2018/08/10/a-review-of-david-garcias-book-school-choice. Safier is now at the Tucson Weekly.

  2. Critics: Book by governor candidate David Garcia aims to ‘dismantle public education’

    Maria Polletta, Arizona Republic Published 5:00 a.m. MT Aug. 10, 2018

    A political-blog post published and widely shared Thursday paints an upcoming book by Democratic gubernatorial candidate David Garcia as a “blueprint to dismantle public education,” contending Garcia’s oft-stated commitment to the state’s public-school system is a front.

    But a close examination of the 196-page “School Choice” reveals a text that reads more like an academic primer than a fervent defense of public-school alternatives — one that repeatedly takes pains to stress the author’s impartiality.

    The book, scheduled for a Sept. 28 release, is part of the “Essential Knowledge” series published by MIT Press, according to a copy obtained by The Arizona Republic on Thursday.

    In the book’s foreword, Massachusetts Institute of Technology professor Bruce Tidor says the series aims to distill specialized information and give readers “a point of access to complex ideas.”

    In the book’s introduction, Garcia — an Arizona State University professor who made solving the state’s public-education crisis the foundation of his campaign— says his goal “is to equip readers with a working knowledge of school choice so they can contribute to policy discussions in their local setting.”

    He repeated that position in a statement released in response to the “Blog for Arizona” post Thursday, saying he wanted readers to be able to “assess the merits” of arguments for and against school choice themselves.

    “These are politically motivated attacks by my primary opponents and their supporters who are becoming increasingly desperate,” Garcia said in his statement. “We will not respond in kind and we call upon all candidates in the race to abandon these deceptive tactics.”

    READ MORE:
    https://www.azcentral.com/story/news/politics/elections/2018/08/10/arizona-elections-governor-critics-decry-david-garcia-new-book-school-choice-public-education/952770002/

    • More from the Arizona Republic article:…

      The “Blog for Arizona” — which says it offers “politics from a liberal viewpoint” — devoted nearly 1,700 words to contributor Larry Bodine’s take-down of Garcia’s book Thursday. The post caught fire on Twitter.

      Bodine’s author page describes him as a writer, attorney and Democratic Party precinct committeeman who “enjoys being politically active and helping candidates get elected.”

      He has donated at least $290 to Farley’s campaign, according to the candidate’s latest campaign-finance report filed with the state.

      In his piece, Bodine called Garcia’s book a “how-to playbook for the anti-public-school, pro-school-voucher agenda pushed by Gov. Doug Ducey and the Koch brothers.” He said it comes “complete with strategies, arguments, legal precedents to cite, successful examples and historic points of reference.”

      He described Garcia as a “Manchurian candidate,” which he defined as “a person running for office who publicly supports one group to win an election, but who uses his executive or legislative powers to assist an opposing group.”

      “Many Democrats” share that impression of Garcia, he wrote.

  3. And now it looks like someone posting as “Blog for Arizona” is practicing from the Josef Goebbels School of Repetition:

    On Facebook, Blog for Arizona” responded to a short criticism I had about Larry Bodine (a contributor to “Blog for Arizona’). In response, “Blog for Arizona” posted the that repost from ABC-15 Jim Irvin, framing it as “For another view, read Steve Irvin-ABC15”. I then responded with the editorial I wrote above. In response to THAT, “Blog for Arizona” AGAIN posted that link to ABC-15 Jim Irvin, AGAIN saying “For another view, read Steve Irvin-ABC15.”

    Is this how “Blog for Arizona” operates, by repeating the same thing? What is this . . . a game of who gets in the last word? It moreso reminds me of the recommendations made by Josef Goebbels of the Third Reich who said ” If you repeat a lie often enough, people will believe it.”

    In that spirit, here’s a repetition of my above post:

    FOR A VIEW ON HOW LARRY BODINE BLOGS:

    I called out Larry Bodine when he originally posted his entry about Garcia’s book. His entry admitted that he had not read Garcia’s book and the link he posted was to Amazon to read about the book and possibly order it. What was obvious that Bodine had not read Garcia’s book.

    What was the purpose of posting about a book that hadn’t yet been read? That’s like posting a review of a movie that hadn’t yet been seen. And didn’t Bodine know how sensitive it could be to post something so negative about a candidate? Seeing Bodine’s post was the last thing I expected to see on Blog for Arizona.

    While Bodine might have thought he was just reporting news, he actually made the news. Now, Garcia’s opponents on both sides of the aisle have bought into Bodine’s propaganda about Garcia. Part of me also thought “Maybe the Blog for Arizona really supports Ducey?”

    I don’t think Larry Bodine’s ideology is in alignment with the other contributors on Blog for Arizona.

    Maybe Bob Lord can also “encourage” all his contributors to Facebook posts to always include their name so we know who is contributing; I want to know who is posting entries on Facebook and I want to see that person’s name in every Facebook posting instead of just the umbrella “Blog for Arizona” as . . . given Larry Bodine’s post, not all of Blog for Arizona’s contributors can be expected to possess the same level of integrity.

  4. Mike, as a BfA alum, I know the site is a place where writers are free to express their own opinions. I remember when you gave me “the keys to the kingdom” as the first person other than you to be a regular blogger. I asked you if I should run my posts by you, and you said, No, just post them.

    That being said, I think it would be a good idea to suggest a policy that writers disclose their preferences, as Bob Lord did at the beginning of this post. That gives readers a lens through which to view what’s written. Note I said suggest, not demand, though I would hope writers would follow that simple, important suggestion.

  5. Sanda Schuldmann

    I think Blog for Arizona should apologize to David Garcia and prevent anyone for actively trying to harm a candidate, without even disclosing the intent of this blog. He is allowed to support whoever he wants but he is not allowed to falsify the truth in hopes of getting people to vote against the front-runner. No wonder Farley could go canvassing with Ann Kirkpatrick, both clearly believe that the end justifies the means~Very disappointing!
    If Farley had a moral compass, he should come out and disavow this disinformation campaign!

  6. Well, at the risk of straying too far from the topic, this reminds me of an exchange I had with Mr. Michael Bryan regarding another post written by Mr. Bodine:

    https://blogforarizona.net/accused-rapist-yahya-yuksel-must-drop-out-now-from-cd2-race/#comment-212183

    The exchange begins with a comment I wrote (Liza | July 16, 2018 at 7:28 am |) in response to Mr. Bryan:

    “As a lawyer, I thought you might be concerned with his writing the alleged victim’s account of this incident as fact because this was taken from a police report that never resulted in an arrest and, therefore, was not the basis of any evidence presented by a prosecutor at a criminal hearing. There are documented conflicted accounts and the incident ended there, from the perspective of law enforcement.”

    There’s more, but Mr. Bryan responded:

    “This is political opinion, not political journalism. If you want those caveats, read a newspaper, not a blog.”

    Shortly afterwards, the Blog for Arizona was soliciting donations for “citizen journalists”.

    • I wasn’t taken seriously because not very many people cared about Mr. Yuksel or what happened to him. But from my perspective, that wasn’t the point.

      It’s really a matter of truth. Certainly people can write their opinions, they do it all the time. But when people are reading opinions, they are still looking for truth.

      For many years in this country black men were lynched for far less than what Mr. Yuksel was accused of. That’s what I was thinking about when I read Mr. Bodine’s post. And what I sensed was that pandering to the #MeToo people was more important than accuracy in reporting. And no one cared because the general consensus was that Mr. Yuksel is a guilty POS.

      And I’m sure there were folks out there who thought the same thing about this guy: https://californiainnocenceproject.org/read-their-stories/brian-banks/

      So, Mr. Bryan, ultimately this is about how much latitude you wish to give your writers versus how much integrity you wish to be associated with your blog.

      And I would say there is a great deal of integrity associated with Blog for Arizona. That was why I bothered to make the comment in the first place, because the post was an aberration.

    • You make a sharp, but well-taken point, Liza.

  7. I called out Larry Bodine when he originally posted his entry about Garcia’s book. His entry admitted that he had not read Garcia’s book and the link he posted was to Amazon to read about the book and possibly order it. What was obvious that Bodine had not read Garcia’s book.

    What was the purpose of posting about a book that hadn’t yet been read? That’s like posting a review of a movie that hadn’t yet been seen. And didn’t Bodine know how sensitive it could be to post something so negative about a candidate? Seeing Bodine’s post was the last thing I expected to see on Blog for Arizona.

    While Bodine might have thought he was just reporting news, he actually made the news. Now, Garcia’s opponents on both sides of the aisle have bought into Bodine’s propaganda about Garcia. Part of me also thought “Maybe the Blog for Arizona really supports Ducey?”

    I don’t think Larry Bodine’s ideolopost gy is in alignment with the other contributors on Blog for Arizona.

    I can see that Bob Lord wrote this post by which I am now commenting. Maybe Bob can also “encourage” all his contributors to Facebook posts to always include their name so we know who is contributing; I want to know who is posting entries on Facebook and I want to see that person’s name in every Facebook posting instead of just the umbrella “Blog for Arizona” as . . . given Larry Bodine’s post, not all of Blog for Arizona’s contributors can be expected to possess the same level of integrity.

    • You are right that there is clearly a split of opinion among authors here. I don’t think that’s a bad thing, it makes this a forum for debate. I see that several people have weighed in on both sides, and I think that’s healthy.

      • I don’t think it’s “healthy” to cast an indictment against any candidate based on a book that hasn’t even been read.

      • And I’d like to know where Bodine’s ORIGINAL Facebook post is, the one where he links to Amazon.
        THAT post has mysteriously disappeared.
        Maybe he’ll admit to you that he deleted it.

  8. Yes, this blog definitely owes David an apology, and a retraction.

    • This blog does not owe anyone an apology. The author will do what conscience dictates, but the blog is merely a forum, not a monolith.

  9. I suppose a blog doesn’t have to live up to the same standards as actual reporting for a legitimate news outlet but….I find it disturbing that your colleague had so much to say but didn’t seek any sort of clarification at all from the subject of his article. The piece is entirely one sided and only seeks back up from one professor. The readers deserve more than that. If he is going to assert that a candidate is a wolf in sheep’s clothing he has an obligation to really, really have his ducks in a row. And go the extra mile to have good back up and good sources for opinions.

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