By: Mark Glennon*
It’s fascinating to see how a story can be overlooked, ignored, but then propagate quickly, even across the national media. So it was with a story we broke thanks to a reader here.
The story is now spreading across national news sites and blogs — about a trip to show solidarity with Nicolás Maduro’s socialist regime in Venezuela by a Chicago Teachers Union delegation, as they described themselves. The union is being ridiculed, appropriately, for either tacitly or knowingly sponsoring the delegation’s fawning reports on Maduro’s socialism, which in fact is among the worst human rights violators on the planet.
The story probably never would have been known, except to some Chicago teachers and a few others, but for an attentive reader.
Last month he sent us a link to an obscure, leftist, Minnesota blog that had an entry about the trip, which seemed to us like a parody. But with a little digging we found that delegation members had posted their reports on another blog, validating the story. There had been no media coverage other than a few obscure mentions in several blogs.
So, we wrote our article, “Viva Maduro! The CTU’s solidarity trip to Venezuela.” It took off immediately with tens of thousands of pageviews within a week. ZeroHedge republished it and Breitbart did their own story on it. It then slowed down except for a few local articles.
But now the story is off and running again, with an article and a commentary piece in the Chicago Tribune, a New York Post article, a link in the Wall Street Journal and others.
We’re glad we launched the story, but the reader who sent the tip who deserves the shout-out.
There’s another salute to be made. Some Chicago teachers apparently complained bitterly to the CTU about the trip. That landed CTU’s socialist president, Jesse Sharkey, in hot water, according to Chicago City Wire, and no doubt helped spread the story. That took guts because teachers’ unions are notorious for retribution. Dissenters pay a price.
We don’t like how Illinois teachers unions behave, but we sure like teachers who know the difference between right and wrong and are willing to stand up for it.
*Mark Glennon is founder of Wirepoints.