Friday, June 13, 2008

The Only Local Media Blog that Is Critically Examining Eric "English Only" Crafton

While the City Paper is busy being Eric Crafton's tool on the issue of starting a petition to put an English Only referendum on the ballot (and the Tennessean coverage is just weak), the Nashville Scene's P.J. Tobia is actually blogging the controversy with a critical eye and actually keeping tabs on the opposition.

This week, Tobia has two PiTW posts on the rising opposition to English Only. The NCP's blog, Political Animals, has nothing, and as I've pointed out, their hard copy looks either apathetic about or sympathetic to English Only's flawed premise that mandating English Only would actually make non-English speakers learn faster than they already are.

And in related news: Crafton is not running on the strength of the concept of English Only alone. He is pushing it with the following robo-call (courtesy of Southern Beale):

Please help Metro Councilman Eric Crafton make English the official language of city government in Nashville. He needs to collect 15,000 signed petitions by August 15 to put a referendum on the ballot to let the voters decide if they want their government to operate in English, or pay for their government to operate in languages ranging from Spanish to Arabic.

BREAKING UPDATE: The City Paper's blog, Political Animals, has today actually posted something on English Only. Oh, wait, it's more about Enclave than Eric Crafton. Never mind.

I would really like to see journalists ask Eric Crafton more than "What do you hope to accomplish with the petition and ballot referendum?" Something like, "What evidence do you have that forcing Metro employees only to use English is going to make Spanish-speakers learn English, since providing vital government services is not exactly like teaching English?" Or how about, "If one person's life could be saved with a Metro dispatcher speaking Kurdish to a 911 caller, is risking an English Only law really worth the effort?"

I didn't claim that the NCP was a tool in their past editorial pages, although in 2007 their reporters did provide Eric Crafton a lot of publicity free from the critical questioning or attention to his inconsistencies that he was due then, too. But why endure Crafton's crap again months before leveling some hard questions at the petition? Why should we wait for an election eve editorial against English Only before we ask journalists to focus on the holes instead of the image? They have a blog, for the love of Mike.

UPDATE: Looks like the Animals broke out of the zoo to publish an editorial against English Only with their Voices. Now if the editors would just have their reporters ask Eric Crafton tougher questions during interviews.

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