On WNPR this morning, radio talk show host Colin McEnroe took issue with the way some individuals in Connecticut were expressing their distaste for a certain new law.
The controversy on which he was commenting doesn’t matter — what does matter is that McEnroe took issue with the manner of the protest. He invalidated the method of self-expression because it did not conform to his apparently rigid understanding of civil disobedience.
McEnroe had a defined idea of what a protest should look like and, when one did not fit into his definition he cut it to shreds. He focused on the message process, as opposed to the message content.
It was an instructive moment, perhaps shedding some light on why McEnroe would choose to pick a fight in a recent column with Connecticut Education Commissioner Stefan Pryor.
In that incident, the pattern was the same: McEnroe was concerned less with the initiatives that Pryor has worked diligently to implement, and more with the way Pryor spoke about those initiatives.
Again, process over content.
Dare it be suggested that this is perhaps not a wonderful trait for a long-form interviewer? McEnroe, in picking apart the commissioner’s words — spoken, mind you, on another host’s show — avoided context, ignored substance and focused instead on the way Pryor spoke.
Colin McEnroe is a Connecticut institution. His experience and knowledge far surpass the limits of his blithe comments made both on and off the air.
Perhaps it’s time McEnroe examined education reform for real, as opposed to writing snarky columns on the subject. When and if he does choose to take on education reform, let’s hope McEnroe, a skilled journalist with a long and storied history filled with accomplishment — looks at the substance of the issue.
Ask yourself, Colin: Are kids graduating high school with the skills they need to succeed? Are we doing enough to help Black and Latino kids graduate? Are education reform initiatives working to close the horrific achievement gaps that persist in this state?
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