Diane Ravitch’s hypocrisy has reached a new high, if that is possible. A few months ago she pleaded for an end to “meanness” in education policy discussions after she was caught fabricating (or imagining) serious allegations of misbehavior against Deborah Gist, the education chief in Rhode Island:
I despair of the spirit of meanness that now permeates so much of our public discourse. One sees it on television, hears it on radio talk shows, reads it in comments on blogs, where some attack in personal terms using the cover of anonymity or even their own name, taking some sort of perverse pleasure in maligning or ridiculing others.
I don’t want to be part of that spirit. Those of us who truly care about children and the future of our society should find ways to share our ideas, to discuss our differences amicably, and to model the behavior that we want the young to emulate.
And yesterday Diane sent a mass email praising a blog post by Mike Petrilli lamenting the name-calling in education debates. She wrote:
Mike Petrilli is one of the few people in today’s education debates who is consistently thoughtful. He never resorts to mudslinging. There is a special place in heaven for him. We can all learn from his civility.
But the very same day Diane retweeted the following message to her 18,000+ Twitter followers:
@DianeRavitch thank you for being on the front lines for us. I would resort to violence were I confronted with Brill’s smugnorance.
I understand that a retweet does not necessarily mean endorsement, but people cannot avoid responsibility for what they choose to forward. You can’t decry the incivility in discourse and then forward to your 18,000+ followers a message about resorting to violence in response to Brill’s “smugnorance.”
(edited for typos)