Friday, May 13, 2011

Update: Victim of Breitbart Hoax Gets His Teaching Job Back

Ralph Giljum, the University of Missouri labor professor who was summarily dismissed by his school after professional provocateur Andrew Breitbart smeared him in a doctored video, has been invited back. Public pressure got the University to change its mind.  But the professor's union, while acknowledging that Giljum was victimized, is still not fighting back against Breitbart, or even mounting a vigorous defense. To the contrary, they forced Giljum to resign from the AFL-CIO to placate the Republicans of the Show-Me State.

While the Missouri AFL-CIO claims to be "incensed that we have scoundrels who go out and character-assassinate good people in our community" any further statement beyond denying that trade unions endorse violence would only "fan the flames" of anti-union sentiment, according to union official Herb Johnson.  And despite his characterization of Giljum as“a great trade unionist” he was pressured to resign -- just days before he was due to retire anyway. 

The union made haste, however, to issue a statement that it did not advocate violence, as Breitbart's hatchet job made it appear the teacher was doing. 

The video, which is no longer available because it was posted without permission of the university, was so clumsily and choppily edited that it showed Giljum magically wearing different shirts during the same purported lecture. Despite the obvious hoax, University officials announced they would not be inviting him to teach next semester.  

 But then came the public blowback. The United Association of Labor Education  led the charge with a petition and letter. University faculty and students launched an email campaign in Giljum's behalf, and the university quickly backed down.

 UALE member Steven Ashby of the University of Illinois said, “It’s no coincidence this attack comes in the wake of the biggest workers’ upsurge in 30 years, in Wisconsin.”

And Breitbart has made it no secret that he is launching a fullscale attack against teachers and unions. It's all part of the corrupt Republican plan to demonize public sector workers, destroy collective bargaining and turn American education into a dumbed-down, for-profit enterprise for sale to the highest bidder.


Kate Madison said...

Breitbart is not just a scumbag. He is a product of right-wing inbreeding. He lies through his too small teeth and glares with his close together monster eyes. Inbreeding amongst right wing nuthatches does that, and more, to a poor guy. Not his fault that he cannot speak truth. He is programmed. He opens his twisty mouth and what we hear is a recording--combination of Gov.Orville Faubus, Michele Bachmann, Charles Krauthammer and Phyllis Schlafly.

Bill Maher and Michael Erik Dyson did not realize Breitbart is a recorded announcement when they minced his meat last week on Real Time. Go to (Real Time)to hear the mashing.

Karen Garcia said...

Kate, love your colorful description of Frightbart. Only problem is, he cares not whether he is maligned as long as he gets the attention he craves. Like many a right-winger, he thrives on playing the martyr.

turnipseed said...

Why on earth do institutions keep responding to this repeated fraudster? I was particularly disturbed by the NPR incident. Surely they have the savvy to know when something is doctored, as well as the knowledge of this jerk's previous shenanigans.

It is also disturbing that the Union caved! Did I read that right? Truly upsetting after all our efforts here in Wisconsin to strengthen their voice.

Janet Camp

Valerie Long Tweedie said...

I take a little hope from this. It shows that if there is an upswell of public action, that we can evoke change.

On the other hand, I am horrified that the AFL-CIO asked Giljum to resign. The more I hear of what is happening to this union under the guidance of Trumka, the more I realise that he is a wolf in sheep's clothing.

Thanks for this update, Karen.

turnipseed said...


Karen, I'm sure you must have just got the same email as I did, from Jim Messina. I hope we'll hear from you on this one!


Kate Madison said...

I have also posted this on RealityChex.

LETTER from Jim Messina (in part)


Something happened in Washington that I want to make sure you know about.

The CEOs from the five major oil companies -- which together booked $36 billion in profits in the first quarter of 2011 alone -- went to the Senate on Thursday to try to justify the $4 billion in tax giveaways they're receiving this year.

It's an obvious example of how broken Washington is that there's even a question about this.

What we can do is build a campaign that will keep a spotlight like this on the fundamental reasons why Washington doesn't work.

Our campaign doesn't take money from Washington lobbyists or special interest PACs. This organization will be a living example of doing politics a different way -- from the bottom up; of, by, and for ordinary people.

That example and the results we achieve on Election Day are the biggest blows we can strike against a dysfunctional system and the distorted outcomes it creates.

But we have to start building right now. Add your name to our call for a new kind of politics today:

While the oil industry has been earning billions in profits, gas prices have surpassed $4 a gallon in some parts of the country.

As the President has said, "Instead of subsidizing yesterday's energy sources, we need to invest in tomorrow's."

Right now, we're building a grassroots campaign that's led and funded by people like you. We're opening up offices not just in Chicago but all over the place, and putting organizers on the ground in communities across the country.

So if you're frustrated by the way business gets done in Washington, I'm asking you now to channel that feeling into building a massive grassroots organization to change it. Add your name to join our campaign to change Washington:



Jim Messina
Campaign Manager
Obama for America

This campaign isn't funded by lobbyists or corporate interests. We rely on donations from people like you. Please donate $5 today.



..."This campaign isn't funded by lobbyists or corporate interests. We rely on donations from people like you. Please donate $5 today."

This I do not believe. I was dumb enough in 2008 to fall for it and worked my little buttinsky off for Obama. Also gave him what little money I could--happily. Imagine my shock and dismay to find that he was connected at the hip to big Wall Street Donors--with whom he has continued to keep questionable contact. For sure, Mr. Obama has not "kicked them under the bus", and I imagine he will get almost as much money in 2012 as he did in 2008 from them. But not from us little donors. WE ARE ON TO YOU! This is not a grassroots peoples' campaign. It is a corporate, big business enterprise--just as the Republican side is, minus the Koch brothers and Karl Rove.

Please do not take us for fools. We are not. We know the score. I plan to vote for Obama simply because I think he is the "lesser of two weevils" and will possibly have 2 Supreme Court appointments--which are the most important thing he may have facing him. Forget about ending the wars and cutting the defense budget--not going to happen. Obama is as much a tool of the military/industrial corporations as was Bush. Sad but true! And look at who his closest economic advisors are--Yikes. Timothy Geithner is a mess. Elizabeth Warren is top notch, but if Geithner does not neuter her first, the Republicans most certainly will. And I have no expectation that Obama will stand up for her. (Which he very definitely should!) I will feel better about him if he does.

That's it for now. When I get another untruthful letter from you, I will reply with my truth.

Kate Madison
Former Obama Organizer - 2008

Karen Garcia said...

Thanks Kate! I had really fallen for the email, till you set me straight. (see my latest post). And how do you get off only getting hit up for $5. The jerk asked me for $15 and I give impecuniousness a whole new meaning, for crying out loud. I am not going to let this outrage rest, mark my words.

Kat said...

Nice letter!

turnipseed said...

Thanks Kate. I sent a similar retort, only shorter and more direct. You always get one of those instant replies thanking you for your response, blah, blah, but I do hope some of us will be heard.

Janet Camp

Valerie said...

Boy, how things have changed! I wouldn't give Obama $5 today. My money goes to the progressive groups working for transparency and accountability - and I am THRILLED with the movement to recall corrupt politicians..