Oh, and Happy Easter too, everyone. Or whatever you're celebrating today. It's a gorgeous day, so celebrate Spring at the very least. Non-Christians can appreciate the story of self-sacrifice for the good of the whole and renewal embodied in the story of the Resurrection.
Today's issue of the Wisconsin State Journal reviews the challenges Madison Public School District will have attracting a new district administrator. One of the issues they highlighted was the lack of a law protecting applicant confidentiality throughout the process, like they have in Illinois and Maine. The Journal noted, "Wisconsin open records law allows the public to access the names of any candidates forwarded by a recruitment firm to a school board for consideration." Please notice the use of the word ALLOWS. It doesn't state that said search firms MUST RELEASE THESE NAMES AS IT IS A MATTER OF NATIONAL SECURITY AND INQUIRING MINDS MUST KNOW. The subtitle on page ten is "For applicants, 'confidentiality is huge.' " Listen up, Janesville Gazette!
The Evansville School District recently experienced this in its full glory. It was NOT the general public that was interested in forcing the search firm and the district to prematurely announce the applicants for the job. It was a specific single-minded reporter determined to satisfy the prurient interests of just a few readers as to the laundry list of applicants for the job. No consideration was afforded for the five not chosen and their public embarrassment or their job security in a sketchy economy.
The fault for this breach of etiquette does not lie with the open records law which, when used as intended, is a force for balance in our society. The fault lies with unscrupulous newspapers searching for every way to increase circulation regardless of how many bodies they leave in their wake. These self-same rags reduce every election to a round-house, a mud-slinging spectacle that showcases only the worse of human nature. None of the beauty and intrinsic goodness in the human condition that produced our beloved democracy is evident because these foul wastes of trees mistake whisper and innuendo for news. This goes double for MSNBC (except Rachel Maddow) and FOX News (and occasional Bill O'Reilly fun). Except they're foul wastes of broadcasting signals.
My rant is done. Please return to your regularly scheduled Easter.