Cry Ryan Walters a river
Teacher bonus scandal has birthed a media conspiracy against our state's superintendent of public instruction … just ask him
Here are three things somebody else surely concluded before I did, a whole minute ago, prior to typing these words.
Yet, before I list them, just know I came to them on my own after reading some more about our state superintendent of public instruction, Ryan Walters. Unless, of course, he just plays one on TV, in the newspapers, not to mention the reporting of non-profit newsrooms that have really — old-timey expression alert — gotten his goat.
1). Every sociopath plays the hero in their own story.
2). Every bully, when things quit going their way, claims to be a victim.
3). Heretofore, on first reference, Walters should only be referred to as Ryan “Cry Me a River” Walters.
Fine, I may be the first one to come up with No. 3.
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Of course, this is about the teacher bonus program that, thanks to the incompetent mismanagement of the state education department Cry-Me-a-River heads, led to the attempted clawing back of misappropriated bonuses, much of which had already been spent by recipients who were entirely honest in their applications for those bonuses.
Since the story came to life thanks to the joint efforts of Oklahoma Watch and StateImpact, non-profit news operations both, sympathy has flooded in for the teachers.
Both Democratic and Republican lawmakers have called upon the education department to make it right. State attorney general Gentner Drummond is looking into what his office might do to make it right.
Remember when Walters appeared to finally make nice with the legislature, promptly responding to a subpoena? Well, that goodwill appears gone.
Said rep. Mark McBride (R-Moore), per the reporting of The Oklahoman’s Murray Evans, “He’s got to stop blaming everyone else and calling people liars, and fix the problems at hand.”
McBride must have made his point.
Because the very next morning, Wednesday, Walters took to the media to blame it for all of his problems.
Evans wrote that story for The Oklahoman, too, and the quotes are gold.
“I am going to be very critical of what I’ve seen in the press the last week. What we have seen is a deliberate lie pushed by reporters, pushed by media, to push a certain perspective. They are trying to undermine my administration, they are trying to attack conservatism and education reform and I won’t stand for it.”
Really, an administration?
Nice office envy, Ryan.
Snark aside, if only Walters could produce anything incorrect from the coverage of his latest scandal, even a single factual error in a single sentence from any of the stories, perhaps he’d have a leg to stand on.
He has not.
Of course, there’s more.
“What happens when we have members of the press, some of you, that decide your goal is to undermine the programs that we’re launching, not talk about the 500-plus teachers we brought to the classroom, not talk about our efforts to ensure federal dollars were spent by Jan. 25, that money got in teachers’ hands and that those teachers stay in the classroom.”
Look up “pathetic” in the dictionary and you might find Walters’ picture.
He’s crestfallen because he’s not being congratulated? He’s being abused by the media because it doesn’t see him through the same rose colored glasses his sycophants won’t quit wearing?
Everybody has a job to do, yet Walters’ is under the impression everybody’s is to aggrandize him.
Delusion, thy name is Ryan.
“It undermines our republic when you lie to the public in a way that undermines their very trust in the work that you do.”
Uh, we’re a state, man.
One of 50.
Or do you not know?
The mistake is ever taking him seriously.
Indeed, the very short version of the story may tell it best and most clearly.
• Walters’ education department screwed up. It handed out bonuses it should not have handed out to real people who were being honest.
• Upon being exposed, and after turning lives upside down via the department’s inability to correctly run a recruiting program, Walters, petulant child that he is, could only blame the victims of the department’s mistakes, even defaming them by calling them liars.
• When the rest of state government implored him to make it right, or began making plans itself to make it right, refusing to follow his lead, Walters responded with a press conference to explain how everybody’s being so unfair to him.
But why wouldn’t he?
Not everybody else. Just him.
Why wouldn’t HE?
From where he sits, none of this is happening to the teachers whose lives have been interrupted, whose livelihoods have been threatened, whose reputations have been slandered, nor to reporters whose job it is to follow the story. No, from where Ryan Walters sits, it’s all happening to him. Unjustly, of course.
He was elected to a job.
He just can’t seem to do it.
Here we are again.
Cry him a river.