Media: Richard Whitmire, Master Agitator?
What I learned from listening to Mike Petrilli's new half-hour interview about the Bee Eater (Ed Next Book Club) is that author Richard Whitmire has an extremely compartmentalized view of Rhee, her accomplishments, and his book. He readily acknowledges numerous Rhee setbacks and blind spots (closing only "black" schools, talking too much to the press, political naivete, using replacement principals like cannon fodder) but somehow these multiple problems never add up to anything other than isolated incidents. Whitmire also seems to believe that journalistic shoe leather is the only path to enlightenment, which excludes eyewitnesses, researchers, and basically anyone but him and Bill Turque. Last but not least, Whitmire seems to misunderstand the full range of Rhee critics' infuriated outrage, which is now being directed at him as well as Rhee. Or, perhaps he's fully aware of the furor he's generating and is just goosing everyone for the sake of book sales -- in which case, well played.