Public radio’s Ira Glass calls Poizner book ‘so obviously and provably untrue’


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If Steve Poizner didn’t like public radio before, this weekend’s thorough take-down of his book ‘Mount Pleasant’ probably didn’t convert him into a fan.

Ira Glass, the host of ‘This American Life,’ devoted much of his program to an in-depth analysis of Poizner’s tales about his semester at the East San Jose high school where he volunteered to teach a class. Glass had Poizner read whole passages from the book for the radio show, detailing worries about the safety of his Lexus and the ‘rotten-like trash’ smells in the rough-and-tumble neighborhood surrounding the campus.


Until Glass interjects: ‘And the only problem with this is, a lot of it might not be true.’

Glass refutes Poizner’s description of the neighborhood, the school, the drop-out rate and even Poizner’s “rookie teacher of the year” award, which, apparently, ‘the principal quickly wrote up…on his computer for a staff party.’ From Glass’ report (full transcript):

I’ve been in great schools, I’ve been in dangerous schools -- urban schools, suburban schools. Mt. Pleasant is definitely one of the better public high schools I’ve ever visited. And I know it may seem like I’m belaboring all this, putting this book under a microscope point-by-point, but so many of the political discussions in our country seem so disconnected from reality. Every year there are egregious examples of politicians and commentators who believe if they repeat some non-fact over and over, it becomes true. And the more I looked into Poizner’s book, the more it seemed like one of those rare cases that’s so obviously and provably untrue. Though in Poizner’s case, what made it especially interesting was that from his book it seemed very possible that he really is just a well-meaning, idealistic guy who wants to help people, who just got a lot of this wrong.

You can listen to the program on the GOP candidate for governor’s book here.

-- Shane Goldmacher in Sacramento