From a reader: "I was so stunned by the unlikeliness of the Defender's rehashed Heartland PR piece (linked on your site) "Parents push for Ren Ten schools" by a non-staffer named Leila Noelliste, Defender October 19, 2007 that I Googled the organization whose rep is quoted in it, "Parents for School Choice". I found this: Earlier this month, a group called "D.C. Parents for School Choice" ran a two-page ad in the Chicago Defender taking Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) to task for opposing school choice.
Admittedly, it's a little old (2003) for there to be a qui-pro-quo involving a 2007 article. Still, Lee Walker turns up as a member of the Defender's editorial board and a Heartland senior fellow (back in 2005). Heartland, of course, is the force behind the ironically named Parents... organization. I'm not a reporter (anymore) or a George Schmidt and don't have time to follow all this anywhere in particular, and I'm not sure why I think that the Defender is any longer anything but the most craven of pseudo news-organizations, but it does seem like there is something beyond disgusting in Heartland's use of this particular newspaper to sell a product as putrid as Ren 2010. Something has gone on there that would make a few old Sengstackes turn over in their graves."