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Ebert recants his review of “Waiting for Superman.”

January 26, 2011

Who doesn’t like Roger Ebert?

First of all, he’s a local Chicago guy. I once took a class of his at the University of Chicago extension on silent movies.

He almost made it interesting.

In my book, his advocacy of small films, indie films, off-beat films and progressive politics places him along side legendary Chicago journalists such as Mike Royko and Studs Terkel (he was friends with both when they were alive).

His approach to his battles with illness is inspiring

So it was greatly disappointing when Ebert seemed to buy into the Waiting for Superman bullshit and gave it a thumbs up review when it was first released.

But he’s recanted.

Tweeting today, Ebert said, “Why maybe “Waiting for Superman” wasn’t all that it seemed. If I’d known, my review would have been different.”

He then links to the Valerie Strauss article in the Washington Post.

Good going, Roger.

13 Comments leave one →
  1. bklynjak permalink
    January 26, 2011 5:52 pm

    Is that a picture of Roger Ebert? My goodness, what happened to him?

  2. Fred Klonsky permalink*
    January 26, 2011 7:15 pm

    Yes. He lost his voice, ability to eat and other faculties to cancer.

  3. January 29, 2011 7:34 am

    I’m thrilled Roger has come to his senses! I’ve always admired his intelligence and criticism, and I’m glad to see his critical capabilities have returned.

  4. Kathy permalink
    January 19, 2012 9:28 am

    Looks like he lost his courage. Struggle with physical illness can do that. Plus, when your friends turn on you because you’ve expressed an opinion that differs from theirs, it’s natural to do what it takes to reestablish the relationship.

    Still, a shame.

    • Fred Klonsky permalink*
      January 19, 2012 9:45 am

      Yes, Kathy. Roger Ebert, who has approached his most painful battle with cancer in a most public way, has lost his ability to speak, and has gone through multiple surgeries is clearly an example of someone who has lost his courage. And you have decided to call him a coward. Why? Because he has an opinion that differs from yours.

      Nice.

      • Steve Br. permalink
        January 19, 2012 10:23 am

        No, Fred, because he changed his opinion to pander to the teachers unions (buying the union line hook, line and sinker, of which you’re obviously a flag-waving fan, Fred. I have 3 kids in the LA Unified School district and to deny the wholesale degradation of our public schools at the hands of the teacher’s unions and their pals in in LA County, Sacramento, and Washington, D.C. is to deny reality. I also have several members of my extended family who were teachers (retired). The unions look out for three things: their super-generous pensions, keeping their working conditions as easy as possible, and maximizing their salaries (which, considering the 3 summer months off, their benefits, their vacation time during the school year, are incredibly generous). The education of children doesn’t even figure into the mix, or are you unaware at how dismally our children perform academically against other developed nations? Tell me how the weather is on Mars, Klonsky, unless your head is in the sand, again.

      • Fred Klonsky permalink*
        January 19, 2012 10:28 am

        Andrew Breitbart’s Big Hollywood blog did a hack piece attacking Roger Ebert. My blog was linked. Now I’m getting flooded with comments from anti-teacher union yahoos like this jerk. I’m done. That’s the last one. No more comments from Breitbart groupies.

  5. Anonymous permalink
    January 19, 2012 10:59 am

    So a reasonably written opinion you happen to disagree with makes Steve an Anti-union yahoo? How? Guggenhiem was a genius when he made Al Gore look good and suddenly he’s Satan because he calls out the teachers unions. And Siskel was way better than Ebert ever was.

    • Fred Klonsky permalink*
      January 19, 2012 11:20 am

      Okay. One more Breitbart groupie comment. Reasonably written? Why? How? It is a string of unsupported opinions in complete sentences. Good for Steve. He can write a complete sentence. You never read that Guggenheim was a genius on this blog or that he was satan. Nor did you find praise for Al Gore here. These are called “straw men.” That’s why this thread is now officially done.

  6. Not Yours permalink
    January 19, 2012 1:04 pm

    Interesting. Steve comments that Ebert changed his story – “recanted” in your terms – and contends that he’s pandering to the teachers’ unions. Steve comments that he’s got relatives who were teachers, who would ostensibly know what the unions stand up for to back his statements, and you then say he’s anti-teacher. Don’t see that at all – anti-union perhaps. Anti-teacher not at all.

    • Fred Klonsky permalink*
      January 19, 2012 1:13 pm

      Okay. One more, “Not Yours.” Having relatives who are teachers, by itself, doesn’t back up anything Steve says. He makes broad assertions about teacher unions. He provides no facts. “I have extended retired teachers in my family. This is evidence that everything I’m about to say about teachers and teacher unions is true.” You guys crack me up. Okay. That’s it.

  7. February 5, 2012 10:49 pm

    Just to be fair Fred, you didn’t make a case for your comments either. If I haven’t read Steve comment I wouldn’t have known what the movie is about. With that said, I don’t think this is an issue that Ebert want to live or die by. Although he is ultra liberal and always have been no one is a hundred per cent of anything at all times.

    I’ve lived in Chicago, attended their school system during my formative years and the one thing I could depend on is the teachers strike right before school year began. Whether or not it’s the union or the board of education fault I do not know but what I do know is that the quality of the education I received was poor at best. When I transferred to a school in Arkansas I struggled to keep up. Had I not left when I did I doubt that I would have survived.

    Everyone knows that the public schools are graduating children who can’t read or write well, not to mention the ability to think logically enough to do math especially those from the black and Hispanic communities. What other industry can put out a defective product like the public school system and continue to get pay raises without going out of business? None!

    So, Mr. Ebert doesn’t have to fight this battle that is blatantly obvious for anyone to see.
    And, besides with his illness I’m amazed that he has the strength to get up each morning let alone continue to write reviews for movies. But God has blessed him with a good wife.

  8. Fred Klonsky permalink*
    February 6, 2012 1:49 pm

    Thanks Marie. I wasn’t trying to make a case in that one post. I was just pointing out the Ebert had changed his views on the movie. It did pre-suppose the reader knew about Waiting for Superman. It was a film that did more than address the real failures of urban schools. It also proposed solutions and found a target to blame: teachers and teacher unions primarily. My kids also went to Chicago schools back in the day of yearly strikes or threats of strikes. That was back in the day of Mayor Daley Sr., who ran the schools as he ran the city. LIke a plantation.

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