* Update: I put this up yesterday evening and noticed today that the latest article was already being discussed. Kushibo has linked the guy's blog, and has a good post on this here. His videos have been posted on Dave's ESL Cafe a few times, and even the scholars there don't like him. Said one commenter in January, 2008:
This dumbass will be responsible for the next hammer dropping on all of you. Good luck dealing with the fallout.
The guy's clearly a real scumbag, and assholes like that really have no business in the classroom.
I don't sit here and pretend we're all upstanding citizens nor do I stand up for guys like this, although some disagree. "[Brian] lives in a happy world where we're all halo-crowned cherubs," is how one guy put it. I'm offended by news coverage like this, it's true, but I'm also offended by the people who feed it. What bothers me is that one of the largest papers in the country picks up a blog that Robert Koehler says averages two hits a day, and uses it as part of an effort to disparage the entire group. I like what kushibo has to say, and will include an excerpt:
Tell me why you should give a rat's ass about the press highlighting [the blogger] Colonel Fernandez. Not only is he breaking the law, he's making all kinds of English teachers look suspect because, realistically, it's plausible that any of them could have a fake diploma. And yeah, he is reinforcing the meme that Korea is a place for dishonest people to come and make money. This is not a meme Koreans collectively pulled out of their ass.
And in the end, if you're an English teacher, isn't this guy affecting your livelihood? Is it better for you if anyone can come in and throw some money his way and get a degree?
And will go on to say that as long as we're being vigilant about negative coverage, how about investing as much effort into cleaning up our own image? (The debate about who actually controls the English industry is for another time.) But clearly this reporter is on a mission, one that isn't simply thinking about the children.