Ackerman’s NBC 10 Interview is Not Helping

NBC 10 just interviewed Arlene Ackerman, and while I’m hesitant to make the comparison, it did about as much damage control as Sandusky’s interview with Bob Costas.

The former Philadelphia School Superintendent was paid a massive, $900,000 severance package after being pushed out of her position. Then, in a move bolder than a Russell Brand stand-up special, she filed for unemployment compensation.

While the city teems with rage, Ackerman is currently in Albuquerque, visiting her relatives and, by the looks of her faux Native American jacket with annoying tassels, “finding herself” using crystals or something.

During the segment, NBC 10 breaks down her take-home pay compared with what she would have received had she finished out her sentence, I mean term. After adding another $85,000 in vacation and sick days (chew on that for a moment) and subtracting lawyer fees and taxes, Ackerman walked with around $400,000 total; that’s over ten times the National Average Wage for Americans just for leaving her job.

But Ackerman also wants Philadelphians to know that she graciously sacrificed another $400,000 that was left on her contract, stating that, “If I walked away with $400,000, I gave $400,000 away, I would say I broke even.” Feel free to take a minute to scrape your jaw off the floor, I’ll wait.

There we go. Anyway, I don’t want this to turn into a screed on the perils of “capitalist greed” or executive, er, superintendent over compensation, but that this whole debacle is happening right around the time Occupy protests are being systematically thwarted sort of makes Ackerman a symbol for the larger issue of income disparity in America. As any competent comedian or trapeze artist knows, timing is everything. And judging by Ackerman’s weak defense, that’s something she’ll never understand.

(Start the video at 2:39)

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