Recently, Jason Glass did a video interview with Glenn Wallace of Colorado Community Media as they took a trail ride together on mountain bikes.
During that interview, the real Jason Glass was revealed, and it wasn’t pretty.
At 1:55 of the interview, while taking a break from riding, Wallace steered the conversation to a Twitter parody account called @NotJeffcoJason, an account that compares Glass to “Edward Longshanks (a nickname for King Edward I of England), reincarnated in Jeffco.” In a humorous, casual vein, he asked Glass what he thought of it, using a series of silly questions designed to elicit chuckles.
Glass replied that it is his policy to ignore, rather than listen to, accounts with differing opinions than his. He took a pretty strong swipe at those accounts when he said that @NotJeffcoJason was like “a lot of fake Twitter, fake social media, fake news accounts that are around in Jeffco”
First, Glass doesn’t understand the difference between a parody and fake news. If someone does a parody it’s not fake news, it’s a parody. Once Glass starts labeling parodies as “fake news” he starts seeming a lot like Trump.
Glass’s admission that he ignores people in the District who have different perspectives than he does is particularly appalling, especially when he starts accusing them of lying and exaggerating – “they can lie, they can exaggerate, they can say things and then they hide behind this false persona.”
There are just so many disturbing things about this admission. First, he basically said that he doesn’t care about anyone’s opinion except those people who agree with him. He also essentially said that their opinions were all fake news and therefore, essentially meaningless and worthless. But at the same time his supporters such as Support Jeffco Kids spew more fake news than anyone (here, here and here).
In addition, Glass doesn’t just ignore people, he actively blocked people whose opinions he didn’t want to hear on Twitter. He did this until he was informed that a Federal Judge ruled that Trump was violating people’s First Amendment rights when Trump did the same thing, and that ruling applied to public servants, including him.
And this attitude is really counterproductive. Throughout my career as a leader and top executive for a number of organizations, I’ve found that listening to and incorporating differing opinions only makes an organization better. Maybe Glass hasn’t recognized that fact yet. Finally, I think that accusing people of lying is inappropriate and uncalled for, especially by someone in his position.
Glass also took offense to people using fake personas online, instead of using their real names. But there are plenty of Glass supporters who do the same thing, such as “Support Jeffco Kids” and “Jeffco School Board Watch”. Why does Glass apply a double standard?
Personally, I don’t hide behind a fake persona (Glass knows who writes this blog). Yet Glass hid behind some BS interpretation of a District policy to prevent me from expressing opinions he didn’t like at public Board meetings. That’s not just “ignoring”, that’s actively “preventing” the expression of differing opinions. I actually consider his actions in that regard to be another violation of my First Amendment rights, but Glass looks at marginalizing and shutting people down as “things getting better in Jeffco.”
Glass came to this District claiming to be someone that would talk with and listen to everyone. Through his first year on the job he has done the exact opposite. He ignores, marginalizes and blocks anyone who has a differing opinion with his many Trump-like actions.
The only people he listens to are his own disciples and the only people taken for a ride with Glass are the people in Jeffco who unquestioningly believe everything he says.