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Not ‘Today’ for Decatur
Clarification on city schools’ quality of education couldn’t be scheduled for Wednesday

By Bayne Hughes
hughes@decaturdaily.com · 340-2432

An assistant for “Today” Executive Producer Jim Bell said he had not been able to schedule a clarification for Wednesday’s show.

After checking with television show employees, she said real estate correspondent Barbara Corcoran was not scheduled to appear on the Wednesday show.

On the Sept. 27 show, Corcoran made this statement about Decatur: “What you don’t get is good schools. They’ve got a bad school system.” It was in a segment about housing prices.

Bell told The Daily and Decatur schools Superintendent Sam Houston on Monday that he hoped to schedule Corcoran to do a two-minute segment clarifying her statement.

Dated information

Bell said Corcoran based her statement on dated information and, after talking to Houston and Decatur High Principal Mike Ward, he felt a clarification was necessary.

He told Houston that he would call him to let him know when the segment will air.

“He told me that he had to confirm (with Corcoran),” Houston said. “I didn’t get the impression that it was a done deal, but he sounded pretty optimistic.”

John Seymour, president and chief executive officer of the Decatur-Morgan County Chamber of Commerce, sent an e-mail to Bell on Tuesday. He not only protested Corcoran’s statement, but also said he didn’t like host Matt Lauer “referring to us as ‘Green Acres.’ ”

“We feel fairly certain that when we see a program we dislike on NBC you would not want us to refer to you as a ‘bad network,’ ” Seymour said. “Hopefully, we would consider the entire body of the network before we made a statement that damaging.”

Seymour mailed Bell the chamber’s community area guide and a DVD produced to present Decatur City Schools to potential investors.

“The purpose of this e-mail is to schedule a meeting with you in New York or better still an invitation for you to visit our lovely community,” Seymour writes. “Hopefully, we can convince you this is a wonderful place to live and that our children are indeed getting a quality education.”

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