MSNBC's Roberts: Indiana's New Right-to-Work Statute a Blow to 'Union Rights'

MSNBC's Thomas Roberts isn't even trying anymore to be an objective journalist.

Yesterday's passage of a right-to-work bill in Indiana was a measure "stripping the state of union rights," Roberts insisted during the 11 a.m. Eastern hour of MSNBC programming. "That makes Indiana not just the 23rd union-busting state, but the first new right-to-work state in ten years," the anchor noted as he introduced right-to-work opponent Indiana State Senator Vi Simpson (D).

What follows are Roberts's questions to Simpson:

  • As we were looking at those images, and I want to show them again, there are thousands of workers that are marching on Lucas [Oil] Stadium and the Super Bowl village there, Gov. Daniels didn't waste the time, signing this measure, but, tell us about the impact of this bill and what can be done to reverse it at this point with such an outcry?

  • As we talk about the political landscape, Democrats are the minority in Indiana's legislature. You tried to stall the vote as I understand it, by boycotting it, on and off to push it closer to this Sunday's big game. So are you hoping this publicity of the Super Bowl and the outcry that we're seeing by these protesters will give this more of a national story, national clout?

  • As we look at this as a national issue, there are Republicans in Arizona, they're pushing a bill to ban collective bargaining. This following in Wisconsin's footsteps. Is this setting the stage for a recall effort in Indiana, do you think, against Mitch Daniels, like they're doing with the governor, Scott Walker, in Wisconsin?

  • Well, certainly a lot of eyes, you have the attention of the country for the Super Bowl [this Sunday in Indianapolis], so we'll see what comes out of the protests that are taking place there. Indiana State Senator and Democratic leader Vi Simpson. Thanks for joining me this morning, I appreciate it.

You'll notice there are no critical questions of Simpson from the right or any representations of the conservative argument for right-to-work. What's more, Roberts failed to bring on a state legislator or other Indiana official who supports the right-to-work legislation to balance out Simpson, although he told viewers that Gov. Daniels would be interviewed in the 1 p.m. Eastern hour on Andrea Mitchell Reports.

But for her part, Mitchell devoted her opening two questions to the upcoming Super Bowl in Indianapolis and the rest of the interview to the 2012 Republican presidential primaries, including a question about whether Daniels holds open the possibility of jumping into the presidential race.

Ken Shepherd
Ken Shepherd
Ken Shepherd is the Managing Editor for NewsBusters