Networks Boost Obama's Push for Minimum Wage Increase, Ignore GOP Opposition

The networks played right into President Obama's hand Wednesday evening as they touted his push for a minimum wage increase while giving barely any voice to his Republican opposition.

"[T]he President was out there hitting that 'give America a raise' theme hard today in campaign-style events both in Pennsylvania and in Maryland," noted ABC News White House correspondent Jonathan Karl. "Does that idea have a snowball's chance?" asked CBS News anchor Scott Pelley about the minimum wage increase.

Both CBS and NBC highlighted businesses already paying employees a higher minimum wage, including Costco, whose CEO has openly supported the idea. NBC didn't point out the irony of a CEO wishing his competition to raise their employees' wages as well.

CBS provided a brief GOP rebuttal to Obama's proposal, but that was sandwiched in between a Sen. Harry Reid quote and the owners of the pizza chain lauded by President Obama in Tuesday's speech for hiking their employees' wages.

After GOP congressman Eric Paulson said that "one size fits all is not necessarily the way to go," CBS's Nancy Cordes chimed in that "It was the way to go for his constituents, John Soranno and John Puckett, who own the pizza chain President Obama highlighted last night."

Both ABC and CBS touted poll numbers showing support for the wage increase. ABC's Jonathan Karl noted, "look at the ABC News/Washington Post poll from last month showing overwhelming support for minimum wage increase, 66 percent favoring, just 31 percent opposing."

Nancy Cordes reported, "The White House thinks this issue will be a political winner. According to the most recent CBS News poll, Scott, 72 percent of Americans believe it's a good idea to raise the federal minimum wage to $10.10 an hour – including 48 percent of Republicans."

Matt Hadro
Matt Hadro
Matt Hadro was a News Analyst for the Media Research Center's News Analysis Division from 2010 through early 2014