AP, NYT Downplaying and Ignoring Mass. Move to Limit Union Health Bargaining
Gosh, after Republican Governors Scott Walker and John Kasich succeeded in championing legislation curtailing many collective bargaining rights of unionized state and municipal employees in Wisconsin and Ohio, respectively, the establishment press had the meme all set. The GOP, conservatives, and Tea Partiers are enemies of labor and the middle class, while Democrats, liberals, and progressives are their champions.
Then along comes bluer-than-blue Massachusetts. As the Boston Globe reports, the Bay State's House "voted overwhelmingly last night (Tuesday) to strip police officers, teachers, and other municipal employees of most of their rights to bargain over health care, saying the change would save millions of dollars for financially strapped cities and towns." It's not a law yet, but it seems to be heading pretty quickly in that direction.
The Associated Press's beat reporters and editors must be beside themselves.
Despite having nationalized Wisconsin-based collective-bargaining stories since February, three searches ("Massachusetts health," Massachusetts union," and "Massachusetts unions," all not in quotes) indicate that the wire service was still carrying nothing relating to the Bay State's situation at its main national site as of 7:30 this evening.
Mass. Gov.: "Dial down rhetoric" on union fight
Gov. Deval Patrick is urging both sides to "dial down the rhetoric" over a plan to sharply limit the collective bargaining power of public employees over their health insurance.
Patrick said Wednesday it's important to pass a bill to ease the health care burden on communities while guaranteeing labor a seat at the table.
Union officials are furious at House Speaker Robert DeLeo after lawmakers backed the plan late Tuesday.
Does anyone remember AP reporters Scott Bauer or Todd Richmond in Wisconsin relaying advisories to dial down the rhetoric from Scott Walker? I didn't think so. But Obama bud Deval Patrick "somehow" gets a bit of deference from AP. No matter; he's on board with doing much of what Scott Walker just did, and to public safety workers as well, whom Walker exempted from certain of the Wisconsin law's provisions.
The establishment press is probably too busy picking their collective jaws up off the floor, utterly astonished that the past two months of bashing sensible conservatives as heartless enemies may be on the verge of being rendered useless. Trying to bottle the news up is their only recourse.
This is 2011, guys and gals. Thanks to Drudge and others, that's mostly not going to happen.
Cross-posted at BizzyBlog.com.