Wisconsin's reforming Republican Gov. Scott Walker easily turned back a recall attempt by labor activists angry at him for ending collective bargaining for public service unions. But the New York Times, pushing its own agenda, would prefer the story to be about the "stunning amount" of money in politics. The Times and other media have obsessed over the big spending by Walker supporters, which is rather galling considering that it was the left responsible for holding this election in the first place. Also absent: credit to Tea Party activists.
They really outdid themselves. In Wisconsin and across the nation, public school employee unions spared no kiddie human shields in their battle against GOP Gov. Scott Walker's budget and pension reforms. Students were the first and last casualties of the ruthless Big Labor war against fiscal discipline.
To kick off the yearlong protest festivities, the Wisconsin Education Association Council led a massive "sickout" of educators and other government school personnel. The coordinated truancy action — tantamount to an illegal strike — cost taxpayers an estimated $6 million. Left-wing doctors assisted the campaign by supplying fake medical excuse notes to teachers who ditched their public school classrooms to protest Walker's modest package of belt-tightening measures.
As of 11:15 p.m., with about 74% of the votes counted, Wisconsin Governor Scott was ahead of Scott Barrett by roughly a 56-44 margin. Late-arriving votes from Democrat-heavy areas of Milwaukee and Dane Counties seemed likely to narrow the margin to perhaps 10 points. (UPDATE: Because heavier margins of support for Barrett in those two counties, the final margin was 6.9%, roughly the same as Barack Obama's 7.4% margin in 2008, which was never labeled a "survival" or "narrow" or anything similar.)
The headlines currently at CNN (HT to a NewsBusters tipster) and the Associated Press both act as if Walker squeaked by. Pics follow the jump.
As he has for nearly 16 months, the AP's Scott Bauer once again included a false statement about what the budget repair legislation also known as "Act 10" passed by Wisconsin's legislature and signed by Governor Scott Walker last year did to public-sector unions and their ability to collectively bargain.
He wrote: "Enraged Democrats and labor activists gathered more than 900,000 signatures in support of the recall after they failed to stop Walker and his GOP allies in the state Legislature from stripping most public employees of their union right to collectively bargain." Y'know, Scott, you've been writing this garbage for 16 months. You can keep it up for the next 16 months or 16 years, but what won't change is that fact that your statement today and the equivalent statements you've written in the past simply aren't true, and never will be.
If the polls are right, the vote next Tuesday in Wisconsin on whether to recall Gov. Scott Walker, Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch and four Republican state senators could amount to a redial of their original victory. Voters who first elected the conservative Walker on a promise to fix the state's dismal economy and crushing debt appear ready to reaffirm their judgment.
They would be making the right decision given the results Gov. Walker appears to have produced.
On Sunday's CBS Evening News, John Dickerson candidly admitted that a failed recall attempt of Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker "would be a big blow" to the unions, and that it "would be a sign to any Republican contemplating similar action to limit unions that you could survive, and Walker will become the poster child and hero of that effort." Poster child?
Dickerson predicted that there "would be a lot of infighting in Democratic circles, with unions saying the national Democratic parties and their president didn't do enough" if Walker won. But he immediately added a more sunny spin, that "it might galvanize union supporters for the presidential election, on the theory that they're under threat and they need a president who's on their side. "
As one who has made the occasional dumb mistake (which readers tend to be quite adept at catching), I figured I'd give the Associated Press's Todd Richmond and his editors a while to correct a pretty obvious miscue relating to a Wisconsin gubernatorial recall campaign visit by challenger Tom Barrett. In a report whose first version appeared yesterday morning and currently has a 2:42 p.m. Saturday time stamp, Richmond wrote that Barrett's campaign Saturday started "with the Barron County Dairy Breakfast in Hillsdale, a burg of 1,250 people about 90 miles west of Minneapolis." Well Todd, if Barrett actually was 90 miles west of the Twin Cities, he would not have been in Wisconsin; he would have been about halfway between Minneapolis and the North Dakota border. (Hillsdale, Wisconsin is really about 90 miles east of Minneapolis.)
On more substantive matters, Richmond, with the help of an agenda-driven headline ("Wis. governor works to meet voters before recall"), portrayed Walker as an awkward in-person campaigner, someone not instantly recognized by many people who have lives outside of poltics (imagine that) and, of course (while not mentioning union and leftist spending at all) as a beneficiary of "a jaw-dropping $31 million in campaign cash." He also wrote that polls show the race as close while failing to note that Walker leads in either every one or nearly every one. The relevant paragraphs from Richmond's report are after the jump (bolds are mine):
On May 27, going to the same theme Scott Bauer employed at the Associated Press yesterday, USA Today's Ben Jones did his level best to cast Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker as the richly funded perpetual campaigner, while portraying Walker's recall challenger, former Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett, as the underfunded man of the people underdog. Of course, as was the with Bauer's bombast, there's not a word about union-driven funding, which Walker estimated in an April Newsmax interview at about $60 million. This seems like preemptive excuse-making for a Walker victory on Tuesday. Preelection polls show Walker ahead by anywhere from 2 to 10 points.
Without a whit of skepticism, Jones relayed the following dissembling quote from a Barrett spokesperson which follows the jump:
Though he hasn't been alone in his applying the campaign fundraisng double standard in Wisconsin's recall election, Scott Bauer at the Associated Press, aka the Administration's Press, has a particularly odious item today about the dollars raised by each side. It's particularly odious because the word "unions" appears only once -- as the target of Walker, who has, as Bauer sees it, "rocketed to stardom after taking on public sector unions." There is no mention of the millions of union dollars which have poured into Wisconsin from all over the country, which, thankfully, someone else has quantified.
Bauer also continues to bitterly cling to the notion, concerning which yours truly has been nagging him since February of last year, that "most Wisconsin public workers lost their collective bargaining rights" as a result of Walker-supported legislation which passed in the Legislature last year -- as if they no longer have any collective bargaining rights at all. This has been and continues to be a flat-out falsehood. The first five paragraphs of Bauer's bombast follow the jump (bolds are mine throughout this post):
The real class warfare in this country isn't rich vs. poor, it's government employees vs. we, the taxpayers, who pay their salaries.
Working for the government is supposed to be a trade-off: You can't be fired and don't have to exert yourself, but you will receive smaller remuneration than in the private sector, where layoffs are common (especially in the Obama economy!). Instead, government jobs are safe, secure, pressure-free -- and now, amazingly lucrative!
Whether it's in Wisconsin, Illinois, California or the nation's capital, today's public sector workers expect to do little or no work (I'm not counting partying in Las Vegas as "work"), and then be lavishly compensated. Often, the only heavy lifting they do all week is picking up their paychecks.
The news is that an Indiana union has expanded the scope of an already-filed lawsuit by claiming that the Hoosier State's recently enacted right to work law violates the Thirteenth Amendment's prohibition against slavery because it forces unions to work beside and negotiate on behalf of workers who are no longer required to pay union dues to keep their jobs. Based on the related articles' time stamps, it appears that the Daily Caller's David Martosko was first with the story very early Sunday morning, so I will excerpt from its coverage (apologies if I am incorrect; bolds are mine):
Stop the presses: Big-spending Democrats are finally up in arms over a federal boondoggle. Details of the U.S. General Services Administration bacchanalia get worse by the day. We've graduated from overpriced breakfasts in Vegas, friends-and-family junkets galore and in-house videos mocking their own profligacy to extravagant bonuses, alleged kickbacks, obstructionism and bribes.
But the scandal is still small potatoes compared to the potential billions GSA is pouring down the Big Labor drain.
On Thursday's Morning Edition, NPR's Peter Overby slanted towards a left-wing coalition targeting the conservative group ALEC. Overby trumpeted how Coke and Pepsi succumbed to pressure from the "campaign to put a spotlight on companies that sell products to a public that might object to hardline conservative policies, such as 'stand your ground' laws or requirements that voters show a photo I.D."
The correspondent featured representatives from two of the groups in the coalition- ColorOfChange and Common Cause- and labeled them as a "civil rights group" and a "good government group" respectively. He also made only one passing reference to their political ideology- that they were part of "progressive groups and shareholder activists."
Look out Huffington Post. The Occupy movement has a new website to aggregate content for left-wing activists. While Occupy is known for their claim to represent the 99 percent, suave parties and Hollywood money are what made this venture possible.
Known for taking over New York’s Zuccotti Park and other locations nationwide, supporters now look to occupy the Internet. The liberal magazine Mother Jones reported that the new site launched on April 2 “with financial backing from Hollywood” with the goal of mimicking Huffington Post.
It doesn't matter if Ed Schultz donated all union speaking fees to charity as he claimed in response to a March 9 NewsBusters post, according to media critic and former CBS reporter Bernie Goldberg.
The pro-union Schultz was still obligated to tell his MSNBC viewers that he received nearly $200,000 from organized labor in 2011, Goldberg told Bill O'Reilly on "The O'Reilly Factor" last night. (video after page break)
Ed Schultz responded angrily to a March 9 NewsBusters post detailing how unions paid him nearly $200,000 in 2011, telling viewers of "The Ed Show" that night of receiving the money for speaking engagements and advertisements on his radio show website. All union speaking fees were donated to charity, Schultz claimed, as required by MSNBC policy.
That Schultz has received $337,490 from unions since 2005, according to Labor Department records, hardly comes as a shock since he is one of the most vociferous shills for organized labor in the media. More problematic has been Schultz's lack of transparency about this. (video after page break)
Did MSNBC ever vet Al Sharpton? Seriously. Much of the talk about HBO's Game Change docu-drama is focusing on the vetting of Sarah Palin or lack thereof by the McCain campaign. Is there any minimum standard of knowledge required to have one's own show on the Lean Forward network?
Take Sharpton's mind-boggling misstatement on Morning Joe today. The Reverend Al asserted that in Alabama, "it's against the law to organize unions." Did any of the MJ crew, including Joe Scarborough, Gene Robinson and Steve Rattner, call Al out on his misrepresentation? Of course not. View the video after the jump.
Occupy the New York Times! In January Times Watch noted that Times staffers who were members of the Newspaper Guild of New York were protesting the New York Times Co. for freezing pensions for some employees, even as it granted a $15 million golden parachute to former chief executive Janet Robinson after she departed in 2011. An open letter to Publisher Arthur Sulzberger Jr. has so far been signed by 592 Times staffers. (Photo courtesy of New York Post.)
Just don’t expect this particular battle between the “1 Percent and the 99 Percent” to appear in a sanctimonious liberal news report in the Times.
Ed Schultz prides himself on all the time he's spent in Wisconsin over the last year, acting as bellicose cheerleader for its public-sector unions.
Alas, much of that time was wasted as shown by Schultz ignoring or not catching a blatant falsehood about Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker from Leo Gerard, president of United Steelworkers (audio after page break)
Today, President Obama visited Master Lock, a company he cited in his State of the Union speech on January 24 using the following words: "But right now, it's getting more expensive to do business in places like China. Meanwhile, America is more productive. A few weeks ago, the CEO of Master Lock told me that it now makes business sense for him to bring jobs back home. Today, for the first time in fifteen years, Master Lock's unionized plant in Milwaukee is running at full capacity."
Now note how Ken Thomas's report at the Associated Press originally described (since revised) what Obama supposedly said:
On Friday, the Daily Caller reported that Occupy movement protesters at CPAC were being paid $60 a day to be there. (Here I thought the left was really motivated these days. Guess not.)
At the self-described Essential Global News Network known as the Associated Press, this fact and other inconvenient items about the movement's pathetic efforts at and around CPAC are being ignored. Before demonstrating that, I'll identify what the additional embarrassments are.
On Tuesday, Ken Thomas of the Associated Press covered President Barack Obama's appearance at the Washington Auto Show and allowed Obama's criticism of Mitt Romney as being among those "willing to let this industry die" to stand, ignoring known history in the process.
Obama's statement marks him as a true ingrate, because for better or worse (my opinion: worse; your mileage, so to speak, may vary) Mitt Romney, after warning of the dangers of bailing out General Motors and Chrysler, shifted gears four months later and vigorously defended the President when the administration orchestrated a boardroom coup at GM which included the forced resignation of CEO Rick Wagoner. This was the point at which it became clear that Obama wanted the government to control what happened at GM until it either recovered or was forced into what most were already seeing as an inevitable bankruptcy filing. In a CNN interview the day the news broke, Romney complimented Obama for demonstrating "backbone." What follows are five paragraphs from Thomas's piece, a screen shot of the article CNN posted that day, and a transcript of the relevant portion of Romney's March 31, 2009 interview:
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).
The passage of "controversial" right-to-work legislation in Indiana is a "blow to organized labor." That's the spin by Reuters reporter Susan Guyett, who front-loaded her coverage of the bill's passage by focusing on anger from liberals and labor unions over the new legislation (emphases mine):
Howard Dean: "I need to take you on a tour of America's public schools; that's what I need to do." Joe Scarborough: "I've been fighting for education reform for a generation, and every time we've tried to reform schools . . . it was the Democratic party on the House floor and on the Senate floor and in the White House that stood in the way. I do not need lectures from you on education reform."
And that was the polite part of the exchange! But seriously, Joe Scarborough and Howard Dean had a big-time brawl on today's Morning Joe on the subject of education reform. Dean defended teachers unions and their Dem lackeys, while Scarborough, who has made education reform a theme of his show, denounced the Dem-union cabal that has thwarted real reform every step of the way. Video after the jump.
Talk about the 1% Percent! Even as the New York Times is freezing pensions for foreign citizen employees in overseas bureaus, it granted a $15 million golden parachute to former chief executive Janet Robinson after she abruptly departed the New York Times Co. t the end of 2011.
An online open letter to Publisher Arthur Sulzberger Jr. from the local Newspaper Guild dated December 23 has so far been signed by 579 Times employees, including reporters and editors. Excerpts:
I know, we're supposed to give TV shows and the like a bit of dramatic license to push a plot line. But doesn't it seem that an awful lot of the license taken tends to be pro-big government and left-leaning?
One pretty obvious example came along Monday night during the Season 2 finale of TNTs' "Rizzoli & Isles" (which ran again late tonight). The plot of "Burning Down the House" centered around the death of a Boston fireman in a major warehouse blaze. Ultimately, the perpetrator ended up being a fireman who was upset by "budget cuts," which were mentioned twice during the episode:
In February, yours truly sensed a misstatement of reality on the part of Associated Press reporter Scott Bauer in his description of the budget repair law the Wisconsin Legislature was then considering. At the beginning of his report, Bauer wrote that the law would "end a half-century of collectively bargaining," but later wrote that "unions could still represent workers" (That doesn't exactly signal an "end," does it?). In several other subsequent reports (examples here and here), Bauer insisted on incorrectly describing the law as "ending" or "eliminating" collective bargaining. It does neither.
Tonight, in reporting on the progress of the Badger State effort to recall Republican Governor Scott Walker, Bauer slightly rephrased his false claim, glossed over the current controversy over validation of petitioners' names and registration status, again contradicted himself, and made little effort at hiding his overt partisanship (bolds are mine throughout this post):