Unions

By Tom Blumer | November 17, 2012 | 8:13 AM EST

Yesterday, AFL-CIO head Richard Trumka may have broken a modern record for chutzpah exhibited by a labor leader Friday in criticizing management's decision at bankrupt snack maker Hostess Brands to liquidate in the wake of irreconcilable issues with its unions. In a Friday afternoon report at Politico, Kevin Cirilli not only let Trumka get away with it; he also lent the labor leader's contentions additional misleading support.

Trumka blamed the company's apparently imminent demise on "Bain-style Wall Street vultures." He wants everyone to believe that it's greedy, eeeevil Republican private-equity types who are on the brink of putting yet another company out of business. The "clever" framing of that quoted phrase appears to indicate that Trumka already knew better. It seems very likely that Cirilli also knew better. Three hours before the initial time stamp of Cirilli's report, Zero Hedge re-exposed the heavy involvement of D-D-D-Democrats in Hostess's management and advisors originally documented way back in july at CNNMoney by David Kaplan (additional paragraph breaks added by me; bolds are mine throughout this post):

By Tom Blumer | November 16, 2012 | 9:46 AM EST

Someone needs to tell Emily Jane Fox that for workers refusing to do scheduled work assigned by their employers to be engaging in a "strike" ("a concerted stopping of work or withdrawal of workers' services, as to compel an employer to accede to workers' demands or in protest against terms or conditions imposed by an employer") there needs needs to be enough of them to matter. If there aren't, it's pretty much a small group of people conducting a (conceivably justified) protest.

As Fox described it in her Thursday report at CNNMoney.com about a group of Wal-Mart employees workers planning a Black Friday walkout -- which, if large enough, may qualify for "strike" status -- what happened in October appears to have been little more than a tiny temper tantrum:

By Tom Blumer | November 5, 2012 | 7:37 AM EST

Though it occupies four web pages, it's hard to avoid thinking that Alex Isenstadt at Politico is hoping news consumers only look at his story's headline ("Democrats' drive to retake House falters") and not its damning yet still woefully incomplete content.

The headline would make you think that Dems will gain seats, but not enough to achieve a majority. Isenstadt bravely concludes early on that "Democrats are expected to pick up five seats at best ... (and) might even lose ground and drop one or two seats to the Republican majority. But the rest of his writeup virtually screams "double-digit losses," and fails in several respects to properly assign blame for what appears to be an impending Democratic Party debacle (bolds are mine):

By Liz Thatcher | October 24, 2012 | 3:06 PM EDT

Just in case objective journalism wasn’t dead enough, the Newspaper Guild is making sure of it. The Guild’s San Francisco-area chapter’s latest intern program aims to teach college students “social justice” in journalism.

By Seton Motley | October 23, 2012 | 9:52 AM EDT

In their third Presidential debate analysis, the Jurassic Press Media last night and thus far this morning have failed utterly in their role as fact checker and record-corrector - at least when it comes to what President Barack Obama had to say. 

As but one glaring example, there were the President’s absurd assertions regarding the auto bailout and China.

By Seton Motley | October 18, 2012 | 8:37 AM EDT

Ex-Barack Obama Administration $82 Billion Auto Bailout Czar Steve Rattner has a bit of a problem telling the truth.

What Rattner does not have is a problem with the Jurassic Press Media calling him on his serial flights of factual fancy.

By Tim Graham | September 26, 2012 | 9:04 AM EDT

The Washington Post Sports section on Wednesday turned political with an article headlined "Wisconsin governor fumbles on Twitter: Walker sees collective bargaining in a new light after Packers' loss." Would the Post actually fail to recognize the difference between private-sector unions and public-sector unions, the subject of Walker's reforms? Yes.

Strangely, the author wasn't a sports reporter. It was Brad Plumer, a veteran writer for The New Republic and Mother Jones whose usual Post habitat is Ezra Klein's Wonkblog. In fact, that's where this article is found online. Plumer joked "When it comes to professional football, the usual rules of politics apparently take a timeout."

By Seton Motley | September 26, 2012 | 8:46 AM EDT

The Jurassic Press have long had a field day puffing up bailed out General Motors (GM) and their electric automotive windmill - the Chevrolet Volt.

When it came to August Volt sales numbers, the Media were Justin Bieber-excited.

By Matt Vespa | September 13, 2012 | 4:04 PM EDT

As the Chicago teachers’ strike continues, let's review what we've learned, no thanks to the broadcast media, which downplayed the story. We know that on average Windy City educators make $71-76,000 a year and they've turned down a 16 percent pay increase, which amounts to $11,360.  We know that they contribute only a tiny sliver of their pay, 3 percent, to their retirement package, and we know, because the media keep insisting on this, that teacher evaluations are supposedly the major sticking point in negotiations.

By Tom Blumer | September 11, 2012 | 8:45 PM EDT

If you tried to get a handle on the showdown between Chicago Public Schools and its teachers' union based on picture captions from the Associated Press, you would think that the teachers' strike has nothing to do with money.

The reality is that Chicago's teachers are, depending on the figures quoted, either the highest-paid cadre of K-12 educators in the nation or so darned close to it that their current demand for a 16% increase over the next four years (down from an original 35%, as Ken Shepherd at NewsBusters noted earlier today) will put them easily 10% ahead of any group of teachers anywhere else in the nation. With that in mind, let's look at the content of the various picture captions I located as I reviewed the wire service's latest strike-related stories.

By Ken Shepherd | September 11, 2012 | 4:22 PM EDT

Reporting from Chicago this afternoon on MSNBC, NBC News reporter Kevin Tibbles described yesterday's teachers union picket lines as "festive" occasions but worried that the mood may sour if an accord is not reached soon.

Yet while other media outlets have reported and confirmed that the Chicago teachers union had requested a 35 percent pay hike, Tibbles completely ignored the issue of pay, insisting the teachers union is concerned most with teacher evaluation policies.

By Tom Blumer | September 8, 2012 | 9:47 AM EDT

Less than 48 hours from now, Chicago's teachers, whose union head insists, as quoted by the Associated Press, that "we are here to negotiate for better schools in Chicago," may walk off the job, leaving the children entrusted to them to languish in half-days of activities unrelated to learning "staffed by non-union and central office workers."

There seems to be an unwritten rule that news coverage of these matters not discuss the current earnings of those who are threatening to strike. In a writeup of over 900 words, AP writers Tammy Webber and Don Babwin stuck to that script, and also failed to tell their readers the size of the raise union negotiators initially requested. Those two figures follow the jump.