Following Vice President Joe Biden’s very publicized appearance, Late Show host Stephen Colbert also welcomed Uber CEO Travis Kalanick to the program Thursday night, but it was anything but friendly as Colbert hammered Kalanick on the effect his company has had on the taxi industry, surge pricing, the Uber Eats initiative, and driverless cars. Colbert demanded: “What is your response to Uber kills professional, good-paying jobs and it's unfair to the drivers and it's destroying the cab industry.”
The Washington Post's Dana Milbank is obsessed with tearing Wisconsin Governor and 2016 GOP presidential candidate Scott Walker down, and is clearly not above distorting the facts to make his pathetic points.
Milbank's latest tirade is about how Walker is allegedly "so dangerous" because he doesn't like unions. That's based on quite a bit of direct experience, which has included death threats against him and his family, frequent harassment of his parents, and attempts by labor to intimidate businesses which wouldn't publicly express support for their cause.
I guess the slogan of labor has changed from "Look for the union label" to "Look for the union waiver."
The Los Angeles Times published a long front-page story early this morning on an issue some people thought disappeared after its initial exposure two months ago. The issue is whether union workers should be exempt from minimum wage laws, especially the sky-high minimums being enacted in some U.S. cities. To those who have been unaware of the issue up until now and are thinking that all of this must be a joke — it's not. It's just that the press, which not coincidentally has a higher percentage of union members than the private sector as a whole, has barely noted it.
The company officially known as the Great Atlantic & Pacific Tea Co. has filed for bankruptcy for the second time in five years. This time around, the storied "A&P" name may completely disappear.
Coverage at USA Today by Nathan Bomey notes that "About 93% (of its workers) are represented by one of 12 different unions, and many of them have bumping rights that the company has described as a big barrier to reducing costs." Coverage at two of the three major business wire services, the Associated Press and Reuters, failed to mention the word "union" at all.
This has to be the month's top entry in the "Just when you think you've seen it all" category — and it will be more than a little interesting to see how the nation's press handles it.
As the Associated Press reported a week ago, the City Council in Los Angeles, by a vote of 14-1, ordered the drafting of a law mandating a citywide minimum wage of $15 per hour by 2020, noting that "the support of Mayor Eric Garcetti virtually guarantee its eventual adoption." Now that it's almost a done deal, labor unions whose members earn less want to be exempt from the law. Seriously. And it's not that the unions were caught off guard, because the person who is most visibly arguing for the exemption "helps lead the Raise the Wage coalition"! Apparently caught completely flat-footed, three Los Angeles Times reporters, in a rare break from the paper's non-stop leftist bias, filed a fair and balanced report on the truly offensive situation.
Given how much wailing and gnashing of teeth there was in the press when the old Hostess liquidated in 2012, a mid-April story at Forbes on the company's has gotten surprisingly little attention. Well, maybe it's not that much of a surprise, for reasons which will be indentified here.
Readers may recall that the final straw in that drama occurred late that year when the the AFL-CIO-affiliated Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers union called a strike after rejecting management clearly communicated final offer. The company, already in bankruptcy, was through negotiating, and chose to liquidate. The press moaned about how all of this meant the end of an era. Steven Bertoni's Forbes writeup shows how wrong they were, and what a business can accomplish when it's not saddled with legacy costs and constraints.
Well, this is awkward — or rather, it would be if the press cared about the federally-driven tyranny which is in the process of capturing the nation's public and private K-12 schools.
Common Core's proponents have insisted and still insist that "it was and will remain a state-led effort" (italics is theirs). Yet when faced with the "problem" of too many parents opting out of its intrusive testing regime — something they are supposedly free to do without penalty or reprisal — guess who steps in with threats and smears? You guessed it: Federal Education Secretary Arne Duncan.
In response to the far-left and union-led protests nationwide on Wednesday for a $15 minimum wage for fast-food and retail workers, NBC Nightly News applauded the protests with a glowing report that felt more like a campaign commercial. Disguised as a segment on the broader topic of income inequality, interim anchor Lester Holt and correspondent Stephanie Gosk led the way in offering no opposing viewpoint and largely downplayed the political motivations behind the event.
One mantra that the left and most of the establishment press continually recites — and it's not surprising, given that so many people in both groups are forced to be members themselves — is that right to work laws are "anti-union." They cling to that position despite that fact that the National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation accurately insists that it "is neither 'anti-union' nor 'pro-union,'" and that its "focus is on individual freedom."
Towards the end of the Associated Press's coverage of Wisconsin's legislative passage and Governor Scott Walker's imminent signing of right to work legislation, a Republican supporter made a point using real numbers which should give pause to those who claim that right to work is all about union-busting — but almost definitely won't:
A couple of thousand protesters have showed up to rail against the Wisconsin Legislature's move to pass right to work legislation this week.
That number is far smaller than what was seen four years ago, when Badger State Governor Scott Walker championed Act 10, a budget repair bill which limited — but please note, contrary to frequent press assertions, did not eliminate — most public-sector unions' collective bargaining rights. Todd Richmond's Wednesday evening coverage of the situation in Madison at the Associated Press got plenty of perspectives from union members and others upset with the legislature's latest move, but predictably failed to get any insights from right to work supporters or those skeptical of protesters' positions. Excerpts follow the jump (bolds and numbereed tags are mine):
Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, a reformist conservative and Republican presidential hopeful for 2016, has become a media target, from making a stink of Walker evading an evolution question to obsessing over his college years. Next up: Ripping Walker's proposed cuts to the state university system's operating budget. New York Times reporter Julie Bosman took advantage of Tuesday's front page to portray Walker's university cuts as tarnishing the very ideal of the university in "2016 Ambitions Seen in Bid for Wisconsin Cuts."
The world's smallest violin this week goes to Politico labor reporter Mike Elk.
Elk, who has bragged about unionizing workplaces where he has previously toiled, is working on doing the same thing at the alleged news site, which is really a Democratic Party stenography machine posing as one. His major complaint, seen in an item by Erik Wemple at his Washington Post blog, follows the jump (bolds are mine):