New Michigan Law Is a 'Major Blow to Union Rights'; NBC, CBS Totally Ignore

In what ABC News deemed a "major blow to union rights," Michigan became the 24th right-to-work state on Thursday. Yet, NBC and CBS totally ignored this development. ABC allowed a scant 14 second news brief on Friday's Good Morning America.

What did the networks cover instead? Over a three minute segment, CBS This Morning highlighted the deeply important news that Justin Bieber endured a snub from the Grammys. On NBC's Today, the hosts donated four minutes and 43 seconds to watching Obama operative David Axelrod shave his moustache for charity. Good Morning America's brief report aside, the program lavished five and a half minutes on Catherine Zeta-Jones' new film.

GMA's Elliot described the news this way:

JOSH ELLIOTT: And a major blow to union rights in Michigan. Republican lawmakers there have pushed through right-to-work bills. Hundreds of union activists stormed the capitol, protesting the legislation, which would ban unions from requiring employees to pay fees.

What Elliott didn't point out is that right-to-work states have lower unemployment. Even PolitiFact has conceded this point:

We consulted with Gary Burtless, a labor economist with the centrist-to-liberal Brookings Institution, about the fairest way to look at the data. We agreed that it was best to compare right-to-work and non-right-to-work states through data weighted according to state population. That way, California’s unemployment rate would be given more weight than, say, Wyoming’s.

When we did the math, we found that the unemployment rate in the 22 right-to-work states was 9.17 percent, compared to 9.65 in the 28 non-right-to-work states.

DetroitNews.com reported the dramatic development:

The historic legislation passed over the thunderous chanting from thousands of workers who descended on the Capitol, resulting in at least eight arrests and a temporary lockdown of the building by Michigan State Police. Democrats in both chambers staged walkouts and procedural maneuvers to stall passage while workers protested in and outside the Capitol.

Thursday's CBS Evening News, NBC's Nightly News and ABC's World News all skipped the law's passage.

Apparently, this news doesn't rival Justin Bieber, mustaches and Catherine Zeta-Jones.

A transcript of the December 7 ABC brief can be found below:

7:07am EST

ABC GRAPHIC: Anti-Union Law

JOSH ELLIOTT: And a major blow to union rights in Michigan. Republican lawmakers there have pushed through right-to-work bills. Hundreds of union activists stormed the capitol, protesting the legislation, which would ban unions from requiring employees to pay fees.

Scott Whitlock
Scott Whitlock
Scott Whitlock is the senior news analyst for the Media Research Center and a contributing editor for NewsBusters.org