NBC Hails 'Landmark' Minimum Wage Hike in Seattle as 'Historic Victory for Workers'

In a brief on Tuesday's NBC Today, news anchor Natalie Morales portrayed a minimum wage hike in Seattle as the first step toward a nationwide increase: "Well, with talks across the country ongoing about boosting the minimum wage, workers in Seattle are soon going to be seeing a big boost....The Seattle city council passed an ordinance Monday that bumps the minimum wage up to $15 an hour. That's the highest in the nation." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]

The headline on screen declared: "Landmark Minimum Wage Hike; Seattle's $15 an Hour Could Set New Standard." In a later news brief, Morales proclaimed the policy to be "A historic victory for workers in Seattle that could have a big impact nationwide."

CBS This Morning also featured a news brief on the topic, with co-host Charlie Rose announcing: "The Seattle Times says the city council is raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour. That is the highest in the country. Workers celebrated at a packed meeting last night."

On ABC's Good Morning America, news anchor Amy Robach reported: "And a $15 minimum wage will soon be reality in Seattle. City lawmakers there have unanimously approved the wage hike." Unlike NBC or CBS, she quickly noted opposition to the measure: "A trade group is planning to sue to stop that increase."

Only NBC Nightly News covered the new Seattle law Monday night, with fill-in co-host Ann Curry stating: "Late word tonight that many people who work in Seattle are going to get a pay hike. The Seattle city council approved a new minimum wage that will be eventually be $15 an hour."

None of the coverage on NBC, ABC or CBS included data showing the negative economic impact of increasing the minimum wage.

In February, only CBS mentioned a Congressional Budget Office report estimating 500,000 jobs could be lost due to a nationwide increase.

In March, all three broadcast networks ignored another CBO estimate that such a mandatory wage hike would cost the private sector $15 billion.


Here are transcripts of the June 2-3 news briefs on NBC, ABC, and CBS:

NBC Nightly News
7:23 PM ET

ANN CURRY: Late word tonight that many people who work in Seattle are going to get a pay hike. The Seattle city council approved a new minimum wage that will be eventually be $15 an hour. The law will take effect next April and the higher pay will be phased in. $15 will be the highest minimum wage in the nation.

Today
7:14 AM ET

NATALIE MORALES: Well, with talks across the country ongoing about boosting the minimum wage, workers in Seattle are soon going to be seeing a big boost.

[ON-SCREEN HEADLINE: Landmark Minimum Wage Hike; Seattle's $15 an Hour Could Set New Standard]

The Seattle city council passed an ordinance Monday that bumps the minimum wage up to $15 an hour. That's the highest in the nation. It would go into effect next April, but will be phased in over several years. Small businesses will be given special considerations.

Today
9:24 AM ET

NATALIE MORALES: A historic victory for workers in Seattle that could have a big impact nationwide.

[ON-SCREEN HEADLINE: Landmark Minimum Wage Hike; Seattle's $15 an Hour Could Set New Standard]

The Seattle city council passed an ordinance Monday that bumps the minimum wage up to $15 an hour, the highest in the nation.

 

Good Morning America
7:10 AM ET

AMY ROBACH: And a $15 minimum wage will soon be reality in Seattle. City lawmakers there have unanimously approved the wage hike. Businesses will have three to seven years to phase in that new wage, depending on their size. A trade group is planning to sue to stop that increase.


CBS This Morning
7:30 AM ET

CHARLIE ROSE: The Seattle Times says the city council is raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour. That is the highest in the country. Workers celebrated at a packed meeting last night. The hike will be phased in over seven years.

Kyle Drennen
Kyle Drennen
Kyle Drennen is a News Analyst for MRC