When conservatives rally or march over an issue, such as the yearly March for Life, they don't get much attention. Yet, ABC offered two reports on Thursday promoting a liberal-backed strike on fast food restaurants. Good Morning America's Rebecca Jarvis went so far as to link the protest to Wednesday's 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King's rally.
Jarvis touted, "They're hoping that scenes like the one behind me in New York will play out today in Chicago, in Denver, in Los Angeles, hoping that workers raising their voice will help raise the minimum wage." She then compared, "The day-long event comes on the heels of the 50th anniversary of the march on Washington for Jobs and Freedom." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
Jarvis included a clip of NAACP President Benjamin Jealous lobbying for a doubling of the minimum wage.
The journalist also featured Jonathan Westin, one of the strike's backers. Westin, who runs FastFoodForward.org, lectured, "Wall Street is recovering. McDonald's is recovering. And yet, everyday workers are not."
Westin's Twitter page promotes Nycommunities.org, a liberal protest site that sent people down to protest the Republican National Convention in 2012. Of course, Jarvis made no mention of Westin's ideology.
Most of Jarvis' segment blithely pushed the strikers agenda. She included two clips in support and none in opposition. Instead, the reporter simply read a statement from McDonalds ane one from the National Restaurant Association insisting, "The conversation should be based on facts. And the fact is, only five percent of restaurant employees earn the minimum wage."
ABC followed-up in the 8am hour with a news brief on the strike.
A transcript of the two August 29 GMA segments, which began at 7:08am, follow:
ELIZABETH VARGAS: We're going to turn now to the minimum wage protest that will hit so many Americans right when they're hungry. Workers at fast food restaurants across the country are walking off the job today, demanding higher pay. You're looking live at striking McDonald's workers here in New York City. And ABC's Rebecca Jarvis is there with more. Good morning, Rebecca.
ABC GRAPHIC: Fast Food Workers Strike: Thousands Walk Out Demanding Higher Pay
REBECCA JARVIS: Reporter: Hi, Elizabeth. Good morning. And organizers are hoping this will turn out to be the largest ever fast food strike of workers in history. They're hoping that scenes like the one behind me in New York will play out today in Chicago, in Denver, in Los Angeles, hoping that workers raising their voice will help raise the minimum wage. This is what protest organizers want you to see if you visit a fast food restaurant today. This morning, with financial backing from the Service Employers International Union, they say fast food workers at 1,000 restaurants in 50 cities across the country, will walk out of work and on to picket lines, like this today.
JONATHAN WESTIN (Director, Fast Food Forward): Wall Street is recovering. McDonald's is recovering. And yet, everyday workers are not.
JARVIS: The day-long event comes on the heels of the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom. NAACP President Benjamin J tells ABC News he hopes workers will be inspired.
BENJAMIN JEALOUS (NAACP president): But to also go forward from here and lift the minimum wage.
JARVIS: Protesters at fast food chains, including McDonald's, Burger King, Wendy's, and KFC, want to see the minimum wage more than double, from $7.25 an hour to $15. They say a typical cashier or cook makes less than $19,000 below the federal poverty line for a family of three. But the National Restaurant Association says not so. Telling ABC News, "the conversation should be based on facts. And the fact is, only five percent of restaurant employees earn the minimum wage. Those that do, are predominantly working part-time and half are teenagers." In its own statement, McDonald's adds, "it aims to offer competitive pay and benefits to our employees." Also, McDonald's and Burger King Point out that many of their locations are franchises. So, how all of these people get paid is up to individual owners and not the corporations. George?
PAULA FARIS: And thousands of fast food workers across the country walking off the job today, protesting what they call starvation wages. The workers from McDonald's, Burger King, Wendy's and others chains are demanding $15 an hour. That is double the minimum wage.