If 'Today' were ever to air the opinions of a think tank co-founded, say, by a former Reagan administration official and free-market economist Milton Friedman, and funded by large corporations, it's inconceivable that the show would fail to identify the organization's conservative leanings.
Yet Today didn't feel the need to do the obverse when relying extensively - for purposes of talking down the economy - on a liberal think tank founded by a former Clinton official and far-left economists and largely funded by Big Labor.
From a New York Times editorial to a Boston Globe political cartoon, the MSM has been beating the drum this week to talk down the economy in the face of more good economic news. The liberal theme du jour has been that wages haven't risen along with corporate profits.
Doing its bit this morning, the Today show weighed in with a segment it entitled "Work More for Less Pay."
Today relied heavily on comments from an Economic Policy Institute spokesman. But NBC/Today failed to disclose that the EIP is a highly-partisan, largely union-funded operation. It was founded by leftist Clinton Labor Secretary Robert Reich and other left-wing economists including Lester Thurow and hyper-partisan Boston Globe columnist Robert Kuttner. Matt Lauer introduced the segment, narrated by NBC's Kevin Tibbles, by stating that "a rising tide is not lifting all boats."
A clip then popped up from the Economic Policy Institutes's Jared Bernstein: "Among economists, the mantra is 'higher productivity rates automatically lead to higher living standards.' But in fact that is not occuring."
Then it was on to that least-reliable of indicators, one family's anectdotal evidence. We were introduced to an "All American couple," the Whittingtons of Chicago, who are "feeling the pinch." Tibbles told us "for Lisa, a food consultant, even replacing the broken oven has to be put on the back burner."
We then heard from a human resources expert who promoted a little class warfare: "the top 1% of wage earners are living well, and the rest of American workers are really beginning to feel the pressure. . . They're asking themselves appropriately, if the economy is doing well, why am I not sharing in that?"
Tibbles then offered this pearl of street-corner socialism: "The problem facing workers today, say some economists [wonder who they could be?] is that many companies are more interested in keeping Wall Street happy than in sharing their success with employees."
Then it was back to the EPI's Berstein: "You've got [workers] creating a bigger economic pie, as it were, but the slices they're getting are being cut ever smaller." Sounds like more of Marx's surplus value theory of labor of which the New York Times is fond.
UPDATE: Ken Shepherd of NB and MRC has reported that the NY Times has been forced to admit that, as per recently released data, wages are actually increasing at a 7% annual rate even when adjusted for inflation! Don't hold your breath for a correction on tomorrow's 'Today.'