The U.S. News Promise: "Vote Democratic, Earn More"

April 25th, 2006 4:42 PM

Reading the table of contents of this week’s U.S. News & World Report revealed a very biased headline: "Vote Democratic, Earn More." Underneath the headline, the promotional copy read: "Campaigns to raise the minimum wage may be just the ticket for the party." The story by reporter Silla Brush led off the magazine's national coverage this week, with the headline: "A Winning Bet? Efforts to increase the minimum wage are proliferating; Democrats say they've found an issue to rally around". Brush touted the way Democrats hope to use minimum-wage hikes as a tactic to drive the labor base to the polls:

Democrats, big labor, progressive religious groups, and community activists nationwide have latched on to the wage-hike campaign as a way to define their own "values." Public approval for a federally mandated raise is at 83 percent, and 20 states already have set a higher minimum wage than the federal level of $5.15 per hour...The federal government hasn't budged on the minimum wage in nearly a decade. At $5.15 an hour ($10,712 a year), its value has eroded so much that the 2 million Americans earning the minimum wage or below today can buy less in real terms now than at almost any time in the last half century.

Brush dramatically favored the liberal politicians and experts in the story, by a factor of nine to two. Readers were offered the opinions of the following: 

-- C.J. Prentiss, Democrat, minority leader of the Ohio State Senate

-- Policy Matters Ohio, an unlabeled liberal think tank (Prentiss is on its board)

-- Kyle Wangler, day laborer, saying "You can’t live off $5.15" (also interviewed by Cleveland's hard-left Indymedia site)

-- Marc Freedman, U. S. Chamber of Commerce

-- To rebut the Chamber, the "left-leaning Economic Policy Institute"

-- John Ryan, former head of the Cleveland AFL-CIO

-- Rev. Paul Sherry, head of the "nonpartisan Let Justice Roll effort" opposing Ohio’s "evangelical churches and strident conservatism."

-- Kristina Wilfore, head of the "liberal Ballot Initiative Strategy Center"

-- David Mermin, Democratic pollster

-- Gary Lucarelli, head of the Cleveland Area Restaurant Association

-- Rep. Sherrod Brown, Democrat

By the way, the U.S. News reporter began by noting how demoralized Ohio Democrats were in 2004, when not only did Bush win, but "Republicans had pushed through a statewide ban on gay marriage." But U.S. News never did a big feature on how Republicans were going to nudge the base to the polls with defense-of-marriage ballot initiatives. Instead, in the spring of 2004, they published a huge story touting "The Rise of the Gay Family: More and more American children are growing up with same-sex parents".