Apr
01
2011

Surprised by Solidarity in Wisconsin

Media erred in assuming public shared their distaste for unions

One of the early assumptions in media coverage of the Wisconsin protests against Gov. Scott Walker’s proposed anti-labor legislation was that the public wouldn’t sympathize with “overpaid” public-sector workers. But soon enough, reality intervened. The New York Times’ Matt Bai (2/27/11) recommended that “taking the fight to the unions is a good way to bolster your credentials as a gutsy reformer with voters who have been losing faith for years in public schools and government bureaucracies.” In the March 7 Time, Amanda Ripley wrote that hating public workers is a historical fact: “Since the beginning, Americans have resented government workers’ […]

Apr
01
2011

SoundBites

Not Too Far Right—or Hef Larry King replacement Piers Morgan was interviewed about his new job by Broadcasting & Cable (2/28/11): B&C: What kind of feedback have you gotten from CNN? Morgan: They’re thrilled. They just tell me not to forget it’s an intelligent audience. And to remain independent. And being independent right now is a really good thing. Being too far right or left right now is a bit dangerous, given what’s going on in the Middle East. What Americans need is facts. The night before this interview was published, Morgan (2/27/11) had on as his guest Hugh Hefner […]

Apr
01
2011

In Madison, a Numbers Game

The Wisconsin story, we were often told, comes down to numbers: a giant multi-billion dollar budget deficit and a Republican governor trying to fix it. But does it add up? Careful readers may have been confused by much of the reporting on the scale of the problem in Wisconsin. The current deficit was $30 million, though a “far greater shortfall of $1.5 billion is expected next year,” according to the Washington Post (2/19/11). The two-year projected deficit was even larger: $3.6 billion. But as Laura Dresser of the Center on Wisconsin Strategy told CounterSpin (2/25/11-3/3/11), those figures, which came from […]