Jul 16 2015

The Minimum Wage–and Other Left Ideas Washington Post Might Find ‘Lame’

Scott Walker (photo: State of Wisconsin)

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker denounced the left for not having any real ideas for workers. In his Washington Post column The Fix, Philip Bump largely endorsed this perspective.

Jun 16 2015

Scapegoating Labor for Fast Track’s Defeat

Anti-TPP rally, New Zealand (cc photo: Neil Ballantyne/Wikimedia)

Virtually every organized Democratic constituency made it clear that defeating fast track was a top priority. Yet all these movements tended to drop out of establishment media accounts of the fast track fight, leaving labor as the lone opponent.

May 15 2015

Tiffany Finck-Haynes on Bee Collapse, Michelle Chen on Nail Salon Workers

Honeybees

Are pesticide-makers’ PR efforts affecting government research into massive bee die-offs? And are occasional blockbuster stories like the NYT piece on labor conditions in nail salons the best media can do for workers rights issues?

Feb 20 2015

Marjorie Cohn on ISIS AUMF, Laura Flanders on Worker Co-Ops

Obama (image: NBC News)

Would an Authorization of Use of Military Force actually make attacks against ISIS legal? And are such attacks really the solution to the crisis? Plus we’ll discuss a different way of organizing work in our increasingly unequal society.

Feb 14 2014

Sue Sturgis on Moral March, Toni Gilpin on Skills Gap Myth

moral-monday-stage-crop

This week on CounterSpin: Tens of thousands of moral marchers descend on Raleigh North Carolina, the latest and most dramatic example of a social justice movement sweeping the state. The national press is mostly skipping the story; Sue Sturgis from the Institute for Southern Studies fills us in on what’s happening.

Also on the show: You may have heard that the reason we have so many unemployed people isn’t because there are no jobs, but because people don’t have the right skills for the jobs that are open, in part because of our failing schools. If it doesn’t sound right to you, that’s because it’s wrong. So why say it? We’ll talk with labor historian and educator Toni Gilpin about the popular myth of the “skills gap.”

Jun 01 2013

‘Such Is Life’ Coverage of Another Blast’s Dead

When corporations kill, media turn fatalistic

Texas fertilizer explosion (photo: Mike Stone/Reuters)

Anyone could have predicted the Boston Marathon bombing would receive the high-color, saturation-style coverage it’s gotten. The April 15 attack lends itself to all sorts of narratives U.S. corporate media love to explore: the ever-present “terrorist” threat, scary Muslims and their “networks,” the potential of new security technology. Still, it was hard not to be struck by the contrast between the attention devoted to the Boston bombing and that given to a disastrous explosion two days later in a Texas fertilizer plant. TV networks especially “seemed to decide covering two big stories was covering one too many,” as Mike Elk […]

Jun 01 2013

Working Poor Shorted in Minimum Wage Coverage

Those most affected by debate weren't part of it

It’s hard to imagine news coverage of military regulations that excludes Pentagon officials, or a discussion of derivatives trading that leaves out Wall Street executives—those directly affected by policy outcomes. But that’s how corporate media cover the minimum wage story, according to a new study by Extra! that finds low-wage workers are largely excluded from the debate. The study surveyed nearly three months of coverage (1/1/13–3/24/13) in eight major U.S. media outlets, during a period when Democratic President Barack Obama was proposing an increase in the federal minimum wage from $7.25 to $9 an hour. Obama made his most prominent […]

Apr 26 2013

Beau Grosscup on Defining Terrorism, Hugh Kaufmann on Texas Explosion

The West Fertilizer Co. explosion was the result of poor regulation and safety procedures.  (Photo credit: Reuters / Mike Stone)

This week on CounterSpin: The Boston bombings were labeled as terrorist attacks almost from the start. But what does that label mean, and how is it used? We’ll talk to Cal State University of Chico professor Beau Grosscup about how the term is used—and perhaps misused.

Also on CounterSpin today, much of the town of West, Texas was destroyed in an explosion at the West Fertilizer plant on April 18.Famed EPA whistleblower Hugh Kaufman joins us to critique media portrayals of the disaster as merely a matter of regulatory oversights.