Dec 01 2011

Steve Jobs and the Cult of the CEO

Like Da Vinci or the Dalai Lama—only better

Like Da Vinci or the Dalai Lama—only betterSeveral labor unions came together on October 5 in support of the Occupy Wall Street protests, leading to a march of thousands in downtown Manhattan. Populist MSNBC host Ed Schultz was live on the scene—but devoted the top of his broadcast to the breaking news that Apple Computers founder Steve Jobs had just died. It made for an incongruous TV moment: a labor-friendly host in front of a boisterous anti-corporate crowd, joining with Bloomberg pundit Jonathan Alter to pay tribute to a billionaire CEO. “He was one of the great figures of American […]

Oct 01 2011

Trade, Jobs and Sales Jobs

Failing to do the math on export promises

Failing to do the math on export promisesCorporate media have spent the last few years portraying the federal budget deficit, not jobs, as the public’s consuming worry, despite poll after poll revealing people unsurprisingly more interested in getting or holding onto a paycheck (FAIR Media Advisory, 8/1/11). Only now that official Washington turns its sights to the issue have media “discovered” the unemployment crisis—George Stephanopoulos now refers matter-of-factly to “the country’s top issue, jobs” (Good Morning America, 8/16/11)—but the same skewed priorities are on display. Bad enough the glib nature of their attentions, reflected in New York Times columnist Nicholas […]

Jun 03 2011

Jane Slaughter on NLRB-Boeing, Pamela Newkirk on black journalists


Download MP3 This week on CounterSpin: the National Labor Relations Board has told Boeing that they can’t move operations from Washington to South Carolina in order to avoid union organizing. It may seem straightforward that a company can’t retaliate against workers for exercising their legal rights but the ruling has anti-labor conservatives in uproar and so-called mainstream reporters aren’t doing much to set the record straight. We’ll hear from Jane Slaughter of Labor Notes about what the NLRB ruling means. Also on CounterSpin today: If you follow discussions about media diversity, you probably know that the efforts to make newsrooms […]

May 01 2011

ABC’s ‘Made in America’ a Shoddy Product

Holding consumers, not corporations, responsible for missing jobs

Photo Credit: ABC World News

Holding consumers, not corporations, responsible for missing jobsABC World News’ five-part “Made in America” series (2/28-3/4/11) purported not so much to explore as to answer the question of how to create jobs for unemployed Americans, by exhorting those same Americans to buy more U.S.-manufactured products. Not just any jobs, but “America’s manufacturing workforce, our true grit,” contended anchor Diane Sawyer (2/17/11). And at near negligible cost: “If every one of us spent an extra $3.33, just $3.33 on U.S.-made goods every year,” Sawyer (estimated annual income: $12 to $15 million) told viewers, “that would create almost 10,000 new jobs in […]

Apr 15 2011

Sharif Abdel Kouddous on Egypt, John Nichols on labor and Wisconsin


Download MP3 This week on CounterSpin: With the Egyptian military still firmly in power, the Egyptian revolution is still very much a work in progress. The same military that we were once told was a liberal friend of democratic activists, is reportedly continuing policies of torture, political detainment and censorship. But you wouldn’t know this from the reporting of many US media outlets, who seemed to lose interest in Egypt after the ouster of Hosni Mubarak in February. We’ll talk about Egypt with independent journalist and Democracy Now! correspondent Sharif Abdel Kouddous. Also on the show: You can tell the […]

Apr 01 2011

Surprised by Solidarity in Wisconsin

Media erred in assuming public shared their distaste for unions

Media erred in assuming public shared their distaste for unionsOne 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 […]

Mar 04 2011

Chuck Collins on U.S. Uncut, Laura Flanders on Wisconsin


Download MP3 This week on CounterSpin: As politicians of both parties and pundits of various ideological stripes discuss what services and rights need to be cut and stripped from working people, the subject of raising taxes seem almost taboo in corporate media discussions. Not so here. We’ll talk about raising taxes with Chuck Collins, a senior scholar with the Institute for Policy Studies, and the co-founder of U.S. Uncut, a network working to stop corporate tax dodging. Also on the show: It’s not the corporate press keeping the story of Wisconsin alive; people in this country and around the world […]

Mar 01 2011

Why Does USA Today Hate Public Workers?

Paper's Dennis Cauchon continues misleading spin

Paper’s Dennis Cauchon continues misleading spinOn today’s front page (3/1/11), USA Today alleges that public workers in Wisconsin earn more than private sector employees–a finding at odds with much of the research on public/private compensation. Under the headline “In Wisconsin, Private Sector Pays Less,” reporter Dennis Cauchon argues that “Wisconsin is one of 41 states where public employees earn higher average pay and benefits than private workers in the same state.” This “USA Today analysis” suffers from the same fundamental error as Cauchon’s previous attempts (Extra!, 1/11) to paint public workers as overpaid: the failure to control for factors like […]