May 01 2011

ABC’s ‘Made in America’ a Shoddy Product

Holding consumers, not corporations, responsible for missing jobs

Photo Credit: ABC World News

ABC 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 this country.” The implication that consumer choice […]

Apr 15 2011

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

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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

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’ […]

Mar 04 2011

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

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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

On 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 the type of work performed, […]

Feb 25 2011

Laura Dresser on Wisconsin, Dean Baker on pension crisis

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Download MP3 This week on CounterSpin: Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker’s move to strip collective bargaining rights from state workers, because he says he need to close his state’s looming $3.6 billion budget deficit, is being resisted in the streets of Madison, but not so much in the national media. Is the Wisconsin story part of a larger trend to make workers pay for an economic downturn caused by Wall St. and deregulators? We’ll talk with Laura Dresser of the Center on Wisconsin Strategy about all that. Also on CounterSpin today, the fiscal crisis in Wisconsin, we’re told, boils down to […]

Jan 01 2011

USA Today Targets Government Workers

Campaigning to cut their pay using bogus statistics

In the midst of a major recession, one group of people is making out like bandits, and USA Today’s on the case. Wall Street bankers? CEOs? Guess again: It’s government workers. “Federal workers are enjoying an extraordinary boom time—in pay and hiring—during a recession that has cost 7.3 million jobs in the private sector,” wrote reporter Dennis Cauchon in a front-page article on December 11, 2009. His string of public worker pay “exposés” goes back at least as far as February 1, 2008, when he announced that “better pay and benefits for public employees come as private-sector workers face stagnant […]

Jun 12 2009

Phyllis Bennis on Obama’s Cairo speech, Jonathan Tasini on the Boston Globe/GM

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Download MP3 This week on CounterSpin: Barack Obama has either been currying favor with Muslims or extending an olive branch in the Middle East depending on which media you consume. We’ll talk with Phyllis Bennis of the Institute for Policy Studies about Obama’s major speech in Cairo, and the size of the gap between words and actions. Also on the show: The Boston Globe says it will impose a 23 percent wage cut on its employees on June 14. This is needed, says the Globe’s parent New York Times Company, because that paper is losing money. But is there more […]