Wednesday, February 23, 2011

The Private Editor No. 1: Wisconsin Demonstrations

I get my news from a limited number of sources. I read the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, and the weekly edition of the Economist. I do not have time for anything else. I do not watch TV news with the exception of The Panel on Fox News.

I intend to use this series to report on news items that I personally regard as slanted or biased. I will not engage in any analysis. I’ll just report the facts.

Today’s NYT lead article “Wisconsin Leads Way as Workers Fight State Cuts” gives a one-sided picture of the Wisconsin demonstrations. The article consistently describes the protesters as “under assault” and “under attack” by Republican governors, who are “taking aim not only at union wages but at union power.” Wisconsin is described as a state not facing serious budget problems. The governor is acting ideologically rather than out of fiscal concerns. The protests are not orchestrated but “erupt” and parallel democracy demonstrations in the Middle East. The reporters ask: “Is Wisconsin the Tunisia of collective bargaining rights?” There is no mention of coordination by the Democrat party; all quotes are from union officials, who are described as running the show. The article twice notes that the Tea Party is organizing its activists to “cut the power of unions” in a number of states and informs readers that the Tea Party turned out 300 to 500 counter demonstrations in Columbus, Ohio.

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