The media’s war of words on Scott Walker
How is the media reacting to the news in Wisconsin that the State’s Senate has voted to restrict some collective bargaining for government employee unions?
In the manner you’d expect from a biased liberal media:
- Wisconsin senators strip workers of collective-bargaining rights – Detroit Free Press
- Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker and His Allies Drop All Pretenses - US News & World Report
- Wisconsin governor’s policies polarize state – Reuters
- Labor Lambasts Walker, GOP Senators – TIME
- Scapegoating Educators – Huffington Post
- Crushing Workers Won’t Solve Deficits – Huffington Post
- Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, Tea Party Are Faces of GOP Overreach – US News & World Report
- The Wisconsin union fight goes nuclear – Salon
- Governor Walker’s Coup D’Etat – The Business Insider
Those are just the headlines. Sure, a lot of them are blogs and commentary, but the Detroit Free Press and Reuters articles are “straight news” stories. The actual articles and blogs are even more vitriollic than the headlines. I particularly enjoy the writings from places like The Socialist Worker Online and Socialist Alternative. Worker’s World goes so far as to call the union activities a “People’s Rebellion”.
I find it amazing that union workers and the American public are so indoctrinated to socialist dogma that they can’t see the words of Lenin, Marx and Trotsky coming from these “labor leader’s” mouths.
It’s not just the bias. It’s not just the tone. It’s the specific words that the media uses that are often the most conniving part of their message. HuffPo says Wisonsin Republicans are “crushing workers”, giving the image of an unfeeling conservative mass trampling the poor, pitiful individual workers. “Wisonsin governor’s policies polarize state” from Reuters gives the impression that Scott Walker is solely to blame for this fiasco, leaving blameless any union leader and any government official who didn’t act fiscally responsible when dealing with the unions. “Wisconsin union fight goes nuclear” from Salon makes it seem like the act of passing the bill on a procedural vote is unprecedented and radical, when in reality the unprecedented and radical act was the Senate Democrats holing up in another state to avoid the vote.
The simple fact is that Wisconsin must cut its budget or it will face a $3.6 biilion shortfall. Like every other US state, education is one of the largest, if not the largest expenditure the state has. The state has to close the gap in revenues and expenses. One place where it will have to cut is funding to the local school districts. With collective bargaining in place for all aspects of government unionized employment, cutting unionized payrolls and benefits is nigh-on impossible. Allowing the school district to deal one-on-one with teachers will give them a better understanding of individual teacher’s needs and the ability to make targeted and appropriate cuts instead of choosing a one-size-fits-all approach.
It’s odd that unions talk about “rights” when, in a state like Wisconsin, the rights of government employees (and any forcibly unionized private sector employee) are actually being violated. Rather than decide on an individual basis what their compensation should be based upon performance, needs and other factors, the unionized empoyee is forced into the cookie-cutter mold of the collective no matter what their individual needs, wants and desires might be. No matter how good a government employee might be, if they’re unionized, they get the same compensation and benefits. The best employee is lumped in with the worst employee, and they and everybody in between gets identical support.
This isn’t about “rights”. This is about conditioning Americans to believe that there is no way to get “fair and just compensation” without a union to back them up. “Wisconsin can’t afford to pay? Too bad! Raise taxes on those evil, greedy, filthy, nasty, godforsaken RICH PEOPLE. They can afford to pay!” So government union members get above-average wages and benefits, unions get additional dues contributions and the rest of Wisconsin foots the bill.