US media mishaps over union protests
23 Feb, 2011 22:13
While Union workers across the US fight for labor rights, many voices within America’s media are caught bickering over the politics of the story – as opposed to the issues themselves.
In case you haven’t noticed, the state of Wisconsin has been making some noise of late. Yet somehow, a week-long fight over collective bargaining rights for union workers has morphed into a politically polarizing smack down between opposing voices with the landscape of American media. The first strike came when conservative radio talk-show host Rush Limbaugh accused Wisconsin union protestors and supporters of being freeloaders. “It’s not about what you want. In your case it’s about what can be afforded. Bunch of people who feel entitled to be freeloaders,” said Limbaugh. MSNBC’s Ed Schultz fired back at Limbaugh on live television; “Hey Rush, why don’t you wrap your fat ass in the flag,” said Schultz Public workers in Wisconsin have been fighting to retain workers’ rights to negotiate wages and working conditions, a peaceful movement that CNBC’s Rick Santelli equated to a national security threat.“If the country is ever attacked like it was on nine-eleven, we all respond with a sense of urgency. What’s going on balance sheets throughout the country is the same type of attack,” said Santelli. From exaggerated analysis to confusing outbursts, Fox News host Glenn Beck has launched into a confusing tirade or two when reporting on the Wisconsin story. “Is it a little hard to deny that radicals, Islamists, the communists, socialists will work together against Israel against capitalism, and they’ll try to work together to overturn stability? Who in the media is telling you this? Who? Name them! Where are they? How can they possibly deny it at this point, and why wouldn’t they tell you these things?” Beck said. Although Beck may believe so, the protests have nothing to do with religion, Karl Marx or terrorism. They are about the voice of the American middle class; a collective voice arguably being muted by bickering broadcasters.