The instinct here is that an Associated Press “story” by Scott Bauer in Madison, Wisconsin, will get lots of radio and TV time tomorrow.
That would be a reasonable expectation, because what Bauer writes isn’t really a “story” as much as it is a free political announcement. I’m predicting that the establishment press will love it, especially the opening paragraph:
Wis. defeat could help launch counterattack on GOP
With the labor movement suffering an epic defeat in Wisconsin and perhaps other states, union leaders plan to use the setback to fire up their members nationwide and mount a major counterattack against Republicans at the ballot box in 2012.
Gosh, about the only thing Bauer’s lacking is a bullhorn.
Here are other choice, union activism-promoting excerpts, followed by the resurrection of an objectively incorrect term (in bold):
But labor leaders say the events in Wisconsin have helped galvanize support for unions across the country. They hope to use the momentum to help fight off other attacks and grow their membership.
Said the president of the AFL-CIO: “I guess I ought to say thank you particularly to Scott Walker. We should have invited him here today to receive the Mobilizer of the Year award from us!”
… The passage drew shouts of “shame, shame, shame” from protesters in the gallery and came only a day after dramatic action in the Republican-controlled Senate, which used a legislative maneuver Wednesday to quickly adopt the bill without any of the 14 Democrats who fled to Illinois three weeks ago.
Democrats said their counterattack efforts were already beginning to bear fruit in the form of donations: The party’s Wisconsin chapter said it raised $300,000 overnight and has collected $800,000 from 32,000 donors in just five days.
Party chairman Mike Tate said Senate Democrats have raised $750,000 over the past month alone.
Republicans said they were simply doing what voters wanted.
… Walker had repeatedly argued that ending collective bargaining would give local governments the flexibility they needed to confront the cuts in state aid necessary to fix Wisconsin’s deficit, which is projected to grow to $3.6 billion deficit over several years.
Lord have mercy.
Three weeks ago, Bauer himself wrote, in a piece which also claimed that the Wisconsin law involved “eliminating collective bargaining”:
Unions still could represent workers, but could not seek pay increases above those pegged to the Consumer Price Index unless approved by a public referendum. Unions also could not force employees to pay dues and would have to hold annual votes to stay organized.
Once again, Scott, if “Unions still could represent workers,” then some degree of collective bargaining still exists. You can’t write that the legislation is “ending collective bargaining” above (while “cleverly” stuffing words into Scott Walker’s mouth that he more than likely never said; if he did say them, why aren’t the words in quote marks?), or three weeks ago that it is “eliminating collective-bargaining rights” and still be telling the truth. Period.
Also, Scott, if you’re going to write about people who are “galvanized” by what has happened in Madison during the past three weeks, you might go out and interview some of the people who are upset that:
- GOP State Senators have received ugly death threats such as this one (HT NB’s Lachlan Markay), threatening not only them but also their families (other examples here).
- The atmosphere in the Capitol area was so hostile last night that GOP lawmakers had to leave under police escort and endured people who “were literally trying to break the windows of the cars we were in as we were driving away.”
- As the Badger 14 blog notes (HT Ann Althouse), “Democrat staff engineered mob’s unlawful invasion of Wisconsin Capitol Building” today.
They shouldn’t be too hard to find — but they would interrupt your free public-sector union political announcement.
Cross-posted at NewsBusters.org.