December 12, 2012

Ever So ‘Helpful’ AP Tells Readers That ‘Right to Work’ Name ‘Is Misleading’

Demonstrating his and his employer’s pro-union bias, Jeff Karoub at the Associated Press, in compiling a list of “5 THINGS TO KNOW ABOUT MICH. RIGHT-TO-WORK BILLS,” made “The Name Is Misleading” his first item.

As an AP journalist, Karoub is likely a member of the Occupy Movement-supporting News Media Guild. Earlier this year, his employer’s recently departed chairman, acting in an official capacity representing his supposedly objective, values-driven organization, praised President Obama in terms so effusive that Charles Hurt at the Washington Times wrote that it was “more like he proposed to him.” In his five-item listing, the third of which has an inchoherent title, Karoub seemed to jump right in where Obama left off in a Monday Michigan speech (bolds and numbers in headings are mine):

Here are five things to know about right-to-work legislation approved by the Michigan Legislature and signed into law by Gov. Rick Snyder:


It isn’t about a right to work but rather a right for workers to choose whether they want to join a union or pay fees that amount to union dues. The legislation prohibits what are known as “closed shops,” where workers have no choice but to join a union or pay those fees.


The GOP majority used its superior numbers and backing from Gov. Rick Snyder to ramrod legislation through the House and Senate last week. They brushed aside denunciations and challenges by helpless Democrats and cries of outrage from thousands of union activists who swarmed the state Capitol hallways and grounds. Snyder signed the bills into law Tuesday, hours after the final House votes.


Supporters, including Republican leaders in the Legislature and the Michigan Chamber of Commerce, insist it’s about freedom of association for workers and a better business climate. Critics, including Democrats and Michigan’s sizable labor contingent, contend the real intent is to bleed unions of money and bargaining power and allow nonunion workers to get the perks without paying for it. Thousands protested at the Michigan Capitol, but even they acknowledged before the final votes that it would inevitably become law.


Michigan becomes the 24th state with such laws. …


Law enforcement officials vowed Michigan won’t become “another Wisconsin,” where demonstrators occupied the state Capitol around the clock for nearly three weeks. They took steps to prevent that. …

Karoub’s Point 1 is objectively false. Absent legislation prohibiting the closed shop, a person, unless he or she pays what the AP reporter acknowledges is the equivalent of union dues, does not have the “right to work” in situations where an employer would otherwise be eager to hire him or her. Therefore, legislation prohibiting the closed shop restores the “right to work” previously taken away. This is not arguable. The person doing the misleading is Karoub.

Concerning Point 2, as I noted yesterday (at NewsBusters; at BizzyBlog), the nation’s establishment press had no problem with how the Affordable Care Act was “ramrodded” through Congress in March 2010, even when congressional Democrats were considering ways to “deem” the legislation passed without a constitutionally required vote of the House.

As to the “freeloader” argument contained in Point 3, Lachlan Markay at Heritage showed yesterday that “less than a quarter (24.1 percent) of expenditures by Michigan’s 25 largest private sector (or public/private hybrid) union locals go towards actually representing workers.” The people doing the “freeloading” are paid union reps and administrators who extract dues from those who wouldn’t pay them if there was no compulsion and then spend the money on items unrelated to representation.

Markay’s point really should have been part of Karoub’s Point 3, but we should never forget that AP reporters covering union matters are definitely not objective in appearance, and almost invariably not objective in fact.

Cross-posted at



  1. Point 2 is stupid beyond belief. First off, I was not aware the governors backing laws and supporting legislators who share their views was unusual and nefarious. Anyway, his complaint is basically that the majority passed a law despite the objections of the minority and the protestations of mobs. Earth to Karoub, that’s Democracy. And how much time was the Mich. GOP supposed to give the Dems to whine and complain, a whole month? And the difference between this and ObamaCare is that ObamaCare is a massive intrusion that violates our rights while this law in Michigan restores a right that never should have been taken away in the first place. So the supposed “ramrodding” here is not equivalent to the very real ramrodding of ObamaCare.

    Point 4 is, well, pointless. Nobody is claiming Michigan is the first right to work state and I even doubt that most people don’t know that.

    Point 5: So what? Preventing violence, out of control demonstrations and the disturbing of the peace and harassment of the public (which is what occurred in Wis) is what the cops are supposed to do.

    What an idiotic “list.”

    Comment by zf — December 12, 2012 @ 11:36 am

  2. Tom, Ezra Klein also went off on a “misleading” rant.

    Comment by Sean Hackbarth — December 12, 2012 @ 2:26 pm

  3. [...] Ever So ‘Helpful’ AP Tells Readers That ‘Right to Work’ Name ‘Is Misleading’ [...]

    Pingback by Ever So ‘Helpful’ AP Tells Readers That ‘Right to Work’ Name ‘Is Misleading’ | PERSUASION IN INK — December 12, 2012 @ 3:49 pm

  4. Misleading? Let’s start with the “Affordable” Care Act.

    Comment by Jim — December 13, 2012 @ 8:14 am

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