Saturday, February 26, 2011

Unions and Ventriloquist Journalism

A couple of entries worth sharing. For background, check Mark Steyn's essay, "STATES OF THE UNIONS." Following the links takes us to John Hinderaker at Power Line, "No Word From Eric Lipton." The Lipton in question is a New York Times correspondent and author of the recent report, "Billionaire Brothers' Money Plays Role in Wisconsin Dispute" (the article's previous title was even more explicit, "Koch Brothers' Money Fuels Wisconsin Fight." And it turns out that some of the statements at the article have been manufactured, or at least completely decontextualized from the actual statements of those on record, specifically Tim Phillips of Americans for Prosperity.

Here's Steyn's
excellent summary:
The Times managed to get the salient feature of the story entirely wrong. They were not an “anti-government” mob, but a government mob, a mob of "public servants" objecting to austerity measures that would end, for example, the tradition of 14 monthly paychecks per annum. You read that right: the Greek public sector cannot be bound by anything so humdrum as temporal reality. So, when it was mooted that the “workers” might henceforth receive a mere 12 monthly paychecks per annum, they rioted. Their hapless victims - a man and two women - were a trio of clerks trapped in a bank when the mob set it alight and then obstructed emergency crews attempting to rescue them.

You don’t have to go to Athens to find "public servants" happy to take it out on the public. In Madison, politicized doctors provide fake sick notes for politicized teachers to skip class. In New York's Christmas snowstorm, Sanitation Department plough drivers are unable to clear the streets, with fatal consequences for some residents. On the other hand, they did manage to clear the snow from outside the Staten Island home of Sanitation Dept head honcho John Doherty, while leaving all surrounding streets pristinely clogged. Three hundred Sanitation Department workers have salaries of over $100,000 per year. In retirement, you get a pension of 66 grand per annum plus excellent health benefits, all inflation proofed.

That's what "collective bargaining" is about: It enables unions rather than citizens to set the price of government. It is, thus, a direct assault on republican democracy, and it needs to be destroyed. Unlovely as they are, the Greek rioters and the snarling thugs of Madison are the logical end point of the advanced social democratic state: not an oppressed underclass, but a spoiled overclass, rioting in defense of its privileges and insisting on more subsidy, more benefits, more featherbedding, more government.

Big Unions fund Big Government. The union slices off two per cent of the workers’ pay and sluices it to the Democratic Party, which uses it to grow government, which also grows unions, which thereby grows the number of two-per-cent contributions, which thereby grows the Democratic Party, which thereby grows government… Repeat until bankruptcy. Or bailout.
Well there you go.

It's endlessly fascinating how the New York Times is perfectly playing the hardline Soros-backed class warfare attack on capital. What's not reported by Think Progress and the other progressive goon outlets, is that unions have actually dominated political giving in recent election cycles, and it's the Democrat Party that's benefited from the huge public-sector sugar daddy. It's taken bloggers to cut through the bull and bring some real clarity to the issues. So it's worth checking Steven Hayward update at Power Line, "
The 'Ventriloquist Journalism' Beat" (at Memeorandum).

Anyway, here's a palette cleanser from last year, featuring MSNBC's inveterate liar and progressive propagandist Rachel Maddow: