In November — when America’s domestic automakers first received aid from the federal government — Fox News was adamant in its belief that the funding should have been withheld because the autoworkers’ union wasn’t making enough concessions. At the time, Fox contributor Jonathan Hoenig called government efforts to prevent the auto companies from entering bankruptcy “thievery,” while decrying the health benefits that union autoworkers receive.
So, now that Chrysler has been pushed into bankruptcy by a few hedge funds that were unwilling to compromise — and with GM potentially set to follow — Fox should be pleased, right? Wrong. Because bankruptcy is evidently also too good for the unions.
Bloomberg reported today that GM’s bondholders are balking at the auto company’s latest offer, and that President Obama will attempt to “safeguard union health-care benefits” if GM were to file bankruptcy. This led Fox News anchors Bill Hemmer and Megan Kelly to go on the offensive, claiming that the administration is “pushing GM toward bankruptcy to benefit the unions.” Watch a compilation:
Even Fox’s correspondent at a shuttered Chrysler plant wasn’t having it, reminding the anchors that the autoworkers worked for and earned the benefits in question. Harold Myerson completed this point:
Shareholders and bondholders knew they were taking risks when they invested in the company, but workers were flatly promised pensions and health benefits in retirement, payments for which were deducted from their paychecks. In sum, even as the administration’s policy toward the banks has a bias toward capital, its policy toward auto has a bias toward labor. Which, in the latter case, is entirely as it should be.
For Fox, meanwhile, any situation in which the union comes out with its jobs and benefits intact is evidently unacceptable.