For the last two weeks, working people have joined with students and sympathetic lawmakers as part of a Main Street Movement to protest efforts in multiple states to strip workers of their collective bargaining rights. While the protests against Gov. Scott Walker (R-WI) have garnered the most attention, protests have also taken place in Ohio, Indiana, Tennessee, Washington, Montana, and Idaho. The protests have caused Republican governors in multiple states to back down from their anti-worker stances.
Despite the obvious newsworthiness of these protests, the Sunday morning news shows last week (Fox News Sunday, NBC’s Meet the Press, CBS’s Face the Nation, CNN’s State of the Union, and ABC’s This Week) featured no labor leaders or members. Instead, they turned to the likes of conservative commentator George Will, CNBC’s Rick Santelli, Liz Cheney, and even a Thomas Jefferson impersonator, while Walker himself made an appearance on Fox.
AFL-CIO Political Communications Director Eddie Vale reports that the situation has not yet changed for this coming Sunday:
There is still time for the producers of these shows to rectify this situation, and give the Main Street Movement a voice on the national media stage.
Mike Elk notes that a recent Pew study found that organized labor was only used as a source for 2 percent of economy-related stories in major media in 2009.
,The Plum Line’s Greg Sargent gets comments from the three main networks — ABC, NBC, and CBS:
No labor officials have yet been booked to appear. Carin Pratt, the executive producer of CBS’s Face the Nation — which is hosing Christie — seemed to suggest as much in an email. “We are doing Gov. Christie for part of the show, with probably a segment on Libya,” she said. “We’re not only talking about labor.”
Officials at NBC and ABC both told me their lineups were not yet complete, and wouldn’t say any labor officials had been booked, though that could conceivably change.