Thursday, February 17, 2011

The Daily dives hard right: uses issue of ending collective bargaining rights to establish its political leanings

You just knew a moment would come where The Daily would let it go and reveal its political preferences. Even as the company's chairman, Rupert Murdoch, proclaimed that The Daily was aimed at 'everybody', one had to wonder when the moment would come when its editors would come out strongly for a candidate, a party, or an issue. It turns out the 'issue' was unions, and the efforts of Wisconsin's new governor
Today's edition features a 'cover' with the headline "No Class", as well as an editorial and opinion piece to come out strongly against Wisconsin unions representing state employees.

In its editorial, the editors of The Daily state that "It's difficult to imagine a more selfish group of people than the public-sector employees – many of them public school teachers – gathered on the steps of Wisconsin's Capitol this week."

The editorial throws gas on an already enflamed situation where thousands of state employees have gathered in Madison to protest the efforts of new governor Scott Walker to strip all state employees, except those belonging to the three unions that supported his campaign, of their collective bargaining rights. As a result, most schools in the Madison area continue to be closed as both teachers and many of their students have gone to the state house to protest.
In his opinion column, Will Wilkenson makes no bones about his party loyalties. "Given the Democratic Party's reliance on the support of public-sector unions, it's hardly surprising that left-leaning politicians and pundits have give the unions a pass," Wilkenson writes. What follows is his argument for the elimination of public-sector unions, and the rights of government employees to collective bargaining.

One can not be surprised that The Daily would have eventually revealed itself to be another in the line of News Corp. media properties that support right wing policies and politicians. But the surprise, to me anyway, is that the editors have decided that now is the moment to strike. One would thought that next year's presidential election would be the time for such a moment.

But things don't seem to be going so well at the iPad-only digital news product if editor Jesse Angelo's memo is an indication. "Folks, Egypt is over - time for us to get focused on covering America," New York Magazine reports the memo as stating.

"We need to get out there and start finding more compelling stories from around the country - not just scraping the web and the wires, but getting out on the ground and reporting. Find me an amazing human story at a trial the rest of the media is missing," the memo purportedly states. And, indeed, The Daily has found its story apparently.

I keep hearing that The Daily has extended its free subscription offer until February 28. But I'm not so sure that is universally true. As you can see by my version of The Daily, my free subscription is still set to run out soon.
As someone who was born in Detroit, whose father was in the auto industry, there is simply no way I could, in good conscious, subscribe to The Daily after today. I grew up listening to stories about Walter Reuther, and the sit-down strike against GM in the '30s, and talking to many, many auto workers who had joined the middle class thanks to the union movement. Hell, I grew up in the suburbs, lived in a new, if small, ranch home built in the fifties, attended good schools, all because the middle class existed thanks to unions, collective bargaining, and the blood of those who died trying to win better wages and benefits. Sorry, it's my heritage The Daily is going after, as well as the entire middle class of this country. Count me out.

1 Comment:

Tablazines said...

I'll be deleting the app from my iPad as soon as my trail is up.

I can hardly get the damn thing to work anyway. It crashes at least 3x before I can read any stories.

The thing is... I was going to subscribe because it was pretty much party neutral. Oh well!