Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Fox News Bankers Before Workers

Since the late 90's Fox News and the Republican party have portrayed themselves as the party of the "real" working class americans. The beer drinking freedom loving hard working middle class people was who they represented or at least that is what they would have you believe.

Unfortunately for Fox News their true message betrays them. They are the corporatist news station for the corporatist party, their actual stances are barely distinguishable from the blue blood Republicans of the 80's and 90's, maybe the only difference is these Republicans are much more war like. 

So lets flash back about a year ago when all the controversy about banker bonuses was really heating up. The same executives who lost billions for their banks and trillions for the economy were collecting huge bonus checks. Any sensible person would say this is insane. Regardless of whether they were contractually owed these bonuses, things had changed; Goldman Sachs was now a bank holding company and each of the large banks had taken huge bailouts from the U.S. taxpayer.

Americans were largely against banker bonuses the vast majority believed they should at least be limited. While ordinary people were suffering, those with jobs struggling to support the banks and those without jobs struggling just to survive Fox News was pushing banker bonuses as a good thing. Supporting banker bonuses was pro American, furthermore objecting to the bonuses was anti-american or worse communist. Members of the Fox Business show "Bulls and Bears" even said that the banker bonuses would protect consumers from higher atm and other fees(sounds like extortion to me). 

So seeing that Fox News was so concerned about the contractual obligations pertaining to banker bonuses despite the extenuating circumstances, and they portrayed themselves as the station of the working man you would think they would support the workers the next story.

Apparently Chicago Water department workers had it in their contract that they would receive severance payments upon leaving, or retiring from work not just when terminated. Now this seems a bit silly but it was in their contract, they were owed it and they came to work knowing it was in place. The City Council has now decided to cancel that policy. The problem is they are trying to do it retro actively andeny workers their contractually obligated severance pay. The workers have decided to sue.

In the fox news segment above, "Kelly's Court", the presumably unbiased Judge Kelly starts the segment by inferring the workers are greedy selfish and looking to take advantage of the tax payer. Fox loves to use that tactic make it seem like they are looking to protect the hard working tax payer from the lazy public sector worker. In reality they are actually pushing the causes of their corporate sponsors. 

Just because so many middle class people working in the private sector have been screwed by their employees andenied their contractually obligated pensions and bonuses does not mean that public sector workers should roll over as well. Fox News' bias on this issue is telling. Any working class person who still supports them and the Republican Party should ask themselves, as Bill O'Reilly would "who is looking out for you?".

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