Jun
01
2010

WashPost Wants More (Anti) Labor Coverage

The Service Employees International Union (SEIU) organized protests in Maryland at the homes of several bank executives, along with follow-up rallies in Washington, D.C., at bank branches and offices.

The events went largelyuncovered by the Washington Post, whichled Post ombud Andrew Alexander(5/29/10) to wonder why the paper missed a major labor story that was covered by Mother Jones (5/16/10) andthe Nation (5/20/10), among others.

The story has been getting a lot of attention from right-wing activists, though, whoarearguing that aprotest outside a banker's homeis anoutrageous infringement on someone's private life. A more important point is whether the Post is paying attention to labor activism:

But Huffington Post reporter Arthur Delaney said he learned of the protests from SEIU sources, which raises the question of whether the [Washington] Post is sufficiently plugged into the nation's most politically active labor organization.

That's a good point.

Unfortunately, Alexander's thoughts about what coverage of union activism should look like is a little, well, anti-union:

There were numerous ways the Post could have gotten back in the game on the story. For example, how did Chevy Chase neighbors react? Did protesters break trespass laws? When does First Amendment expression infringe on residential privacy? Does President Obama, who enjoyed SEIU electoral support, sanction these types of protests? And is a blitz on private residences a new protest tactic?

I don't know–maybe a more important question than what Obama thinks of the protests mightbe,"What were they protesting?"

About Peter Hart

Activism Director and and Co-producer of CounterSpinPeter Hart is the activism director at FAIR. He writes for FAIR's magazine Extra! and is also a co-host and producer of FAIR's syndicated radio show CounterSpin. He is the author of The Oh Really? Factor: Unspinning Fox News Channel's Bill O'Reilly (Seven Stories Press, 2003). Hart has been interviewed by a number of media outlets, including NBC Nightly News, Fox News Channel's O'Reilly Factor, the Los Angeles Times, Newsday and the Associated Press. He has also appeared on Showtime and in the movie Outfoxed. Follow Peter on Twitter at @peterfhart.