ABC Ignores Walmart Raising Wages to $11/Hour Citing GOP Tax Cuts

Walmart employees received some much-welcomed news on Thursday: Their hourly wage went from nine dollars an hour to eleven and on top of that, many were receiving $1,000 bonuses. The company also cited the GOP tax cuts as the reason behind the move. But instead of reporting on the great news for many workers, ABC’s World News Tonight spent two minutes and 26 seconds hyping the new movie about Olympic ice skater Tonya Harding and their two-hour documentary about her.

In contrast, NBC Nightly News ran a run full segment promoting the wage increase. “And we're already seeing the effects of those tax changes on American companies. Today Walmart, the nation's largest private employer, announced plans to raise wages, hand out bonuses and increase benefits,” announced anchor Lester Holt during the intro to the segment.

Wages at Walmart will now start at $11 an hour, up from $9. Eligible employees will also get up to $1,000 bonus depending on their years of service,” reporter Gabe Gutierrez reiterated as he began his segment.

Gutierrez spoke with a Walmart employee, whose husband also works there, and she praised the wage increase as a huge help for her family. “Any extra income, or bonus, is awesome. That just means we get to spend a little bit and put into savings account for our three kids for the future,” she told him.

NBC did note that 60 plus Walmart-own Sam’s Clubs were closing, but Gutierrez quickly moved on to highlight other companies that announced wage increases and large bonuses, including his network:

 

 

But the news comes on the same day Walmart announced it was closing dozens of Sam's Club stores. Still, Walmart's one of more than 100 companies passing on some of the savings after Congress cut the corporate tax rate from 35 percent to 21 percent, including JetBlue, Southwest and American Airlines, a handful of banks, AT&T and NBC parent company Comcast.

Yet despite Walmart and other companies citing the tax cuts for their positive moves, Gutierrez seemed to cast doubt on their stated reason. “Policymakers are divided on how much of this financial optimism is due to tax cuts and how much is due to low unemployment,” he reported. “So, companies like Walmart are having to find new ways to keep the employees they have.” He wrapped up his report by noting that the stock market had hit yet another record high.

CBS Evening News, on the other hand, only allowed for a news brief on Walmart’s announcements which lasted all of 18 seconds. Of that time, anchor Jeff Glor only spent six seconds on the wage increase and bonuses while the remaining 12 were spent on Sam’s Clubs closing, with no mention of the tax cuts:

Walmart is boosting its minimum wage to $11 an hour and giving bonuses of as much as $1,000. The world's largest private employer also said today it's closing about 60 of its Sam's Clubs stores across the country. Some went out of business today. Workers didn't find out until they showed up and found the doors locked.

By ABC ignoring Walmart’s wage increase, they were trying to diminish the how helpful the GOP tax cuts were to average Americans since it goes against their crafted narrative. And to an extent, NBC tried that as well when they tried to say it was solely because of high unemployment.

Transcripts below:

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NBC Nightly News
January 11, 2018
7:08:53 – 7:10:38 PM Eastern [1 minute 45 seconds]

LESTER HOLT: And we're already seeing the effects of those tax changes on American companies. Today Walmart, the nation's largest private employer, announced plans to raise wages, hand out bonuses and increase benefits. But there's some bad news for employees and customers at some Walmart-owned Sam's Club stores. We get details from Gabe Gutierrez.

[Cuts to video]

GABE GUTIERREZ: Tonight a pay raise at the nation's biggest retailer. Wages at Walmart will now start at $11 an hour, up from $9. Eligible employees will also get up to $1,000 bonus depending on their years of service. Karina Hanson in Frisco, Texas, works at Walmart with her husband.

KARINA HANSON: Any extra income, or bonus, is awesome. That just means we get to spend a little bit and put into savings account for our three kids for the future.

GUTIERREZ: But the news comes on the same day Walmart announced it was closing dozens of Sam's Club stores. Still, Walmart's one of more than 100 companies passing on some of the savings after Congress cut the corporate tax rate from 35 percent to 21 percent, including JetBlue, Southwest and American Airlines, a handful of banks, AT&T and NBC parent company Comcast.

DONALD TRUMP: Our historic reductions to the business tax will raise annual household income by an average of $4,000. That's a tremendous number.

GUTIERREZ: Policymakers are divided on how much of this financial optimism is due to tax cuts and how much is due to low unemployment.

DIANE SWONK: At the end of the day, we're running out of workers. When you run out of workers, you got to pay more.

[Cuts back to live]

GUTIERREZ: So, companies like Walmart are having to find new ways to keep the employees they have. And with corporate profits expected to soar, Wall Street hit another record high today. Lester?

HOLT: All right, Gabe Gutierrez, thanks.

(...)

CBS Evening News
January 11, 2018
6:52:58 – 6:53:17 PM Eastern [18 seconds]

JEFF GLOR: Walmart is boosting its minimum wage to $11 an hour and giving bonuses of as much as $1,000. The world's largest private employer also said today it's closing about 60 of its Sam's Clubs stores across the country. Some went out of business today. Workers didn't find out until they showed up and found the doors locked.


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