WASHINGTON -- Labor Day weekend passed with soggy weather in Washington. It was not as soggy as in other parts of the United States, but it kept me indoors most of the time, so I decided to give some thought to the one American president who I associate with Labor Day, Franklin Delano Roosevelt. To be historically correct, I should associate President Grover Cleveland -- a conservative Democrat -- with Labor Day, for he was the first to make it a national holiday. For some reason, it is associated with FDR -- at least in my mind.
On Tuesday morning, the Associated Press left no doubt that it does not want to see detailed news of the outrageous United Auto Workers-Fiat Chrysler training scandal spread beyond Metro Detroit. In an unbylined item which digested far longer reports seen at Detroit's major newspapers down to five paragraphs, the wire service kept the union out of its headline, failed to mention the union until the fourth paragraph, and omitted almost all of the details which caused a Chrysler financial analyst to plead guilty to his role in the conspiracy.
On Wednesday, NPR’s Illinois affiliate WGLT promoted a claim without pushback by a McLean County, IL superintendent named Mark Daniel that, if the state passed a school vouchers program, the Land of Lincoln would plunge back half a century into “segregation.” Illinois is in a heated battle led by Republican Governor Bruce Rauner to enact a voucher program to allow students to succeed, individuals like Daniel and the public sector unions have resorted to such scare tactics.
New York Times labor reporter Noam Scheiber, former editor for the liberal New Republic magazine, sounded rather bitter about another autoworker union setback in the South, under the loaded headline “U.A.W. Accuses Nissan of ‘Scare Tactics’ as Workers Reject Union Bid." He also played the race card in an article before the vote. In Times-world, if unions lose, something must be fishy.
On Friday, the United Auto Workers failed in yet another attempt to organize an auto plant in the South. This time it was a Nissan plant in Canton, Mississippi. Unlike in the 2014, when workers at a Chattanooga, Tennessee Volkswagen plant narrowly rejected the union, Friday's result was a 62 percent to 38 percent shellacking. Coverage of the UAW's defeat at the Associated Press overnight was reasonably measured, with one exception: a barely mentioned and completely unexplained Fiat Chrysler-UAW corruption scandal in Metro Detroit which influenced the voting.
In a Senate hearing on Capitol Hill Wednesday, the United States Postal Service felt the heat of bipartisan scorn for decades of violations of federal election laws. “A new report tonight states that Postal Service employees were allowed to take leave from their jobs and still get paid as they campaigned for Hillary Clinton last year,” announced Fox News Channel Anchor Bret Baier during Special Report. Even in light of the report by the Postal Service’s oversight office, ABC, CBS, and NBC failed to inform their viewers.
Here come the hyper-partisan hounds. A new nonprofit called American Oversight launched this week to combat President Trump's "culture of impunity." The outfit declared itself "nonpartisan" and claims its crusaders will fight for a "transparent and ethical government." But like Waylon Jennings once crooned, "Baby, that dog won't hunt." These Democrat operatives aren't interested in accountability. Their mission is to attack, obstruct and destroy their political opponents at all costs.
Meg Kinnard at the Associated Press betrayed quite a bit of unhappiness Wednesday evening and Thursday morning in her coverage of workers' decisive rejection of a union organizing effort at Boeing Corp.'s 787-10 production plant in North Charleston, South Carolina. In two very similar reports found at the wire service's Big Story site, Kinnard solely blamed "Southern reluctance toward unionization" for the rejection. Though that was clearly a factor, it is hardly the only reason for the overwhelming 74 percent to 26 percent rejection. Kinnard "somehow" forgot to report that this is the very same plant whose opening former President Barack Obama's National Labor Relations Board deliberately delayed in 2011.
You would think that the establishment press and the rest of the opposition to Donald Trump's administration might be able to capitalize substantively (shrieking fundraising letters don't count as "substance") on Kellyanne Conway's shaky reference to "alternative facts" about a week ago. (She should have said, "I have different, more defensible estimates than you do," because she did.) So far they can't, and they seem unable to help themselves. When they run into facts they don't like, they suppress them and seek out — you guessed it — weak or false alternative facts to fit their narrative.
It would be difficult to think of any principle more basic than that criminal defendants can’t be convicted except by proof beyond a reasonable doubt. But left-leaning “fact-checker” PolitiFact doesn’t even know it. In an error-filled January 19 “fact-check,” PolitiFact’s Anna Orso writes about “the ‘clear and convincing’ standard used in criminal trials.” The clear and convincing evidence standard is not used in criminal trials. Even my nine-year old daughter knows that the correct standard is “beyond a reasonable doubt.”
Clenched-fist troublemakers will use any mass gathering as an excuse to undermine civil society. Social media and the irresistible lure of virality have only strengthened their incentive to "FSU" (f--- s--- up). Here's another thing you can take to the bank: "Mainstream" protesters on the streets of D.C. will look the other way at these lawless vandals who leech onto any available cause. Their common goal is not "social justice." It's destabilization and disorder.
The front of Friday’s New York Times featured Michael Shear's interview with Chuck Jones, the now-famous president of Indiana United Steelworkers Local 1999, who came under withering attack by president-elect Donald Trump on Twitter on Wednesday night, after claiming that “Trump lied his ass off” about how many U.S. jobs Trump’s Carrier move would actually save. The headline: “Trump as Cyberbully in Chief? New Twitter Attack Draws Fire.” But it's hypocritical of the paper to condemn Trump on the front page as a powerful person bullying an innocent private citizen, while letting intimidation of private citizens by Obama go unremarked upon.