Media Outlets Refuse Union Advertising

Media Outlets Refuse Union Advertising
Part of the Media Blackout series on underreported labor stories
By David Swanson, ILCA Media Coordinator,

Major corporate media outlets often reject advertising from labor unions. This means that the same outlets that will not cover labor for free, in many cases will not even sell working people 60 seconds of the public’s airwaves for hard-earned money.

Even people well aware of the media’s failings in covering labor issues read more

What Can a Marginalized Majority Do?

Universal health care is favored by most Americans, but proposing to create it is deemed politically foolish. Restoring value to the minimum wage would meet with approval from the vast majority of us, but politicians who make it a priority are considered a little flakey. Investing in public schools is one of our top priorities, but we’re told the money’s just not there and that we should focus on offering children other choices — we have to be practical. Most of the money that read more

Media Black Out Story of Labor Opposition to War

Recently the two biggest stories in the U.S. news media have been the war in Iraq and the presidential election campaign. Labor unions have been part of a number of major stories on the presidential campaign, especially stories about Senator Kerry’s selection of John Edwards as a running mate.

But labor has not been part of stories on the war. There was some reason for that up until a few weeks ago. The AFL-CIO has not taken a position on the war, and most of the international unions have read more

Berlusconi, il Duce, and il Dubya

April 23, 2004

Many have compared Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi to Il Duce, Benito Mussolini. Berlusconi himself has encouraged the comparison and praised and defended the fascist dictator. But the similarities are also striking between Mussolini and another imperialistic leader whom Berlusconi likes to praise, namely George W. Bush (or whoever it is that’s running the Bush Administration).

Yes, I know, Mussolini was more honest about his intentions, and, yes, I know, Mussolini read more

John or John

Feb. 19, 2004

Is there a substantive difference between John Kerry and John Edwards? You wouldn’t know it from the issue-free media coverage. CBS touches on issues in 21.4 percent of its campaign coverage, 33.4 percent for ABC, and 32 percent for NBC, according to a study by, which must have been extremely generous in defining a story as dealing with issues.

Still, you might know that Edwards is younger and better looking, and you might get the impression that the media has read more

Fenton, French's, and Fatalism

Also published at Democratic Underground at

Two quotations first.

Washington Post, March 27, 2003:
Special interest organizations of every stripe are having trouble pushing their messages through the fog of war. It has been especially tough for the liberal activist nonprofits touting environmentalism and other causes unrelated to the dominant story. Thus the Washington-based public relations firm Fenton Communications, which has been flacking for left-leaning read more

Steve Forbes' Snake Oil Made Me Sick

I got an Email from Steve Forbes on September 20 titled “Getting Rich is Your Best Revenge!” I found it much more distasteful than the ones I get from Nigerian and other non-U.S. royalty. The last I’d heard from Steve Forbes was when I saw him as a presidential candidate on TV proposing a Flat Tax as a solution for foreign relations, public education, housing, and weight loss. Why was he sending me this personal Email now to help me, in particular, get rich? And against whom read more

Surprise Guest at Social Security Rally: An Opposition Party

April 26, 2005

See Photo Album on This Site

James Roosevelt stood on a large outdoor stage on Tuesday in a Washington, D.C., park filled with union members waving signs about Social Security. “Every American,” he said, “deserves what my grandfather, Franklin Delano Roosevelt laid out for them.”

The shouts that followed that remark must have been heard inside the nearby U.S. Capitol.

“Are we in this country ever a We, or is it I and Me all the time?” asked Roosevelt, read more

Hunger Striking for a Living Wage


March 18, 2005

March 18, 2005 — Twenty-two students at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., stopped eating four days ago. They have resorted to a hunger strike after years of less drastic attempts to persuade the university to pay all of its workers a living wage. How long will they go without food? “As long as it takes,” is the answer that at least some of them give.

Mary Nagle is one of a half dozen students organizing events every day to assist the hunger strikers. read more

Labor at the Crossroads

December 8, 2004
Five hundred people who care about the future of the labor movement gathered at the City University of New York on December 2nd and 3rd to discuss what that future should look like.

There were some rank and file members in the crowd, but mostly it was made up of those who work for or write about labor. Perhaps the only points of universal agreement among the speakers and participants of the “Labor at the Crossroads” conference hosted by the Queens College Labor Resource read more