My local paper, Foster's Daily Democrat, saw fit
to put this
article at the tippy-top of the front
page today. Headline:
'Take back the economy': Protesters in Portsmouth rally against banking,
This is front page news, why? Let's see. The story, by Foster's reporter
Charles McMahon, begins:
PORTSMOUTH -- When Pauline Chabot goes to work as a Child Support
Officer for the Department of Health and Human Services every day she
doesn't just read about the nation's economic woes in the newspaper or
listen to it on the radio.
It's nice to know that a state employee doesn't just read the
newspaper or listen to the radio at work.
She sees it up close and personal.
The Sanbornton resident was one of a dozen working class citizens from
all over the Seacoast who gathered in front of the downtown Bank of
America Thursday afternoon to not only protest corporate abuses in the
banking industry, but to tell Congress to take action now to build an
economy that works for everyone.
Gee, they got twelve entire people from all over the
Seacoast? And are you wondering how the reporter verified that they
were all "working class citizens"? My bet: that's what he was told,
and that's what he wrote.
And note the sneaky inclusion of the demonstrators' talking points, not
as a quote, but as part of the
here's-what-happened "news". We'll see that again.
With a sign reading "Oink of America," Chabot stood in front of the bank
during her lunch break as part of the "Take Back the Economy" rally
organized by the NH Change That Works project.
You can view a picture of Ms. Chabot and her "Oink of America" sign
at the Foster's site; the "O" is a sketch of a pig. Heh!
What the reporter fails to mention is that "NH Change That Works"
is hardly a grassroots organization. In fact, about
30 seconds on Google reveals it to be a
completely-owned subsidiary of the Service Employees International Union
The SEIU is remarkably sleazy, even for a
union. Part of the Illinois Blagojevich scandal involved the
as an intermediary between the Obama Administration and Blagojevich;
part of the deal was to guarantee the Gov a cushy SEIU-sponsored
gig once out of office. [The good folks up at GraniteGrok have long been on the
case of the local SEIU, especially their equally
phony "I'm a Healthcare Voter"
schtick awhile back.]
So the Foster's reporter fails to accurately
convey the sponsorship of the protest; however, he does manage
to drop a hint or two [emphasis added]:
The state employee, who is also an active member of the Service
Employees International Union
, said on a daily basis she encounters
people who may owe or are due child support, but are without jobs and
suitable health care coverage.
"We really need a serious and proper health care system to help all
Americans," said Chabot.
Yeah, yeah. So a union activist, in a thinly-disguised union
activity, parrots a standard union line? Why
is this news?
Chabot was one of over 100 Granite Staters in 11 communities joining
together at a dozen Bank of America locations across the state Thursday
to protest and to tell Congress that Americans have had enough corporate
excess and CEOs draining the finances of working families and hurting
the economy overall.
Approximately 10,000 working people in cities nationwide also took part
in similar demonstrations at the offices of major banks Thursday
I strongly suspect these numbers
were not independently verified by the reporter, or anyone; he's meekly
reproducing what he was told by the SEIUites. (The 10,000 number
also appears in the SEIU press release here,
produced before the demonstrations.)
Certainly that would
go together with his echoing, once again, the union-produced
soundbites, not as quotes, but as "news".
Organizers had billed the event as being for people who are upset about
"the recent corporate bonuses given to failed executives paid by
taxpayers" and "concerned about the nationwide loss of health care and
job security or about what passes for health care and job security."
Finally, the reporter manages to put quotes around the
propaganda. He doesn't feel obligated, however, to point out
the inconvenient facts about those
corporate bonuses being a Geithner/Dodd production.
Marie Choi, a member of the Service Employees International Union Long
Term Care Division, was also on hand Thursday and said the demonstration
wasn't just about protesting the greed of corporate banks, it was about
giving the people a voice.
The reporter might have more accurately identified Ms. Choi
Director for a couple SEIU puppet groups.
For a Communications Director, Ms. Choi is remarkably incoherent:
Choi said Bank of America has taken $45 billion from taxpayers to help
stimulate the economy, but instead of giving workers and consumers a
little luck, all they created was more greed. In addition to that, Choi
said that while the institution has the highest fees of any bank in the
nation, its CEO earns nearly $4,800 an hour, while his employees make
only $10.50 an hour.
I am baffled as to what "giving workers and consumers a little luck"
might possibly mean. Lottery tickets?
I am, however, mortally certain that the surest
way to drive Bank of America further into the ditch would be to let people like
Monica Choi set its fees and employee compensation.
That lavish executive pay and the bank's inability to provide more consumer
and small business lending is what sparked the group into action, she
"This is the people's opportunity to take it to the streets," said Choi.
"And also," she thought to herself, "my opportunity to
use those old sixties slogans Grandma always told me about."
By the way, the "action day" yesterday has its own website,
you'll note that the Foster's reporter used this slogan
It shows that the national effort was sponsored not only by SEIU, but
more of the usual left/Democrat pressure groups: ACORN, Moveon.org, Rock
the Vote, etc. And once again, the Foster's reporter
might have disclosed this backing in his article, but apparently
was too busy with uncritical copying of the tendentious talking points.
The hour-long demonstration featured protesters holding a variety of
signs and handing out pamphlets urging passers-by to get involved and
tell Sens. Jeanne Shaheen and Judd Gregg to support President Barack
Oh, yeah, I forgot to mention: the groups involved in this action
are solid partisan shock troops backing whatever Obama is doing
this week. At least for now. As their invitation
put it: "Congress needs
to join us and President Obama to deliver real change…"
Or: "Please lie down right here, and remain quiet as the steamroller
By passing the budget and the Employee Free Choice Act, coupled with
strong banking reform, Choi said the government could begin to ease the
pressure on working-class citizens.
Sure it could. But here's an opposite view
that won't be making it into Foster's anytime soon:
Ronald Reagan's famous line that "government is the problem" kept going
through my head as the AIG hearing demonstrated the dangers of
Washington's role in the economy. The very people, Republicans and
Democrats alike, who can't balance America's budget now claim the
expertise to run banks, insurance companies and automakers.
If we let them, we're dumber than they are.
So to summarize: Foster's decided to put an
SEIU press release at the top
of their front page today. Is this the newspaper's full-fledged dive
into the fetid water of left-wing advocacy journalism?
Or are they just stupid? I don't think there's a third possibility.
(Pun Salad's previous screeds about stupid stuff in Foster's: