Friday, November 13, 2009

You've heard about nanotechnology, and you know it means really small stuff. Here's a good explanation of just how small for your Friday mind-expansion.

Naked contempt for workers

The Courier's coverage of the Safeway/Fry's labor action over just a day and a half cuts a window into the editors' minds.

Over on the front page, Jason Soifer's story is sourced entirely from two unhappy union members. It includes no balancing facts or opinions. He wouldn't have had to go far to get some, such as Frank Cuccia's letter, which appears on the opinion page today and so must have been bouncing around the offices for a couple of weeks. But Jason's source-challenged story was enough to spark an angry broadside from the unnamed editor, condemning the union for withholding the vote from the membership. Tut tut. (His use of a quote from a company PR flak defending the rights of the poor downtrodden union members was particularly entertaining.)

Then, within hours of the editor's rush to judgment, comes the breaking story that, surprise surprise, the union's tactics have won a better settlement from Safeway and the union will vote on that rather than the crappy deal the company offered two weeks ago, before the strike threat.

The labor action had been coming for months and had been an active news story for weeks, but the Courier had nothing to say. The first word it offers its readers on the subject is shamelessly biased against the union. The slapdash editorial extends this bias, slamming the union for not settling while it was in the midst of hardball negotiations, and spuriously accusing it of anti-democratic practices.

I can think of no example of Courier coverage over the last few years that more clearly illustrates the radical bias at work at the Courier.

Will we see an editorial retraction now that all this has become clear? I'll give nice odds to anyone who wants to take that bet.