When reading MSM stories concerning the hypocrisy of Republicans or conservatives it is often difficult to decide whether the reporters are actively dishonest or just stupid.
An AP story by Scott Bauer and a Washington Post effort by Brad Plumer are prime examples. Both concern a tweet sent by Republican Gov. Scott Walker (R–WI) after the Green Bay Packers were robbed of their victory by a high school level replacement referee who was unable to distinguish between an interception and a touchdown.
Tuesday morning Walker tweeted, “After catching a few hours of sleep, the #Packers game is still just as painful. #Returntherealrefs.” If you are a liberal journalist working for the Associated Press or the WaPost (I know that’s redundant) this is obviously an example of conservative hypocrisy.
The Post headline was: “Wisconsin governor fumbles on Twitter: Walker sees collective bargaining in a new light after the Packers’ loss.” The headline over the AP story was: “Union–busting Wis. governor calls for return of NFL’s union refs after call seals Packers loss.”
Both headlines reek of hypocrisy on Walker’s part and the Post even claimed a change of heart that existed only in the reporter’s fevered mind. But not all unions are alike, just as not all reporters are equally biased.
Both writers overlook the obvious fact that Walker’s fight in Wisconsin was against public employee unions and his tweet was about private sector unions. There is no hypocrisy involved in supporting one form of union and opposing the other.
Public employee unions are a conspiracy against the taxpayer. Union officials bargain with elected officials. The elected official wants union support in his next election. The union official simply wants more. They come to an agreement. The taxpayer, who picks up the tab, is not represented at the table. There are no market constraints on public employee unions. As long as taxes can be raised to cover salary, insurance and pension costs, the benefits keep rolling along.
This is not how it works in the private sector. Plumer attempts to graft the American Airlines’ labor dispute onto the Wisconsin controversy when he writes, “the referee feud is fairly representative of modern labor battles playing out in Wisconsin and elsewhere.”
This is simply false. Wisconsin labor disputes involved public employee unions and although flying American Airlines in many ways resembles a visit to the DMV, it is still a private sector entity with a private sector union.
Walker, as opposed to the two reporters, knows there’s a difference.
Another distinction is American Airlines declared bankruptcy because it could not survive in the private sector with the cost structure imposed on it by declining revenue and union contracts. Taxpayers and public employee unions are not involved.
The NFL referee’s union is obviously a private sector dispute being played out in public. And as a customer of the NFL and a supporter of the Packers, Walker is both intellectually consistent and within his rights to demand the NFL solve the problem by retuning the “real refs.”
Evidently this obvious distinction escaped the two “journalists” who thought they had a gotcha story.
On the other hand, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell is the one with the political problem. He has manifestly failed and lost this strike. He has committed the cardinal firing offense for a business leader: being unprepared for a crisis he knew was coming, while debasing his product.
Goodell better hope he can keep 17 votes in his favor among the 32 NFL team owners. Otherwise he might be biggest casualty of this strike.