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August 27, 2003

Right Hypes Minor Labor Scandals

Nothing highlights conservative propaganda more than their continual efforts to hype minor isolated union scandals in order to draw attention away from the full-scale corporate looting of the country.

Check out this column complainting that the "liberal media" is not paying enough attention to the $650,000 spent on fancy vacations for the President of the Dade County teachers union, Pat Tornillo. (BTW with 39,000 members in the union, that amounts to $17 stolen from each member spread over a couple of years).

But you'd think that the writer would be embarassed to refer to this petty embezzler as "the Ken Lay of the Left", when Lay helped engineer BILLIONS of dollars of theft from his own employees and from electricity ratepayers in places like California.

The simplest difference of course is that Tornillo has been indicted and Bush's Justice Department has still not done anything to Ken Lay.

But just the comparison shows the agenda here-- distract the public from real corporate crime and pretend that a minor union official taking a few luxury vacations harmed them as much as the hundreds of billions looted by corporate criminals in recent years.

Here's the deal-- in any part of life, small business, churches, unions, whatever, there are bad apples who will line their own pockets. It's usually pretty minor stuff and most eventually get caught.

Are all these the "Ken Lay" of their institutions:

Church bookkeeper steals $119,000
Attorney embezzles $500,000 from now-bankrupt client
Indian tribal planner embezzles $470,000
Mormon university official steals $306,000
Energy trader embezzles $43 million

These are a partial list of embezzlement stories just the last month pulled off Google.

The only media bias is that union embezzlement stories often get national media play when they should be consigned to the local pages, along with the petty thefts involving churches, local businesses, and such that happen every day. And in their "fair and balanced" way, the Right wants to balance a few thousand dollars of petty theft to distract us from the hundreds of billions stolen by corporate America.

Posted by Nathan at August 27, 2003 07:06 AM