Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Of Union Thugs and Newspaper Writers

The Longview Longshoremen have been making a lot of news lately, none of it very favorable to them. Since they are in a dispute with the EGT Grain Terminal in Longview over their hiring a another union to do the work, local 21 of the ILWU have resorted to vandalism of trains, threats towards the Police, assaulting the Police, breaking down fences and smashing out windows, keeping people against their will by blocking them from leaving the grounds during their early A.M. rampage a couple weeks ago, carjacking a security car and driving it off into a ditch an interfering with interstate commerce by repeatedly trying to block shipments of grain into the facility by sitting down on train tracks and holding up trains.

These are actions we most commonly refer to as “thuggery,” the actions of a ruffian; a hoodlum or as many of say, union thugs when they don’t get their way. You can also call it violent extortion, forcing a company to cave to their demands of higher wages or benefits, or else risk vandalism and destruction of the companies’ property.

Not all unions engage in such despicable conduct, but the ILWU in Longview recently has. Many suspect it was someone associated with or supportive of them that tampered with railroad tracks and shut down rail traffic for hours on Monday, September 26, 2011.

We all see whenever thugs of any type engage in such nefarious conduct. Be it union violence or thuggish teens and anarchist rioting, it is apparent and if reported in the local news outlets, even if not national media.

But how many of us have noticed or paid any attention to any media thuggery?

Yes, it’s there for them too, only we label it bias. From the Columbian to the New York Times and everything in between, all display their own version of thuggery in the bias read almost daily in regular news articles.

Editorials are where we used to read such biased positions but now they have filtered down to what is supposed to be news articles, primarily when covering political candidates.

For example, we need only go back to last year and see how then candidate for Clark County Assessor Peter Van Nortwick was treated by the Columbian here, here, here and here. Some of those, besides the one blog post from my other blog questioning why Peter was not even mentioned in their discussion on candidates, predate editorial endorsements.

We saw much of the same with candidates Alan Svehaug, Paul Harris, Scott Weber an a very confusing slam by editor Lou Brancaccio against Ann Rivers here where although endorsing her, connected her to independent blogger Kelly Hinton who has long stated his opposition to the Columbian on his blog and publicly.

At the time, Brancaccio had set his sights on Hinton in an effort to disparage him over his writing style and content.

During this time we also saw such writing against local businessman, David Madore who openly supports and donates to candidates that share his views. He is also opposed to bringing light rail from Portland to Vancouver and is well spoken and informed in his stated opposition, drawing the ire of many down at the Columbian, here, here, here and of late, a thinly veiled piece against Mr. Madore here.

Yes, that last one does give token mention to others, which is why I say it is a thinly veiled attack piece against him.

And candidates supported by him don’t fare much better in the pages in the Columbian. Vandalism against the home of a forensic auditor hired by Madore to inspect the public records of the Columbia River Crossing was deemed “not news” by a reporter with the Columbian, even though a couple years ago, less vandalism was used by the newspaper to raise sympathy for a supporter of a Democrat candidate here.

The paper has few kind words to say about Bill Turlay, Josephine Wentzel and other candidates he supports in surrounding communities.

Are they not trying to sway peoples’ minds even before editorial endorsements are made?

We have seen several articles in print around the country complaining about tax breaks for business, often oil companies or other large corporations. The newspapers somehow neglect to mention several of them, even here in Washington, sought and received tax breaks also so they could lower their costs and remain profitable.

National print media had to be dragged kicking and screaming to cover the Clinton/Lewisnky scandal in the late 1990s.

They only reluctantly finally covered much of the John Edwards love child scandal, but can’t wait to run with mere accusations when they hear them against conservative officials.

Look back at Hurricane Katrina and it was automatically the fault of George W. Bush what happened after the hurricane in New Orleans with no accusation against state and local officials who actually dropped the ball.

These are just a few examples off the top of my head. I’m sure most of you reading this can think of several more. But my point is media does what they can to sway opinions to their favored view.

Unions that resort to thug tactics are attempting to sway companies’ views to surrender to their demands do so by the use of baseball bats and axe handles.

Media attempts to sway views and get public support of their views by ink and paper.

Sometimes, I think Thomas Jefferson was more insightful I ever thought when he said, “The man who reads nothing at all is better educated than the man who reads nothing but newspapers.”

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