While the corporate media continues to give 24/7, non-stop coverage (and billions in free publicity) to Donald Trump, there has been an almost complete news blackout of major struggles of working people. In the U.S., the six-week strike of 40,000 Verizon workers, members of the CWA and IBEW, against the telecommunications giant making $18 billion in profits annually, rarely made the news after Day 1, when both Hillary and Bernie spoke to the strikers while they were in NY for the Democratic Primary.
In France, more than a million workers, mostly members of the CGT, have taken to the streets despite police attacks and tear gas, to oppose the new labor law being introduced by their “socialist” president. The law would impose the same free-market inequality and union-busting U.S. workers have confronted for almost two generations. It would shred the post WWII social contract by attacking pensions, overtime, job security and much more. Yet, the NY Times (6/20) calls it simply a law that will “overhaul labor rules,” and focuses on the fighting between police and a small group of protesters, as if all the marchers were smashing windows.
In Mexico, a battle has been raging to stop the privatization of education in Oaxaca. Section 22, the most militant branch of the teachers union, has been on the front lines in this fight. Last week, police fired into a union-led march, killing six demonstrators. These brutal attacks come on the heels of recent meetings between the President Nieto of Mexico and President Obama at the White House. Yet, little if anything can be found in the corporate press.
The reason we fight for the safety of journalists is to protect the public’s right to know, a cornerstone of any claim to democracy. But the blackout on these struggles is not because these events are too dangerous to cover. It is the editorial policy of an ever consolidating corporate media, in the hands of fewer and fewer billionaires. It’s the opposite of the right to know, and it’s a total disgrace.