Friday, February 25, 2011
Unions and teacher representatives shut out of Sunday talk shows while Governors are booked...
Though thousands of Americans have turned out this week to show solidarity with Wisconsin's public employees and oppose a threat to their collective bargaining rights, union officials say they have not been able to place a labor voice on this Sunday's editions of the weekly public-affairs TV shows. The shows' producers, they complain, are shutting out the workers' perspective.
A union official told The Huffington Post that when none of the Sunday shows' producers reached out to them to book a labor representative this week, several unions started to pitch the shows with affected workers and local and national leaders who they felt could discuss the protests. The official said the response from the shows was essentially "thanks, but no thanks."
"If you're a Sunday show and there are labor fights going on for two weeks, if you can just book ... Chris Christie, why would you actually go out and get somebody who is actually involved in this? That would be work!" snarked the official, adding, "Everybody's been pushing, and everybody's been shut down."
The Huffington Post reached out to officials at Fox News, NBC, ABC, CNN and CBS. NBC News spokesperson Erika Masonhall said the lineup for this weekend's "Meet the Press" will not be final until Friday and "will highlight a number of topics and include a variety of guests and opinions." An official at another network said their show's guest roster had likewise not been set and a labor representative could still be included. Additionally, there's a chance that not every show will cover the protests this week -- and would therefore be unlikely to have on a labor official -- just as not every show covered the topic last week.