Don't Drink the Tea. Think With the WE.

Hey POLITICO, What the F*** Is That Headline? (Part 2)

Roughly one year ago we published a piece, “Hey POLITICO, What the F*** Is That Headline?” which assailed the presumably party-neutral site for a story claiming Mitt Romney “praised” labor despite his remarks centering on “union bosses” and “union CEOs.” It was a journalistic hatchet job of the most unacceptable sort and awakened me to POLITICO’s susceptibility to transparent partisanship.

Sadly, it happened again yesterday. POLITICO published a piece, “Tea party preps for other Big Labor state battles,” that reads more like a Tea Party press release than a “news article.”

Whether or not you agree with POLITICO’s assertions that “the tea party has seemingly matured since 2009″ and that “National GOP operatives see the tea party efforts as a sign of what’s to come,” the authors’ reliance on tried-and-true anti-labor language reveals its actual intent. Case in point: the use of the term “Big Labor.”

Wikipedia describes the term as “almost always used in a negative or derisive sense.” It is widely accepted as conveying massive and/or corrupt money and Washington, DC influence unrelated to actual workers and their struggles. POLITICO, though, is undeterred by this common understanding. Rather, they are energized by it.

They kick off the bias-mongering in the article’s title by capitalizing “Big Labor” without even capitalizing “Tea party,” a universally accepted and capitalized organization name. Sunday deadline laziness? Or abject bias?

Then, in the article’s opening sentence, POLITICO again uses the capitalized term “Big Labor” despite the fact that clicking on the hyperlinked term leads one to a search of POLITICO’s site for the phrase “labor unions.” Why not use the term “labor unions” in the sentence then, especially given that the term “tea party” is left entirely uncapitalized later in the story?

This may seem petty, but this kind of messaging has an impact in the long run. “Big Labor” is a term that should be reserved for slanted, righty blogs like Red State or, at the very most, the opinion pages of anti-labor news organizations…such as POLITICO.


One Comment on “Hey POLITICO, What the F*** Is That Headline? (Part 2)”

  1. Politico is a clandestine Fox. They are owned at least partially by one of the biggest among R. Reagan’s financial supporters.

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