Media giant, CNN, was recently forced to payout $76 million to settle a lawsuit alleging a union busting effort that left 200 cameramen out of work. They were represented by the National Association of Broadcast Employees and Technicians and the Communications Workers of America. It was the largest single payout in the history of the National Labor Relations Board.
The case began when CNN canceled a contract with union represented cameramen in an effort to rebuild a non-union shop. Workers were told that belonging to a union would “disqualify them from employment,” said the NLRB.
“This settlement finally delivered justice for workers who experienced serious hardship in their lives due to CNN’s union-busting practices,” said NABET-CWA President, Charlie Braico. The unions were forced to fight for 14 years through the courts at a cost of millions of dollars to bring about this outcome.
As you know, CNN has been the go-to news channel for many in our party in recent years. They have been so dutifully focused on the negative aspects of the Trump Administration and our national agenda, many of us have started and ended our days with CNN reports. For many, they have been our preeminent source of information. That practice is ending for me today. I cannot support an institution, even one that sings my song, if its core management philosophy is one which I find abhorrent. I wish I had known earlier this was going on.
This breakdown in ethics and morality left me wondering what other things CNN has been doing that I didn’t know about and wouldn’t approve of if I did. Unfortunately, I found a lot. The truth is that in the last three years, CNN has reported story after story that sounded plausible, made big headlines that were picked up by other news outlets and then were proven false and had to be retracted. I even found out that CNN typically deletes footage of embarrassing moments to make it tough for investigators.
When a news organization, any news organization, reports a false story it hurts the nation. As good Democrats, if we hear a story that makes our case, we typically pump it out to our friends and neighbors and brag a little – sometimes a lot. When it turns out to be false, we look like idiots and lose credibility. That happened to me over and over in the first two years of the Trump presidency. It was partially the reason I started this blog.
When stories critical of the President are repeatedly proven false, it helps him and gives him cover when he does lie. Some will argue that any story critical of the President is a good thing, regardless of its validity, but that could not be further from the truth. They may make him look bad in the short term and give us hope, but they always hurt our effort in the long run. More importantly, dishonesty is always wrong. It cannot be justified no matter the cause. Plus, spurious stories give us all a false perspective that we live with. It hurts the nation and hurts our ability to work with one another. It’s an embarrassment to American journalism and to the nation.
When there is a breakdown of ethics and morality in a corporation, it is usually systemic. CNN tried to cheat its workers out of greed. That cultural breakdown effortlessly extended to its news operation and probably in other ways we’ll never know. It was wrong and the practice needs to stop. Spread this message. If we demand something better from our news sources, maybe they’ll listen. In any event, CNN will no longer be watched in my home.