Massachusetts the sight of the famous shot heard round the world starting the American Revolution was the sight on Wednesday night of a more subtle event that has received little attention by the media. Could it be that there is media bias, you be the judge.
Recently there was a major reporting event in Wisconsin when primarily Republican lawmakers wanted to revise the collective bargaining rights for public employees. The media was all over the situation with major time allotted to cover the story. The angle taken was the Democrats were siding with the unions and the Republicans were trying to destroy the union movement. The coverage went on day after day with multiple interviews attacking Republicans.
Although public opinion polls in Wisconsin supported the move by Republicans the coverage was highly critical of their efforts. Now we fast forward to last Wednesday night in the chambers of the Massachusetts House, a body of legislators dominated by Democrats. There was no glare of lights from the national press and perhaps you didn’t even hear what happen, but here is the significant point.
The Massachusetts House voted overwhelmingly to strip police officers, teachers and other municipal employees of most of their rights to bargain over health care. The vote was 111 – 42 in favor of the motion. The action was taken to provide millions of dollars in savings for cities and towns. The vote was led by the Democrats.
The reality is over the years too much was promised and too much was given away in negotiated public employee contracts. Too often the public dollar was used like a poker chip, tossed in the pot in exchange for union political support. The problem is not limited to Massachusetts it is nationwide and it is here in Connecticut.
It has taken a financial crisis in Massachusetts to bring Democratic legislators to their senses, but their action was required to bring the opportunity for needed reform. Too often voters have been blindly misled, and have trusted their elected officials to do the right thing. Too often that trust has been violated and traded for political support. Unfortunately the media is often a willing accomplice taking a bias view rather than reporting the facts.
It can happen on the local level. In the past when the Coventry financial year end balance didn’t match the beginning balance for the next year, and records of some money owed to the Town was not properly tracked, it failed to make the news. The fact is the problems were in the auditor’s report for two years in a row. To put your mind at ease you should know Republican leadership addressed the problem, it was taken care of and new procedures are now in place. The Hartford Courant reporter said it was not news and could not have happened, and would not be reported, even though the facts were public record. Was that a bias opinion, based on a political point of view? You be the judge.
There is no replacement for first hand knowledge; it pays to know what is really going on in your town, state or federal government. Trusting the media for all the facts on an issue can leave you with only the facts from their point of view. Sadly too many reporters today report a point of view rather than the news with all the facts.