Caterpillar and the Times
The New York Times ran a long, front-page news article about a 12-week-long strike at a Caterpillar plant at Joliet, Ill. The headline is "At Caterpillar, Pressing Labor While Business Booms." The gist of the story is this:
No mention in the article of the company's ties to President Obama. As reported here back in August 2011:
Mr. Owens stepped down in November 2010.
Via Twitter I asked New York Times reporter Steven Greenhouse why he hadn't mentioned President Obama. If it were a Koch Industries company trying to freeze worker pay amid soaring profits, you can bet that the Koch brothers' political activity would have been mentioned. He responded, "Mr. Stoll, I invite you to explain to me how that is relevant to my story about a bargaining dispute at one factory. Best, Steve Greenhouse."
It seems to me that the fact that this is a company that less than two years ago President Obama was mentioning by name in a speech as "proving that America can compete" makes it relevant, given that one way it is competing is by holding the line on employee compensation. Because a lot of people are interested in President Obama's economic policy (more people than are interested in "a bargaining dispute at one factory"), including President Obama in the article might make more people interested in reading the article.
Can any other FutureOfCapitalism community members help explain to Mr. Greenhouse how it might be relevant?
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