Corporate Media’s Plot To Demonize Striking BART Workers

The ABC owned and operated KGO-TV opened its 11 p.m. newscast last Sunday with anchor Dan Ashley oohing and ahhing and gesticulating over how horrendous Monday morning’s commute might be following the breakdown of negotiations between BART and its workers. Turn the volume down and you would be hard-pressed to tell the difference between Ashley reporting the president had been shot or news someone had inadvertently outed the Ron Burgundy wannabe for wearing a ridiculous toupee on air for the past two years.

Veteran reporter Debora Villalon was on the scene later doing a remote at outside the negotiating room. The talks were off, she reported, but not before adding union officials “stormed out” of negotiations. They stormed out and presumably turned over tables and punched walls. This kind of heavily slanted reporting from the local corporate news media is nothing new when it comes to stifling dissent. Just ask Occupy Oakland protesters how the corporate suits lied to create the perception those band of revolutionaries were hostile to the interest of the common person, when they were not

With various labor unions all inching toward rising up in the Bay Area, and all at once, the rich folks are getting nervous. Cue the demonization of public employees. Specifically, those lazy, unappreciative, already high-on-the-hog workers looking for an additional handout on the public’s dime.

Of course, the mighty progressive The Nation cuts through the minutiae with a buzz saw. Here it offers a snapshot of corporate media’s anti-worker headlines:

“BART strike has transit, commuters scrambling,” “BART Strike Hits Commuters; No Word On Service Resumption,” “BART strike: Commuters find creative ways to get to work,” “BART strike: What are my commute options?”

In all of these instances, the striking workers are presented as a nefarious force fixated on disrupting other workers’ commute for… some reason. Probably greedy motives. Usually, these kinds of articles open with a profile of some poor unsuspecting sucker who can’t figure out how they’re going to get to and from work because of the evil BART employees.

Aside from the San Francisco Examiner, which has been avuncular and fair in reporting the nascent BART strike, the rest of the lot have merely aimed to stoke anger against workers.

Now, either all of these workers are greedy demons, or they have valid grievances and striking is their only means of recourse. It’s one thing for commuters to be angry about the strike. After all, it’s a natural human impulse to lose the ability to empathize once one is inconvenienced, but when the media joins in on the mob mentality, it skews the story into an unfair depiction of striking workers as history’s greatest monsters.

The impulse to villianize workers is another sign of a societal divide between those who run our buses and trains and teach our children and the people who believe organizing in the workplace and going on strike isn’t something for them. Movements like the BART strike shouldn’t make us question why workers would struggle for a living wage—they should make us wonder why this kind of organizing isn’t happening everywhere.

Instead, the vox publica has its mind scrambled by the corporate media message against workers which eventually leads to those same souls openly pursuing policies against their own economic interests and unwittingly advocating for a collective race to the bottom.

Thank you for your support, says the rich, here’s your crumbs.

Categories: BART, Bart strike, corporate media, corporations, Dan Ashley, KGO, labor, labor negotiations, occupyoakland

168 replies

  1. You're getting irritated, kid. The reason is that you are trying to get others to buy your fantasies about 'compromise.' Won't happen. Remember the old saying about a union whore in sheep's clothing–you're it.

    Exemption is going to happen, and it will be served up on a silver platter thanks to the out of control laborites. The SF Chronicle has already run a story; KTVU has reported on exemption becoming more the buzz around Sacramento, and finally the latest poll released by KPIX today shows better than 3-1 public support for the position of BART, management.

    You've lost and you are now shitting in your pants. Once the 'longest and bloodiest strike since the 1970s' begins all the dominoes fall.

    Very nice characterization OF YOURSELF above. Keeping screaming 'compromise.' Yours is the only voice chanting your code for give the union whores the barn. Ain't happening in your lifetime!


  2. FYI–compromise is the only solution–I'm not Union and I don't work for BART, but I do understand reality and don't think you do–calling people names and whining get us nowhere but stalemate. It does amuse me though.

    In Case You Missed It: East Bay Legislators Say Good-Faith Bargaining Must Underpin BART Negotiations

    Created on Friday, 02 August 2013 12:39
    (OAKLAND, CA) – In an op-ed appearing in the Bay Area News Group, State Assemblymembers Rob Bonta (D-Oakland), Nancy Skinner (D-Berkeley), and Bill Quirk (D-Hayward) addressed BART negotiations, calling for good-faith bargaining in order to reach a solution before the Sunday night deadline. The East Bay legislators highlighted workplace safety issues, missed revenue opportunities and the bargaining tactics of BART’s lead negotiator Thomas Hock.

    “Before the two sides lock heads again, it’s time for the Board to ask pointed questions about BART’s negotiating tactics, how it values safety and the potential for new revenue opportunities. Respect for the Bay Area working families who keep the trains running and get riders where they need to go needs to underpin these negotiations.

    Meanwhile, we in the State Assembly have asked the Joint Legislative Audit Committee to investigate BART’s financial status. It’s time for the numbers to come out, so that we can ensure that taxpayer dollars are being properly spent.

    With new information and a new perspective both sides have the opportunity to roll up their sleeves, bargain in good faith, and reach an agreement that provides all of us a stable and safe system.”


  3. Thomas Hock, BART's $400,000 lead negotiator who just got back from a 10 day vacation, has a history of causing strikes. Since 2005, Hock has been involved in negotiations that have resulted in 7 transit strikes according to the newspaper. That doesn't sound like good faith bargaining on the part of BART management. I do believe our Governor will call for a 60 day moratorium either just before, or just after, the strike occurs. Thank you Jerry Brown.


  4. The past two posts brought to you courtesy of the union whores, who continue to extort the public.

    It's all moving the public's way, kids. Latest 'Chronicle' poll–TODAY–continues to show mounting opposition to the extortionist unions. By the way, the question being asked of the public that is yielding such high numbers is should BART employees be prohibited from future strikes–read EXEMPTION. The numbers don't lie; overwhelmingly yes. MUNI once shilled your talk and now they are exempt. LA, Chicago, and New York subway are exempt to name just a few mass transit agencies.

    Sorry, kids. BART has long been the hold out and now the day of reckoning has arrived. Also, as for Bonta and termed-out loser Hockock mentioned above, I would expect nothing less of those union-owned stooges. I've always said, and repeat yet again, that once the 'longest, bloodiest strike since the 1970s' begins in earnest, you will see the Bay Area delegation reverse course so fast it will make your dicks drop off.

    As for Tom Hock, a good man, a great man. He more than deserved his vacation, which the union whores signed off on along with management before 'negotiations' ever began. Convenient to forget that little detail, eh, Josie HoMooney? The final nail is almost in the coffin, then all of you pretenders won't have to worry at all anymore.

    With the threat of strikes removed for all time, then they can have negotiations all their money-grubbing hands desire, and I'll sit back in comfort as the trains continue merrily along.

    Always for the public and against the union whores!

    John/Jane Q. Public


  5. This past post was brought to you by the management whore and the anti union troll who seems to actually want a strike instead of a settlement. He can care less about the inconvenience to all the rest of us who have to take BART to work. Read the paper troll, and you will see everything said about Tom Hock is true. He has been involved in negotiations since 2005 that resulted in 7 transit strikes. Only the anti union troll would think he's a good man. Talk about a whore! LOL Compromise settlement IS the only solution to avoid a strike.


  6. Nice post, Josie HoMooney. Your brand of compromise will put bocu public $$$ in your larded bank account.

    No, Josie. You'll take EXEMPTION and we'll continue to ride BART unimpeded. Bottom line is that you are about to be put in your place and the public will be the winners. In the meantime, I'm sure you're being productive by putting pins into your Tom Hock voodoo doll. Get real, you and your whores have lost the public's support bigtime. Your days are numbered.

    Once the whore you are, the penultimate whore you continue to be!

    The public will always be the winner, and at your expense, as it must be!


  7. Should BART unions be allowed to strike?
    Yes, transit workers should have the same rights as other union workers

    239 ( 18.5% )

    No, strikes by Muni and city firefighter unions are banned — BART should be too

    719 ( 55.8% )

    Yes, it’s the best leverage labor has in negotiations

    101 ( 7.8% )

    No, denying transit services is akin to taking hostages

    230 ( 17.8% )


  8. And every poll taken that asks if both sides should give a little, or compromise, to get to a settlement and avoid a strike, gets an overwhelming majority vote. It all depends how you ask the question which of course you know, but won't admit. Still laughing at your feeble attempt to try and bully other posters.


  9. You are pathetic. Even when the numbers are staring you front and center you don't even realize it's over.

    I'll do my part by updating the latest numbers so as to continue to rub it in. Er, make the point, rather.

    Jane Q. Public


  10. Just admit most of the public wants some sort of compromise to avoid a strike, no matter who they place most of the blame on, instead of being so stubborn.


  11. Agree with the above statement at 12:09. Both sides are at fault and I don't care who's most at fault. Just get the damn thing settled and over with. Stubbornness and both sides trying to bully the other got us into this mess. I just want to take BART to work on Monday! John Q Public


  12. After Exemption occurs, AKA COMPROMISE, you'll be able to take BART to work. We guarantee it.

    By the way, please stop using my husband's name to sign your statements. There is only one John Q. Public who speaks for the public, and I'm married to him.

    Jane Q. Public


  13. I guarantee there is no chance of exemption tonight or in the near future, but there is a chance of settlement by compromise. I heard Hock and the ATU union leader both say they were working towards that on TV today and tonight. Hope they get there, because unlike you, I actually need BART to get around and go to work. The real Public Citizen.


  14. I was hoping for a 60, but I'll take a 7–Thank you Jerry Brown–the public

    OAKLAND (CBS/AP) — Governor Jerry Brown has averted a strike of San Francisco’s Bay Area Rapid Transit system, promising riders a normal commute Monday morning.

    Late Sunday night Brown issued an order for a seven-day inquiry into the contract dispute that threatened to shut down one of the region’s major train lines.


  15. Jerry whores for the union trolls.

    Exemption is the only answer for the next time, and there will be a next time–next week even.

    John Q. Public
    Official representative of the non-union trolls public.


  16. You're a whore for the anti union trolls. See anyone can call people names. Add something intelligent to the conversation. We'll find out in a week if this is settled or not. I'm betting it will be, but probably not to either of our satisfactions. The difference is I have to ride BART and you don't. I'm signing off for a week or until this is settled one way or another. It was fun while it lasted, but at least I took BART to work today—-the public won for a while!

    I'll sign back on when the settlement is in place–take care.


  17. Exemption is coming, and yes unlike you, I do ride bart.

    It will be fantastic to never have to got through this again–just like MUNI, NY subway, Chicago subway, LA light rail, etc. Boy, those folks must be doing something right, and now it is finally BART's turn.

    All aboard the EXEMPTION express!


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