Finding a Tidbit of Reality in an Unexpected Place

June 4th, 2016 · 1 Comment · journalism

By Arthur Alpert

Be still, my heart!

The Albuquerque Journal just published a story on how Corporate America really works.

Ok, it wasn’t a story, more like a paragraph. And it wasn’t part of a discussion, just a quote.

But I shouldn’t nitpick. Fact is, the Journal, whose narrative on American business is a fairy tale in which major business enterprises just love competition, just hate to accept federal welfare and will never be caught buying legislation, just published a tidbit of reality.

In the sports section!

It came Thursday, June 2, on page D4, inside AP’s report that the PGA was exporting the World Golfing Championship tournament from Donald Trump’s Doral resort in Florida to the Club de Golf Chapultepec course near Mexico City.
Trump himself offered the reality:

“No different from Nabisco, Carrier and many other American companies, the PGA Tour has put profit ahead of thousands of American jobs, millions of dollars in revenue for local communities and charities and enjoyment of hundreds of thousands of fans …”

What’s he talking about?

Carrier, the air conditioning outfit, said Feb. 11 it would close two units in Indianapolis, lay off some 2100 workers there and relocate to Monterey, Mexico.

The Albuquerque Journal never reported it.

And Nabisco’s parent, Mondelez International, announced last July it would close a Chicago production line for Oreos and other cookies, erasing 600 jobs, investing instead in Salinas, Mexico. (Trump has been boycotting Oreos for some time, per Robert Farley at FactCheck.org, Nov. 19, 2015.)

The Journal has mentioned the Nabisco move a few times, including Esther Cepeda’s column (April 22, 2016) ruing the company’s decision and Paul Wiseman’s piece for the AP (March 14, 2016) where he sided with pro-free trade economists against Trump.

Cepeda’s lament for lost jobs was an outlier. As regular readers know, the Journal’s narrative is that there exists something called “free trade.” And it is good, no matter how many American jobs vanish.

(For those who think newspapers should question rather than believe, consider this March 24, 2016 tweet from Bruce Bartlett, conservative economist and aide to Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush: “Free trade is a myth; all we have is managed trade. The question is for whom? In practice, only corporations benefit. Why not workers also?”)

Meanwhile, New Mexico’s largest newspaper plays booster to business instead of reporting on it critically. Logically, then, mentions of outsourcing jobs are rare and questions almost nonexistent. In the news pages and the opinion pages.

Which is why Trump’s comments jumped out at me.

Hey, better a tidbit of reality in the sports pages than not at all.

Tags: ·········

One Comment so far ↓

  • Emanuele Corso

    Add to this the closings of plants in Wisconsin (Polaris, Weather Shield (windows and doors),etc.) and automobile manufacturing in Michigan and what you have is a gutting of the mid-West which has been the heart of manufacturing in the US. No jobs to replace those lost. How this will play out is going to be interesting.

Leave a Comment