2. Companywide, our goal is to cover the news impartially and to treat readers, news sources, advertisers and all parts of our society fairly and openly, and to be seen as doing so. The reputation of our company rests upon that perception, and so do the professional reputations of its staff members. Thus the company, its separate business units and members of its newsrooms and editorial pages share an interest in avoiding conflicts of interest or any appearance of conflict.
The New York Times has seen fit to publish numerous editorials and OpEd pieces about the budget reform bill in Wisconsin. But when the actual maker of the news, the villain to their union heroes requests equal time, the New York Times decides that the public does not need to read it. The following is an excerpt from an OpEd piece by Wisconsin governor Scott Walker that the New York Times did not think was newsworthy.
Most workers outside of government would love our proposal. Over the past several months, I have visited numerous factories and small businesses across Wisconsin. On these tours, workers tell me that they pay anywhere from 15% to 50% of their health insurance premium costs. The average middle class worker is paying more than 20% of his or her premium.
Even federal employees pay more than twice what we are asking state and local government workers to pay and most of them don’t have collective bargaining for wages or benefits. These facts beg the question as to why the protesters are in Wisconsin and not in Washington, D.C. By nearly any measure, our requests are quite reasonable.
Beyond helping to balance current and future budgets, our reforms will improve the quality of our governments. No longer will hiring and firing be done solely based on seniority and union contracts. Instead, schools – as well as state and local governments – will be able to make decisions based on merit and performance.
This concept works well in Indiana. In 2005, Governor Mitch Daniels reformed collective bargaining. In turn, the government got more efficient, more effective and more accountable to the public. Governor Daniels even encouraged employees to come forward with ways to save taxpayer dollars and they responded. Eventually, the state was able to reward top performing employees. This is true reform – making government work for the people.
A recent columnist on these pages opined that “common problems deserve common solutions” suggesting that Republicans and Democrats work together. In principle, that is a good idea.
Since January 3rd, we passed some of the most aggressive economic development legislation in the country. And on nearly every measure, many Democrats joined with all of the Republicans and an Independent to vote in favor of the various pieces of legislation. The Wisconsin legislature recognized that we are growing, not Republican or Democratic jobs, butWisconsin jobs. Together, we worked to show that Wisconsin is open for business.
But sometimes, bi-partisanship is not so good. During several of the past budgets, members of both political parties raided segregated funds, used questionable accounting principles and deferred tough decisions. This, along with the use of billions of dollars worth of one-time federal stimulus money for the budget two years ago, left Wisconsin with the current $3.6 billion deficit.
The more I see tactics like this from the left (and this is nothing new for the Times) the more I think this is an issue on which the public will see reason (if they don’t already). The left does not rebut the numbers when discussing this issue. They can’t. They don’t recognize the fact that other states and indeed the federal government has less generous plans in place for their public sector workers. They can’t. And they refuse to acknowledge the appalling behavior of their own side (death threats, teachers closing schools in order to protest, lawmakers fleeing the state rather than vote).
Now they are suppressing the story, in true Mainstream Media fashion. I encourage you to click the link and read what the Times does not want you to see. It’s not powerful or groundbreaking. It’s a simple description of one side of the issue. But it’s not THE side of the issue as far as the Times is concerned.