Journalists' Union Helped Push Nuclear Option, HuffPo Admits
The Communications Workers of America, which includes a prominent journalism union, is taking credit for Sen. Harry Reid’s use of the nuclear option. That option is a Senate rule which prevents the GOP from blocking presidential nominees. CWA president Larry Cohen said that his group was “all over this ” and that “[t]his is finally a significant step,” according to The Huffington Post. CWA even issued a press release commending Reid.
The article referred to the Communications Workers of America, headed by the outspoken liberal Cohen, as “part of a coalition of progressive groups.” However, the Newspaper Guild, which is part of CWA, is comprised of “over 34,000 media workers at wire services, newspapers, magazines, labor information services, broadcast news, public service and dot com companies.” Ironically, part of the Guild’s mission is “Raise the standards of journalism and ethics of the industry.”
The so called “nuclear option,” which lowers the number of votes needed to confirm a nominee from a super majority to a majority was the brainchild of the CWA, according to a Huffington Post article on Nov. 21. The Business and Media Institute contact CWA for comment, but has received no response.
This isn’t the first time that CWA has pushed a liberal agenda. It was also listed prominently among 16 union supporters of Occupy Wall Street. The union is up front about its liberal connections. “A founder of The Democracy Initiative, CWA works with labor and worker groups like Jobs with Justice, American Rights at Work, the AFL-CIO, and Change to Win, but also civil rights and consumer groups, such as the NAACP, Alliance for Justice, the Sierra Club, Greenpeace, Blue Green Alliance, and Common Cause,” it claims on its website.
CWA is an omnibus group made up of several smaller unions including The Newspaper Guild, which "merged with CWA in 1997, as did the Independent Association of Publishers' Employees." They joined the National Association of Broadcast Employees and Technicians, also part of CWA. CWA, in turn, is also affiliated with the AFL-CIO and the International Federation of Journalists. Look for the union label and you find it on a card in the wallet of many journalists.
The Newspaper Guild’s publication, “The Guild Reporter,” has criticized "Republicans," "the Tea Party," "the Kochs," Republican Wisconsin "Gov. Scott Walker," the "radical right," the "GOP" and the GOP’s "rabid right wing.”
The Newspaper Guild and CWA represent more than 700,000 people, including nearly 900 from The Washington Post, according to their own records. In an interview on “Moyers & Company,” CWA president Larry Cohen voiced a desire to create a “tea party of the left” to drive the Democratic Party agenda even further from the center.
Cohen was arrested on Aug. 1, 2013, at a sit-down protest against “the failure of the House of Representatives to take action on immigration reform that includes a path to citizenship.” In May 2012, Cohen spoke out against “the limits of democracy” to enact the agenda he envisioned, claiming that he wanted to “reclaim” the “U.S. democracy” from “the increasing control of corporate interests and their money.”
The Newspaper Guild isn’t just content to push liberal policies with journalist money either: it plans to reach younger people and train a new generation of liberal journalists. In October 2012, the Guild’s San Francisco-area chapter’s intern program sought to teach aspiring journalists “social justice journalism.”
— Mike Ciandella is Staff Writer/Analyst for the Business and Media Institute at the Media Research Center. Follow Mike Ciandella on Twitter.