Well the big day has come and gone. Massive protests in LA, Chicago, New York. A veritable general strike. How’s the media doing with it? Not so well.
Maybe it’s just naive to think that something as big as these protests will be the number one headline on NPR the next day. After all, yesterday’s noon NPR report was from Phoenix–reporting that the human chain demonstration there had been cancelled for “safety reasons.” That was it–nothing about the hundreds of thousands of people marching at that very moment in Chicago.
But still, I was a little shocked with this morning’s 8 AM headlines on Morning Edition started with … the resignation of Italy’s Prime Minister! Okay, sure, that’s an important story, and it’s good for American media to highlight international news. But come on! Perhaps a million people on the streets in one day? Sorry, doesn’t make the lead story. Somebody at NPR is chicken.
So how are the online newspapers doing? New York Times: Berlusconi leads, immigrant protests below the “fold.” Washington Post: Bird Flu is #1 story, immigrants #2 (“Although the protests caught the nation’s attention, the economic impact was mixed, as many immigrants heeded the call of some leaders
not to jeopardize their jobs, and businesses adopted strategies to cope
with absent employees.”). Alternatively, Slate has a piece by historian Nelson Lichtenstein on the significance of May Day.
The Chicago Tribune’s front page downplays the march, but there is some content. Eric Zorn’s blog is a bit goofy. He can’t figure out what the immigrants want until he sees a 13 year old girl with a t-shirt that says “Don’t Take Away My Dream.” He concludes, America is “a nation of laws, it’s true, but we’re also a nation of
dreams–the greatest such nation ever. And our laws should reflect that.” True enough. The Trib’s editorial is similarly middle of the road, calling on the Senate to act on “the emerging American consensus on immigration reform”–i.e., some mix of crackdown, amnesty, and guest worker program.
Not surprisingly, the LA Times has the best coverage on the issue. They lead with “Next Challenge: Converting Protests to Political Clout.” And they have a series of photo galleries, and a series of related articles.
As usual, the best stories on on Indymedia sites. LA Indymedia has great photographs, and an interview with the leader of the port truck drivers who claim to have organized a 90% effective strike.
The most bizarre thing I heard last night–did I hear this right?–Bush commented on the boycott saying something like “we don’t want to lose our soul.” How’s
that for antiworker opinion. Go on strike, lose your soul. Did anyone else hear that?