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Monday, 14 December 2009 07:25

Pay the Poor Less, CEOs More: Fox News' Unbalanced Attempts at Economic Recovery

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by Jeffrey Joseph

Taking a brief reprieve from the self-created Climate-gate scandal, Fox News redirected its sleight of hand toward attacking those scraping by in this faltering economy. In a move insulting to the already downtrodden, Fox suggests that lowering the recently increased minimum wage would provide a new stimulus to the economy.

Fox News ran the story during its America's Newsroom show, ostensibly more straight news than opinion, where James Rosen explored the issue of minimum wage. Leading up to Rosen's discussion, though, and shown almost throughout, is an on-screen graphic saying, "Lowering the Minimum Wage: Is It Better for Workers?" Rosen also prominently culls from The Washington Post op-ed rather than any specific study to ground the argument that lowering the minimum wage would create more jobs.

Charles Lane's op-ed features a few holes in its logic. Lane suggests wage increases during the recession killed a number of job opportunities, citing another op-ed, one in the famously conservative The Wall Street Journal. He also fails to present or acknowledge studies that found raising the federal minimum wage has no significant effect on unemployment.

Lane and Rosen also fail to mention the apparently opposing views for conservatives regarding wages when it comes to different classes of workers. For people making the minimum wage, a decrease in minimum wage somehow creates new jobs. On the opposite end of the spectrum, when CEOs of financial institutions accepting TARP money had to face the prospect of limits in their pay for their obvious malfeasance, Fox tried to fight it by implying the government sought to regulate all pay.

By that logic, a recession demands that the poor earn less but that the CEOs more directly responsible for the downturn deserve bonuses.

At least Rosen conceded that a rollback on minimum wages was unlikely. However, he states that the implausibility "has as much to do with rhetoric as it does with data," this shortly after Rosen mentioned a single study, the one cited in the Post op-ed, on the effects of minimum wage on unemployment.

One wonders how keenly aware Rosen was of the irony in referencing "rhetoric" as the reason why a rollback was unlikely despite his full and "balanced" report.

Even the portions of programming on Fox News allegedly dedicated to news rather than opinion evidence the unabashed bias of Fox News. Rather than letting their opinions turn out the lights on those making the minimum, fight back and turn out the lights on them -- by choosing to Turn Off Fox.

Please send in your own success stories to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., and join us at BuzzFlash in the Campaign to Turn Off Fox News.