That’s how George Soros must feel. He sent one of this minions from Think Progress to Boston to stalk David Koch at the opening of the David H. Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, to which Mr. Koch contributed $100 million. We reported on the event here. The Think Progress guy no doubt had his Flip camera running the whole time, but all he could come up with was a few seconds where David Koch runs in to Senator Scott Brown, and Brown notes that Koch supported his candidacy in 2009 and says, “I can certainly use it again.” A reader sent me the link with the comment, “Wow, this is weak.”
Even NPR was unimpressed by the cub reporter’s scoop. One wonders what was on the rest of the video, if this was the best Think Progress could come up with. Footage of cancer survivors thanking David Koch for his efforts to battle that dreaded disease? Doctors thanking Koch for his extraordinary generosity? Koch talking about his commitment to continue as a leader in supporting scientific research? Come on, Think Progress, let’s see the rest of the tape!
Actually there was one news outlet that seemed to believe that Think Progress’s video vignette was newsworthy: the Boston Globe, which reported:
The liberal blog Think Progress has posted exclusive video [Ed.: Exclusive!] of US Senator Scott Brown thanking conservative billionaire David Koch for supporting Brown’s campaign last year — and asking him for help in his re-election.
The Globe goes into the biography of the Think Progress minion who shot the video in some detail and identifies the camera he used, but the story is a little short on information about David Koch. It does mention the potentially illegal hoax call that a liberal activist made to Governor Scott Walker, but it never mentions unions. Hmm. Odd. Seems like all the attacks we’ve seen lately on the Koch brothers try to portray them as union-busters.
I dunno, somehow it rings a bell. Boston Globe, unions…Boston Globe, unions. Now it all comes back to me! The New York Times Company bought the Boston Globe in 1993 for $1.1 billion. Unfortunately, the value of the Globe plummeted thereafter, to the point where the Times Company considered putting the Globe into bankruptcy or selling it for $1 like Newsweek.
But the Times Company and the Globe found a better way. We reported on it in 2009:
The New York Times Company is threatening to shut down the Boston Globe:
The New York Times Co has threatened to shut The Boston Globe unless the newspaper’s unions agree to $20 million in concessions, The Boston Globe reported, quoting union leaders.
This contemporaneous New York Times story has more details on the deal that ultimately saved the Boston Globe from extinction:
The stare-down between The New York Times Company and workers at The Boston Globe reached its crucial moment Wednesday when the newspaper’s largest union agreed to vote on a package of painful wage, benefit and job security concessions that would head off the threatened closure of one of America’s premier newspapers, but could also presage significant layoffs. …
For the more than 600 Guild members at The Globe, whose pay has already been frozen for several years, the price of survival is steep, as described by several people briefed on the possible deal….
[T]he people briefed on the deal said the package included a pay cut of at least 8 percent — as much as 8.5 percent by some accounts — and an unpaid, one-week furlough this year, equivalent to an additional 2 percent pay cut. Company contributions to retirement plans would be eliminated, with limited exceptions for older employees.
Perhaps more important to the company — and to a potential buyer — the Guild would agree to end lifetime job guarantees for employees who started working at The Globe before 1992, in return for improved severance packages for those workers. That would make it easier to lay people off. Union leaders have said the company has made it clear that more layoffs are on the way.
Eight percent pay cuts! Unpaid furloughs! Zero employer contributions to retirement plans! And with all that, more layoffs on the way. Quick, someone tell Scott Walker! He needs to learn a lesson from people who really know how to crush a union: the New York Times and the Boston Globe.
Meanwhile, if I were George Soros, I would be asking whether I’m getting my money’s worth from the gang at Think Progress. George sent one of his employees to Boston, and he came back with a lousy video of a politician telling a supporter he hopes he can count on him again? Pathetic! He should have bought George a t-shirt.