The manufactured media coverage of Trump's fake "labor rally"
It's the latest episode of a dark-money funded propaganda campaign to co-opt socialism.
President Joe Biden and former president Donald Trump, over the past week, have both flown out to Detriot to address striking auto workers at the UAW picket line. At least that’s what the media would have you believe. But as left journalists like Adam Johnson and Alex Press have noted repeatedly, this is a gross misrepresentation of what’s actually happening: as local media explained, Trump’s event was
at a facility in Macomb County… Trump previously labeled his remarks as showing solidarity with the UAW workers on strike. However, he'll be giving his speech from a non-union auto parts plant at an event that is invite-only.
The event is also being sponsored by the decidedly anti-UAW National Right to Work Committee, though good luck finding coverage mentioning that.
A lot of folks on the left have been watching in frustration and bewilderment as mainstream media outlets persistently advance this frame of dueling union rallies. Adam, in his coverage, floats three different explanations. The first seems to be something like lazyness or incompetence: this coverage is another example of “the typical inadequacies” of the media in its reporting on Trump. Entirely possible that something like this is going on: reading The Washington Examiner’s coverage of the Trump rally, for example, it’s hard not to suspect that the NRWC just sent reporter Andrew Hensel a press release and offered him so quotes. The second has to do with a kind of elitist anti-workerism in the media “that views wage workers as composed of easily manipulated yokels and/or racists”. This one seems plausible too, for reasons with which anyone who lived through the “economic anxiety” debates over Trump’s 2016 win should be more than familiar.
But the most important explanation, I think, is one that Adam touches on in another article:
Every few years, the public is force fed another manufactured attempt to rebrand the GOP as a party that is “no longer in lockstep with corporate America” and is “newly focused on winning over more of the working class.”
From here, Adam talks about how this has played out in the rhetoric of a few Senators; but to appreciate why so much of the mainstream media has bought into it, I think a broader perspective is in order.