Jon Stewart ripped into Fox News for spreading Wal-Mart’s propaganda against striking workers, and for defending the company after a garment factory fire in Bangladesh killed 129 people.
Here is the video via The Daily Show:
Stewart satirically told the striking Wal-Mart employees how good they have it compared to the 129 Bangladeshi garment factory workers who recently died in a fire. The Daily Show host said, “The worst part of that fire is the devastating impact that it is going to have on Wal-Mart.(Clips of Fox News contributor Charles Payne saying, ” It is tragic. I don’t think something like this will happen again. Don’t think that the people in Bangladesh who perished didn’t want or need those jobs, as well. I know we like to victimize everyone in this country, particularly when it comes to for-profit motivation, which is being assaulted. But, you know, it is a tragedy but I think it is a stretch, an amazing stretch, to sort of try to pin this on Walmart but, of course, the unions in this country are desperate.”)
Later, Stewart the broke down the Fox News argument, “Your first argument appears to be okay, they died in a fire. But they had jobs. You know, I think it is reasonable to assume that your job won’t entail some kind of inferno unless it’s mentioned in the ad. Now, your second argument is this. Your second argument appears to be. Your second argument is hey man, this is just a one off. Which could be a powerful hypothetical argument that I might buy into if moments earlier the giant graphic next to your head had not mentioned the 500 people over the past two decades killed in garment fires. Although, perhaps, you’re just saying this type of fire won’t happen again in this particular now burned down factory. To which I would say, touche.”
The idea that Fox News would support Wal-Mart against striking employees who are working for poverty level wages is not surprising, but the depth of their corporate propagandizing was revealed by their ability to support the company after a fire in one of their garment factories killed hundreds of people.
Stewart’s sarcasm towards the push back against these workers from the right was well placed. After a decades long assault on workers’ rights by conservatives, many Americans simply don’t remember when we were a nation that protected our workers. They take for granted the protections that are still there, and the value of safe and adequate working conditions.
Working conditions at Wal-Mart aren’t adequate, and the workers aren’t protected. Wal-Mart managers are under constant pressure to keep payroll low, so they force workers to work off the clock. Medicaid has been Wal-Mart’s healthcare plan for decades, and if you get hurt on the job at Wal-Mart be prepared to be shown the door.
In many ways, Wal-Mart is a 19th century workplace in a 21st century world.
The Fox News attitude of shrugging off a workplace factory that killed hundreds is the corporate attitude that Republicans wish to make prevalent in America. Jon Stewart nailed it. Wal-Mart is the victim when impoverished workers go on strike, just as they are the victim when the laborers they exploit in lesser developed countries die in their unsafe working conditions.
Fox News: Always corporate propaganda. Always.