Moore: Trump’s Carrier Deal Reveals Media Bias

Monday, December 05, 2016

 

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President-elect Donald Trump’s deal with Carrier, an Indiana-based manufacturer, reveals how the mainstream legacy media operates.

When a Republican does something, their reflex is to try and discredit the action. When a Democrat does something, their reflex is to praise.

Almost all of the major media outlets have been reporting on the deal and featuring critics of the deal’s specifics who are focusing on its negative aspects. And the news reporting has focused, in large part, on the negative aspects of the deal. The tone of the news reports haven’t been positive.

Yet, an honest appraisal of the deal would show that it’s a big win for the state of Indiana, the 1,000 workers that would’ve lost their jobs if Carrier relocated elsewhere (likely Mexico).

What’s With The (Legacy) Media?

That’s because, although the final figures have yet to be sorted out, a good ballpark figure for the Carrier deal is that it will cost Indiana taxpayers around $7 million dollars over the 12-year life of the deal, and will save over 1,000 jobs.

The economic multiplier impact for the deal with easily outweigh the cost of the deal. The thousand employees who now won’t lost their jobs will not need to apply for government benefits. Instead, they’ll be spending the money they earn at Indiana-based businesses and elsewhere.

If it were President Obama who made this deal with Carrier as opposed to Trump, does anyone really doubt that the legacy media narrative would be completely different? Instead of focusing on the negative aspects of the deal, such as its cost and the fact that it sets a bad precedent for companies threatening to leave the USA, they would focus on the positive, job-savings aspects of the deal.

Double Standards

When Rhode Island Governor Gina Raimondo announced last June that General Electric was planning to open up a new technology office here in Providence, that would eventually employ at least 100 jobs, with the possibility of “hundreds” in the future, she received almost universally positive accolades and the media narrative was positive.

Most news stories only mentioned the cost of the deal at the bottom, and the newscasts mentioned the costs as an afterthought.

That’s interesting, because on a per job basis, the deal to bring the General Electric technology office to Rhode Island is a more expensive deal than the deal Trump and Vice President-elect (and current Indiana Governor) Mike Pence agreed to. Raimondo’s deal to bring General Electric to Rhode Island also didn’t have exact figures, but the exact estimates from the Rhode Island Commerce Corporation put the cost of the incentives at $5.5 million over the 10-year period.

That means the Trump deal (which has been roundly criticized) compares favorable to the Raimondo deal, which was not the subject of such derision. Spending about $7 million to save 1,000 jobs is better than spending $5.5 million to create maybe a few hundred jobs.

Trump Wins

Don’t get me wrong: I think both deals make sense. If Trump stood by idly and did nothing, allowing Carrier to move to Mexico, the legacy media would criticize him for that as well.

And in Rhode Island, we have high taxes and fee and onerous regulations. That’s a recipe for economic disaster. Until we improve our tax, cost, and regulation structure, the state will be forced to offer incentives and other special deals to bring jobs here. I consider it a necessary evil.

What’s frustrating, however, is the fact that the legacy media holds different politicians to different standards, based largely on whether they identify as liberal or conservative.

That’s why the majority of the country doesn’t trust the media, and is increasingly turning to new and alternative media outlets for their news. And the old school media outlets have on themselves to blame for it.

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Russell J. Moore has worked on both sides of the desk in Rhode Island media, both for newspapers and on political campaigns. Send him email at russmoore713@gmail.com . Follow him on twitter @russmoore713.

 

Related Slideshow: Rhode Island’s Changing Media Landscape

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