Fox Business Network’s Dennis Kneale asks “Are unions out of control in America?” in a segment about fast-food workers striking for a $15 an hour minimum wage.

Not noted: If unions are out of control then they’re, like, doing their job. Their reason for being, after all, is to fight control of labor by bosses and capital.

That it’s surprising that unions can organize protests at all these days—even among the poorest workers in the country—is itself evidence that unions are not out of control.

Also, there’s this:

Kneale is the former CNBC personality who made a daring bid for Most Craven Journalist in America a few years ago when he advocated and bragged about protecting powerful sources at the expense of telling the truth. Kneale also put himself up for Worst Analysis of the Crisis with this gem two months before Lehman Brothers collapsed:

So you’ll not be surprised that this union segment is an atrocious few minutes of teevee, with a “debate” between Alan Colmes, the pathetic liberal concocted in Roger Ailes’s dungeon laboratory, and Michael Saltsman, employed by the notorious Rick Berman to shill for low-wage employers.

Note how Kneale introduces Colmes as “Fox News liberal commentator Alan Colmes” but ID’s Saltsman as simply “from the Employment Policies Institute,” which sounds all objective and think tank-y if you don’t know that it’s a front funded by businesses to advocate against things like higher minimum wages.

You don’t become one of Dr. Evil’s trusted lieutenants unless you’ve got some kinda chutzpah, which Saltsman puts on full display here:

Labor’s not even willing to defend the idea that these are grass-roots strikes anymore. I mean, they’re acknowledging that ‘yeah, we’re kinda backing this.’ I think at the end of the day I think it’s pretty clear that this is kind of another corporate campaign in disguise just trying to demonize an industry that labor would like to get its hands on.

This disingenuous robo-flack also slams Colmes for citing a “talking point” from the “union-backed think tank at the labor center at UC Berkeley”!

Compare the questions Kneale lobs at Saltsman and Colmes. To Saltsman, “Aren’t we going to incentivize french-fry shufflers not to get a better job?”

To Colmes, “Aren’t the unions kinda going to have to sit down and negotiate real cuts in these ridiculous government pensions?”

Dennis Kneale is a former high-ranking editor at Forbes and The Wall Street Journal.


If you'd like to get email from CJR writers and editors, add your email address to our newsletter roll and we'll be in touch.

Ryan Chittum is a former Wall Street Journal reporter, and deputy editor of The Audit, CJR's business section. If you see notable business journalism, give him a heads-up at rc2538@columbia.edu. Follow him on Twitter at @ryanchittum.