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Rachel Calvert

Author ››› Rachel Calvert
  • Right-Wing Media Use Flawed Study To Attack Unemployment Benefits

    ››› ››› RACHEL CALVERT

    Right-wing media outlets used a flawed National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) working paper to attack unemployment insurance (UI), claiming that the paper proved that UI disincentives work. In fact, experts criticized the paper's methodology and data, and one of the paper's co-authors admitted that most UI recipients look for work while receiving benefits.

  • Media Shouldn't Be Fooled By Fake Neutrality Bill Backed By Broadband Industry

    What The Media Should Know About The GOP Bill That Is Net Neutrality In Name Only

    ››› ››› RACHEL CALVERT

    Media reports on the GOP's latest broadband industry-backed bill should take note that the legislation is net neutrality in name only. In reality, the bill would undermine the Federal Communications Commission's (FCC) ability to enact net neutrality regulations and adequately protect broadband users and providers from data blocking, or slowing down or speeding up individual websites, and access fees.

  • Fox News Dismisses Paid Sick Leave As A "Giveaway"

    Blog ››› ››› RACHEL CALVERT

    maccallum, varney

    Fox News diminished the importance of paid sick and parental leave for working families and other employees as unnecessary "giveaways," ignoring the fact that paid sick leave policies have proven to save the economy billions of dollars annually, improve businesses, and predominately help low-income workers and women.  

    On January 15, President Obama launched an initiative to urge federal agencies and private-sector businesses to provide paid sick and family leave to working parents and other employees. And as The New York Times reported, pushed Congress to pass measures that will "let workers earn up to a week of paid sick time a year," provide federal workers "an additional six weeks of paid parental leave," and "encourage states to create paid family and medical leave programs." As The Washington Post's Wonkblog noted, "The U.S. remains the world's only wealthy nation that does not mandate a minimum of paid sick leave, vacation leave or parental leave."

    On the January 15 edition of Fox News' America's Newsroom, Stuart Varney dismissed the initiatives as a "giveaway" and a political ploy aimed at making Republicans "look bad." Host Martha MacCallum flippantly diminished the importance of paid sick leave for working families and other employees saying, "What happened to, if you are really sick and you really can't come to work you don't come to work, and then if you are not really sick then you don't get any sick days?": 

    But Fox's dismissal ignores the fact that paid sick days have been shown to save the U.S. economy billions of dollars annually. According to the National Partnership for Women and Families, "Paid sick days help to decrease the productivity lost when employees work sick... which is estimated to cost our national economy $160 billion annually." Paid sick leave also contributes to workplace stability by removing the cost of replacing workers and the risk of infecting other workers. 

    Additionally, The Center for Economic Policy Research found that Connecticut's paid sick leave law had a negligible financial impact on the businesses that had to change their policies to comply with the law. Furthermore, these businesses reported minimal abuse of sick leave policies and a host of benefits:

    The largest increases in paid sick leave coverage after the law went into effect were in health, education and social services; hospitality; and retail. Part-time workers, rarely covered before the law took effect, benefited disproportionately from its passage. Few employers reported abuse of the new law, and many noted positive benefits such as improved morale and reductions in the spread of illness in the workplace.

    And paid sick leave policies predominately help low-income workers and women. As The Washington Post's Wonkblog pointed out, low-income workers are four times less likely to get paid sick leave than the top 10 percent of private sector wage earners. And a Kaiser Family Foundation report found that women are overwhelmingly more likely than men to need paid sick leave to care for their sick children, and the poorest moms have the fewest benefits with "only 36 percent of moms below 200 percent of the federal poverty level" having paid sick leave.

  • Watchdog.org's Attack On Al Franken Confuses Time Warner With Time Warner Cable

    Blog ››› ››› RACHEL CALVERT

    Right-wing website Watchdog.org incorrectly reported that Sen. Al Franken (D-MN) has received donations from Time Warner Cable to accuse the senator of hypocrisy in advocating for net neutrality. In fact, the donations in question have come from media corporation and separate entity Time Warner.

    Watchdog.org's Minnesota bureau reported that Franken has received $33,450 from Time Warner Cable lobbyists since 2009, painting him as a hypocrite for supporting net neutrality as a result:

    U.S. Sen. Al Franken, D-Minn., has made his name in the latter part of his first term as a crusader for net neutrality and a huge critic of billion-dollar mergers of multimedia companies.

    And while his ire has been focused on Comcast, the nation's second largest media conglomerate, he's been raking in cash from competitor Time Warner Cable, the third-largest, according to profits.

    Since 2009, Franken has raised $33,450 from lobbyists from TWC, according to the Center for Responsive Politics, a nonprofit dedicated to tracking political spending.

    The Center for Responsive Politics reveals, however, that those donations came from Time Warner, an entirely separate company. Time Warner is a media corporation that owns HBO, Castle Rock Entertainment, and Warner Bros., among other content producers. Time Warner Cable Inc. is a cable and telecommunications company.

    Franken has extensively denounced Time Warner Cable's proposed merger with Comcast, the largest cable and internet provider in the country.

    Image at top via Flickr user John Taylor using a Creative Commons License.

  • George Will Wonders Why Senate Candidate Is Still Talking About A War On Women?

    Because Mark Udall's (D-CO) Senate Race Opponent Supports Measures That Would Restrict Women's Rights

    Blog ››› ››› RACHEL CALVERT

    Washington Post columnist George Will ignored Colorado GOP Senate candidate Cory Gardner's controversial policy positions on women's rights to smear Sen. Mark Udall (D-CO) as a one issue candidate. But Gardner has supported measures that would severely limit women's reproductive choice.

    On October 10, the Denver Post editorial board endorsed Republican Cory Gardner citing Udall's prioritization of what the Post called "his obnoxious one-issue campaign" on women's issues like abortion.

    George Will parroted the Post's criticism of Udall on the October 14 edition Special Report with Bret Baier. Will claimed that "the whole war on women thing has been really worn out by this point," adding that the issue has been settled because contraception and abortion rights have been firmly ingrained in America for more than 40 years: