Friday, August 26, 2011

St. Louis Public Radio Report Attacks Minimum Wage Based on Info From A Restaurant Lobbyist Front Group

Several times throughout the day, St. Louis Public Radio aired a report about high unemployment among the young. The report claimed that it was harder for teenagers to find jobs because of, among other things, "rising employment costs" caused by a "higher minimum wage." The segment focused entirely on an interview with Michael Saltsman, a research fellow at the Employment Policies Institute (EPI). Unfortunately, St. Louis public radio failed to note that EPI is actually a front group for a guy who lobbies on behalf of restaurant and hotel industries which, you know, just might have a vested interest in criticizing the minimum wage. From Source Watch:
The Employment Policies Institute (EPI) is one of several front groups created by Berman & Co., a Washington, DC public affairs firm owned by Rick Berman, who lobbies for the restaurant, hotel, alcoholic beverage and tobacco industries.
In addition to being ideologically opposed to the minimum wage, EPI also apparently ran advertisements against ACORN and lobbied against health care reform. Oh, and they also love the honorable tobacco industry:
The Employment Policies Institute, in a 1994 R.J. Reynolds-drafted press release, predicted the loss of 2-3 million jobs if the Clinton Healthcare plan was enacted. The Clinton plan was to be funded through an additional federal tax on cigarettes.

A 1997 internal Philip Morris presentation called indicates PM planned to "sponsor and participate" in the Employment Policies Institute to gain the organization's help in promoting PM's Accommodation Program, a strategy the company designed to fight smoking bans and preserve smoking in public places
I don't know about you, but I'm pretty disappointed that our public radio station willingly legitimates a front group for lobbyists without even noting the group's conflict of interest.

1 comment:

  1. Did you contact KWMU? Wondering if some facebook posting would get a response from them.