Savor the deep, rich aroma of hot irony

Posted by: Phineas on January 24, 2011 at 2:40 pm

**Posted by Phineas

This gem hit the Public Secrets copy desk a couple of days ago, but I couldn’t let it go any longer without sharing. The publisher of left-leaning (You know: enlightened, progressive, pro-labor) Harper’s Magazine, which is suffering from declining print sales, wants to make staff cuts. The employees (You know: the little guys progressive, enlightened, pro-labor magazines like Harper’s just love) want to form a union to fight to save their jobs.

To which the (progressive, enlightened, pro-labor) publisher replies “Oh no, you don’t!

In a follow-up phone call, MacArthur told Rosenstein that he viewed the union as a “power play” by the staff. “He was very hostile,” Rosenstein told me. “He said people had lied and misled him me about the reason they wanted to form a union, and that the staff was angry about Roger Hodge being fired. This was about Ben Metcalf becoming editor and they were against Ellen.”

MacArthur contested the entire staff’s right to unionize, arguing that editors and assistant editors who make up about half of the editorial team were management and thus did not qualify. Staffers couldn’t help but chuckle at the irony: The staunch defender of unions, who in a 2009 Harper’s piece called the UAW “the country’s best and traditionally most honest mass labor organization,” was now on the other side of the table as the “worst kind of factory owner,” as one staffer put it to me.

The case went before the NRLB, which, not surprisingly given it’s current composition, went against publisher MacArthur. Fine by me; while I’m not a great fan of unions and I think they’ve largely outlived their usefulness, I do support the right of workers in private industry to organize as long as a) there are fair elections with a secret ballot and b) union membership is not required.

But that’s almost beside the point, which is to laugh* and point at yet another lefty who’s apparently too clueless to realize what a fat hypocrite he is.

*Because our side has a sense of humor and irony. Theirs, I’ve noticed, not so much.

via Big Journalism

(Crossposted at Public Secrets)

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4 Responses to “Savor the deep, rich aroma of hot irony”


  1. DF says:

    The NRLB is part of a lot of problems in this country. It’s kind of funny when unionization comes back to bite the left. They have pushed for cardcheck and tried every possible way to make unionization easier. The facts show that businesses just wont stand for that at this point. The economic climate is bad enough without having to be handicapped by union labor agreements. I was happy to see that most of Delta Airlines staff also voted not to unionize. (the pilots are the exception)


  2. Great White Rat says:

    I love the smell of Schadenfreude in the morning.

    I can just see publisher MacArthur sputtering to the NLRB, “But I meant that unions should organize OTHER companies….not mine!!”

    The Communists have a term for people like that: useful idiots.

  3. Steve Skubinna says:

    I hope the magazine chokes to death on the union.

    Oh, was that uncivil? Darn.

  4. Lori says:

    Unions aren’t always what they’re cracked up to be. A couple of guys tried to unionize my husband’s place of business. Luckily it was voted down. If they had gone union, my husband would’ve had to take a 30% pay cut. Of course, the two guys that wanted the union are long gone.