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Fox News To California Hotel Workers: Too Bad About Your Back Injuries

Reported by Ellen - August 16, 2011 -

America Live with Megyn Kelly airs from 1-3 PM ET, during what Fox calls its “objective news” programming. But Kelly didn’t even try to hide her pro-business/anti-labor sneering in a short report yesterday about a California bill that would make it illegal for hotels to use flat sheets instead of fitted sheets.

I’ll be the first to agree it’s easy to make jokes about the legislation but Kelly – you know, the fair and balanced one - almost completely dismissed the reasoning behind it: a high rate of back injuries in hotel workers who have to lift mattresses to tuck in unfitted sheets. Instead, Kelly presented the report completely in a “California is ridiculously anti-business” framework.

She began by saying, “Growing outrage over the priorities of a state suffering financial problems on all sides. The legislature in California proposing a bill that would literally dictate what you sleep on at any hotel in the state, requiring hotels to use FITTED SHEETS (her emphasis) on beds… The government regulations would cost businesses and ultimately customers a bundle to put in place.”

The only guest for the segment was Fox Business Network’s Elizabeth MacDonald. MacDonald did note the “supposed back injuries” of hotel workers before asking, “Why do we need a state law to dictate what kinds of sheets the hotel industry will be using – and, by the way, using fitted sheets, you have to lift the mattress as well.”

Not at my house you don't, but I digress.

MacDonald also complained that the law would open up hotels to lawsuits “and at the same time, California has been seeing jobs migrate out of the state” to states with “more business-friendly” environments.

Had MacDonald or Kelly a bit of concern for injuries to hotel workers, they might have weighed the potential cost of using fitted sheets vs. costs of workers’ compensation for injuries. Instead, Kelly asked, without hiding the incredulity in her voice, “So the problem is that when they bend over to slide the flat sheet underneath the mattress, it’s hurting their back?”

That was an opening for MacDonald to take a swipe at unions. “Yeah, that is the idea. It is coming out of the union movement that is basically representing the hotel workers, Megyn.”

After repeating the claim that workers would have to lift mattresses with fitted sheets anyway, Kelly and MacDonald joked about being injured by “the ricochet. “You know what I’m talking about,” quipped Kelly.

She closed by urging her viewers to email her with their opinions. , “I don’t know. What do you think, folks? Should the state legislatures be paying attention to the sheets?”

It’s not hard to guess what the responses were, given that framing.

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