OHMAGAWD - For many Americans, who love their diabetes and obesity inducing sugary treats, the end of Hostess Brands is truly a sign of the end times. But Fox News says that the end of Hostess Brands is a sign of THE DEATH OF FREE ENTERPRISE!!!!! While the demise of Hostess Brands is a combination of decreasing revenues, debts and some labor issues, Fox News, Fox Nation, and Fox & Friends have not only determined that it's all the fault of those evil unions but, according to the dark imagery and lugubrious music on yesterday's Fox & Friends opening visual, it's THE DEATH OF FREE ENTERPRISE!!!! Oh, nooo....
After the aforementioned opening, the camera focused on Dave Briggs sitting behind a table full of yummy and nutritious (just kidding) Hostess "food." He reported that the "iconic" company is shutting down and laying off thousands of workers. He noted that agreements had been made with several of their unions but not the one representing the bakers that "refused to compromise on a bevy of issues and get back to work." He introduced his guest, the virulently anti-union, Mallory Factor who, last month, used his Fox News platform to baselessly accuse the AFL--CIO of engaging in "rampant" voter fraud in their efforts to help register new voters. He also wrote a book, "Shadow Bosses" which is about how those evil unions are making thing difficult for those wonderful "captains if industry" (or are they robber barons?)
In response to Mallory's question of how he was doing, Briggs showed some support for the workers (just kidding) by responding "better than those 18,500 who are losing their jobs." He asked what the "sticking point" was given that the Teamsters had reached an agreement with management. After attacking "shadow boss Trumpka" who blamed Hostess "insolvency on Bain style, Wall Street vultures" and the media who blamed the failure on health conscious consumers, he asserted that neither are correct. He cut right to the Fox chase with the message for the piece: "It's the private sector unions who negotiated their members out of a job."
Briggs cited "union obligations" for the company and read a statement from a union representative regarding "draconian wage and benefit cuts." Rich guy Factor claimed that the union's position is "nonsense" He cited union rules as part of the problem. The chyron framed the Fox message about the unions being to blame: "Hostess Collapse, 'Crippling' Union Fight Closes Compay Doors." This was followed by two more union blaming chyrons: "Cream Filled Coffin, Hostess: We Can't Afford Union Strike" and "Sno-ball'ing Debate, Union Heads Slam Hostess Over Shutdown." When Briggs expressed amazement that the unions didn't take what was offered to save their jobs, Factor said "it's the unions again, pushing for more and more. They just negotiate their members out of job." He accused private sector unions of driving themselves and America out of business."
While Briggs and Factor focused on the unions, they didn't mention that the company is in its second bankruptcy in eight years. They didn't mention that, according to the union, the company had already planned to close more plants. And despite Mallory's claim that health conscious consumers weren't buying the products, it is a fact that sales have been declining. It is also a fact that Hostess "hadn't invested in marketing and innovation in recent years as it struggled with debt and management changes." Neither Briggs nor Mallory mentioned that while the company was struggling, a dozen head honchos received pay hikes of over 80%. As the company was getting ready to file for bankruptcy, the CEO got a 300% raise from $750,000 to $2,500,000. (Workers were expected to take steep wage cuts and 17% reduction in health benefits.) No mention was made that the Hostess workers have already taken pay cuts.
Clearly there are two sides here. We know which side Fox News is on. But the end of Hostess as the death of free enterprise? Really? Don't the Foxies know that the Hostess brands, as we speak, are already up for sale? Nature and business abhor a vacuum - especially in ever increasing American tummies which will provide a ready market for the next generation of Twinkies!