Pro-Democrat Operative Sparks Outrage by Condemning Amazon Labor President Over Fox News Appearance
00:57 GMT 16.04.2022 (Updated: 19:28 GMT 18.10.2022)
Cracks emerging between grassroots labor organizer and liberal elites were brought into focus this week as social media users reacted with scorn to apparent efforts to drive a wedge between Amazon organizers and working-class Fox audiences.
Outrage among Democrat-affiliated media over the appearance Thursday by Amazon Labor Union President Chris Smalls on Fox News Channel’s “Tucker Carlson Tonight” has led to fierce denunciations of liberal elites on social media for being ‘out of touch’ with ordinary people.
Just days after pro-Democrat outfit Media Matters for America complained “Fox News largely ignored” the Amazon Labor Union’s “historic unionization of an Amazon warehouse” in Staten Island, one of their high-ranking employees drew heavy criticism on Twitter when he attacked the Fox News host for doing just the opposite.
In a Thursday night tweet, Andrew Lawrence, the Deputy Director of Rapid Response for Media Matters condemned the Amazon union president for appearing alongside Carlson, who he labeled ”a hateful bigot,” and supposedly giving the host of the most-watched program in US cable news “credibility he doesnt [sic] deserve.”
But the response received by the apparent Democratic Party media operative (Media Matters founder was once labeled “one of the most influential political operatives in the Democratic party” by Time magazine) probably wasn’t the one he was looking for.
The collective reaction by Twitter was perhaps best typified by assistant professor of journalism at Northwestern University Steven Thrasher, who said it’s “very curious how many liberals want Chris Smalls, whose rising coalition is winning in arenas they never have, expect him to conform to their norms and behaviors—even as their coalitions are consistently losing.”
Very curious how many liberals want Chris Smalls, whose rising coalition is winning in arenas they never have, expect him to comform to their norms and behaviors—even as their coalitions are consistently losing.— Dr. Thrasher (@thrasherxy) April 15, 2022
But according to labor organizer Yasemin Zahra, “bringing the union message to every major audience” is a crucial part of the labor struggle.
“President Smalls is being a union leader, which comes with engaging an audience of workers that wouldn’t normally tune into CNN or MSNBC,” Zahra told Sputnik News, explaining that Smalls’ “willingness to engage with conservative viewers shows he’s ready to build this movement.”
12 April 2022, 20:28 GMT
Smalls, the former Amazon worker-turned-organizer whose David-versus-Goliath style campaign to unionize the world’s biggest corporation’s huge Staten Island “fulfillment center,” has previously drawn the ire of supposedly-progressive media voices for criticizing US Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s lack of support for unionizing workers.
“She doesn't deserve this moment,” Smalls quipped when asked about Alexandria Ocasio Cortez immediately after news surfaced that the Amazon Labor Union emerged victorious in New York. Ocasio-Cortez’s message of congratulations to Amazon workers was met with skepticism by The Hill journalist Krystal Ball, who said the Democratic representative “couldn’t be bothered to show up” until organizers were “on the cusp of victory.”
Within days of successfully organizing a massive Amazon facility, Chris’s historic achievement was similarly dismissed by other liberal media voices. “No one wins a massive union election alone,” wrote The Nation’s Sarah Jaffe, who complained she was seeing “way too many” many people give Smalls more credit than she believed he was due.
As others pointed out on social media, the reporter in question has “never mentioned Chris Smalls by name… until yesterday, after an historic labor victory.”
I was so annoyed by this post that I forgot to do the thing I normally do. So Sarah Jaffe, labor journalist, has never mentioned Chris Smalls by name on Twitter, in her book, in any piece she’s written— RZNWA Media (@RZNWAMedia) April 2, 2022
Until yesterday, after an historic labor victory. This is all she has to say https://t.co/RpKElB7m9R pic.twitter.com/E172dQENjB