ONE MAN’S VIEW: Trump’s AT&T boycott puts union families at risk

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The self-proclaimed “advocate of the working man” is putting 150,000 union families at risk in yet another personal vendetta crosshair when he urges Americans to boycott AT&T simply because he doesn’t like the candid coverage of his presidency on CNN.

AT&T is the parent company of CNN. CWA represents more than 150,000 workers at AT&T, including 45,000 at AT&T Mobility nationwide; 9,000 at DIRECTV and 2,000 at AT&T Internet. CWA members work as technicians, customer service and call center representatives, and at retail stores. AT&T Southwest represents Missouri CWA members and AT&T Midwest in Illinois.

“I believe that if people stoped [sic] using or subscribing to AT&T, they would be forced to make big changes at CNN, which is dying in the ratings anyway,” Trump tweeted. “It is so unfair with such bad, Fake News!”

THE BULLY PULPIT
What is going on here? Using the bully pulpit by presidents was usually reserved for promoting the public welfare, rallying our nation in times of crisis, or promoting a positive issue that would benefit Americans.

Not this president. And that’s an American tragedy.

“For the president to try to tilt the marketplace in favor of one outlet or another is dangerous to our democracy and the marketplace of ideas,” said Gene Kimmelman, president of Public Knowledge, a Washington-based consumer advocacy group who was a former Justice Department antitrust official.

“ He wants to sanction — and he wants the public more importantly to sanction — news organizations that produce news coverage that he doesn’t like,” said Timothy Naftali, a New York University historian and a CNN contributor. “The frequency and intensity of it (criticism of news outlets) is unusual.” That’s the understatement of the week!

CWA RESPONDS
Notes the CWA: We support the journalists at CNN who work hard every day and play a critical role in our democracy,” CWA Communications Director Beth Allen responded to the Labor Tribune, adding, “Trump is so concerned about how he is portrayed on television that he’s ignoring the real story at AT&T - how they promised to create jobs with their tax cut but have instead cut over 23,000 jobs since the tax cut passed.”

Trump’s continuing criticism of all news gathering organizations is an attempt to undermine democracy by creating a distrust of the very originations that work hard to keep the government honest by exposing its failures, shortcomings and dishonesty whenever and wherever it occurs. And too, patting the government on the back when it’s successful in working to make America and the world better for all of us.

NOT THE FIRST TIME
And this is not the first time he’s threatened American families.

  • Threatened Ford and General Motors for not moving all auto production to the United States.
  • Argued that Amazon should be paying higher postage rates — a swipe at the tech giant’s founder and chief executive, Jeff Bezos, who also owns The Washington Post, a paper whose extensive investigative reporting has exposed the serious shortcomings of the president and his terrible, unqualified, department appointments.
  • Criticized Harley Davidson after the motorcycle maker announced it would shift some production overseas because of Trump’s trade policy. The company estimated at the time that Trump’s steel and aluminum tariffs would cost it $20 million, and that retaliatory tariffs could tack on an additional $45 million, though the company said the move would have no effect on U.S. jobs.

WHAT ABOUT HIS PRODUCTS?
Juxtaposition this against the fact that most, if not almost all, of the various products made with the Trump name, as well as his daughter’s clothing company, are not made in the United States!

Have you heard anything about their coming back to be produced in America? I haven’t. Think about it.

He makes these kinds of threats to direct attention away for his own failures, but in doing so, he puts the lives, and jobs, of millions of Americans and union families at risk.

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