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Tuesday, September 4, 2012

So Labor Day is about what exactly?

This is not exactly a crime or criminal justice story, but we did just have Labor Day. And I was curious that so many of my students had no idea what the holiday was (that we had one at all) or why (what it was about).

So I challenged to them to "google it." Learn a bit about the day, I encouraged them. Since, hey, you have the whole day off and all.

Here is what is in the news about Labor Day:

You'll notice that mainstream news organizations such as ABC News devoted stories to the day. Here is some of what they had to say:

Parades, picnics and politicians celebrated the American worker on Labor Day, with President Barack Obama seeking votes from Ohio union members and rivals for Senate seats marching in Massachusetts and Virginia.

But for many, Monday's holiday was a last chance to enjoy a final summer cookout, roller coaster ride or day at the beach. Or perhaps even a stroll from Michigan's Upper Peninsula to its Lower Peninsula — along the longest suspension bridge in the Western Hemisphere.

Politics was a big part of Labor Day, the time when much of the public usually starts to pay attention to the campaigns.

Incredible, no? Not a word about what the day means, or even what it has to do with the political debate in the country about labor and labor rights and big business.

This is a great example of a lack of context in the news, a major argument of the book.

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