Media Reality Check
  Notable Quotables
  Press Releases
  Media Bias Videos
  30-Day Archive
  The Watchdog
  About the MRC
  MRC in the News
  Support the MRC
  Planned Giving
  What Others Say
  Take Action
  Gala and DisHonors
  Best of NQ Archive
MRC Resources
  Site Search
  Media Addresses
  Contact MRC
  Comic Commentary
  MRC Bookstore
  Job Openings
  News Division
  NewsBusters Blog
  Business & Media Institute
  Culture and Media Institute

Support the MRC


What The Media Tell Americans About Free Enterprise

Tell a friend about this site

Tuesday, November 21, 2000

Volume 8, Number 23

Kudos... to U.S. News & World Report

None of the broadcast networks took time from their ongoing coverage of the Florida re-count to tell viewers that the lame duck Clinton administration had pushed through new workplace rules that could cost employers up to $126 billion a year. Yet despite all of the political news, the November 27 edition of U.S. News & World Report successfully included a report by Kim Clark explaining why the business community has objected so strenuously to the new rules.

OSHA’s new rules aim to protect workers from repetitive stress injuries by mandating that companies spend money to improve workstations or to take other steps that might be necessary. The Employment Policy Foundation, a non-partisan economic research foundation that focuses on workplace trends, has estimated the cost of the new rules to U.S. businesses at between $91.4 and $125.8 billion per year.

On his group's website, EPF’s President Ed Potter also pointed out that in spite of its heavy cost and potential for disrupting workplaces,"OSHA has rushed through the ergonomics rule less time for public input and official review than any major rule before."

It’s a big story that warrants national coverage, and Clark pointed out some of the key disputes business has with OSHA regarding the new rules. After spotlighting the voluntary efforts of the Cannondale Corp.’s bicycle plant to aid workers, Clarks wrote that "even ergo-friendly businesses like Cannondale are fighting the new rules. They don’t want to be responsible for a strain caused by, say, golf but aggravated at the office. And they oppose a clause that would make them pay injured workers 90 percent of net pay directly, rather than have them apply for workers’ compensation."

"And then there’s the cost," Clark continued. "Business groups fear the regulations could cost companies $120 billion more than the $4.5 billion annual tab OSHA estimated."

Obviously, the disputed presidential election results are bigger news, but the election is big news precisely because the new President will have the authority to make key decisions on the OSHA rules and a host of other simmering disputes. "If Vice President Gore emerges as president, the new regulations are likely to take effect, unless a Federal court overturns them," the New York Times reported on November 18. "If Gov. George W. Bush of Texas becomes President, he is not likely to block further congressional efforts to rescind the regulations or withhold money to enforce them."

Ultimately, governance matters more than than politics, even though it’s sometimes hard to resist the lure of a big political story. Kudos to U.S. News & World Report for alerting readers to a key policy dispute that will await the next President.

Rich Noyes


Home | News Division | Bozell Columns | CyberAlerts 
Media Reality Check | Notable Quotables | Contact the MRC | Subscribe

Founded in 1987, the MRC is a 501(c) (3) non-profit research and education foundation
 that does not support or oppose any political party or candidate for office.

Privacy Statement

Media Research Center
325 S. Patrick Street
Alexandria, VA 22314