Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Defending the American Worker

From what I’ve seen over the years, the national news has been more likely to defend flag burners than flag wavers. That’s why I have been so pleasantly surprised by the outright patriotism on display lately at ABC News.

ABC News has been crusading for American workers through a series called “Made in America.” It took The Smithsonian to task for selling souvenirs made overseas. It renovated a home exclusively with American-made products for little extra cost. It questioned the garment industry about why more American-made fabrics aren’t used. It even named the American worker its “Person of the Week.”

At first glance, this might seem unremarkable. As someone told me on Twitter, “everyone knows that junk is made in China.” Certainly it’s true that some people see buying American as an antiquated concept. They view the “buy American” crowd as bigots, not patriots. They see them as out of touch with the realities of a global economy.

ABC News takes the contrarian view, waving the flag for the American worker. It says we could create 200,000 U.S. jobs by simply spending an extra $64 each year on U.S. products. This is as remarkable for the messenger as it is for message. You’d expect Fox to advocate for American products, but probably not ABC.

ABC promises to continue the American-made crusade. Here’s hoping a future segment will focus on the buying habits of members of Congress. Many years ago I was told a story of a long-time congressman who was visiting a union hall in his district. The congressman drove a foreign-made car, which he knew wouldn’t be popular with the awaiting automakers. Instead of face their wrath, he parked the car several blocks from the hall and walked to the appearance with his aides. By the way, he lost the next election.

To see ABC’s “Made in America” segments for yourself, go to

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