Fact-checkers Try to Gain Sympathy by Saying They Get Paid Less Than Grocery Workers — It Backfires


The New York Magazine Union outraged social media users by endorsing the notion that work done by media fact-checkers is more valuable than that of grocery store workers.

The tweet: In a series of tweets on Monday, the union for employees of New York Magazine, whose readership largely consists of effete urbanites, shared testimonials from its members about the significance of ongoing contract negotiations.

  • One member declared: “I could leave this bargaining session, walk into Trader Joe’s, and apply for an entry-level job that pays $24 an hour, which is $4 more an hour than I make as a fact checker at New York Magazine.”
  • The union co-signed the sentiment, tweeting: “Fact checkers are integral to journalism, and yet @NYmag has treated its fact checkers as expendable employees.
  • According to the union, “fact checkers are underpaid and overworked.”

The reaction: But an avalanche of commenters on Twitter disagreed with the union’s assessment.

  • “The quotation highlighted in this tweet is one of the most unintentionally revealing you’ll ever see about how so many people in digital media see themselves versus people without what they regard as the same pedigree and prestige,” tweeted Glenn Greenwald, a dissident left journalist and founder of The Intercept.
  • Tech writer John William Sherrod averred that “The value provided by Trader Joe’s employees is rightly deemed by society to be higher than the value provided by corporate press ‘fact checkers.’ It would do you good to reflect on why that is rather than engage in self-righteous preening.”
  • “Tells us everything we need to know about how the Educated Elite view the inherent value of the mostly POC working class of New York City,” tweeted one commenter.
  • Another quipped: “If your job is bagging groceries, and you make an obvious mistake like stacking a jug of milk on top of a loaf of bread, you can’t get away with it by calling the bread racist.”

Zoom out: Trust in media fell to an all-time low in January, Axios reported, citing data from Edelman’s annual trust barometer.

  • Many on the right, including President Donald Trump, have argued that the public’s increasing distrust of journalistic institutions stems from media bias against conservatives and a high-profile series of debunked stories and controversies in the press.
By We'll Do It Live