Vice broke a stunning bit of news yesterday when it published a massive essay cataloging the ways in which left-of-center news outlets are complete and utter hypocrites when it comes to their support for the minimum wage. Turns out that most of these publications, which have long argued for increases to the minimum wage and against the exploitation of labor by evil capitalists, pay their interns either nothing or “starvation wages.”
Charles Davis reported that a veritable who’s who of noted left wing outlets—stalwarts like the American Prospect and the New Republic and Mother Jones and Salon—fail to pay their interns the minimum wage. Indeed, Mother Jones gave tips to its interns on how to qualify for food stamps, a ploy seemingly right out of the Walmart playbook. Of special interest to me, however, was the fact that In These Times pays its interns zero dollars an hour. Wrote Davis:
In These Times, which has published work by left-wing icons such as Noam Chomsky and Barbara Ehrenreich, is currently hiring interns to do everything from editing to fundraising—but none of those funds are set aside to pay those raising them. On its official Twitter account, the publication has said, “Interns must unite to stop the trend toward free labor becoming the norm,” but it did not reply when asked if such a campaign should include its own employees.
I say I found this of special interest because the face of In These Times, Mike Elk, claims to be a stalwart champion of the working man.Read More