LaborNet - Internet Board
Global online communication since 1991 for a democratic, independent labor movement
Home | Current Blog | News Archive | Video | Resources | Back Links | About LaborNet

image image

The Corporate Media Cover-up Of The "Progressive Destruction of the U.S. Postal Service"
Date 13/04/29/00:40

Are Some People Too Big To Name? Richard Blum And The Corporate Media Cover-up Of The "Progressive Destruction of the U.S. Postal Service"
by Gray Brechin

THE PROGRESSIVE destruction of the U.S Postal Service and the liquidation of the public’s property for the benefit of a few resembles a daylight bank heist with no cop on the beat. That cop was once meant to be the U.S press, but reporter Alison Fu’s April 23 story “Postal Service Approves Relocation of Downtown Branch” provides yet another dispiriting example of both the slothfulness of that press as well as its complicity in the crime.

Ms Fu’s article reads largely like a rip-and-print from an official USPS press release. She made no effort to go beneath its spokesman’s justifications for why current management has set the postal service on death cycle. Nowhere does the story mention that the USPS’s $25 billion deficit is mostly the result of a poison pill called the Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act fed to it by Congress and signed by George W. Bush in 2006. The PAEA requires the USPS to pre-fund its pensions for 75 years into the future within just 10 years while barring it from providing “nonpostal services” that would enable it to compete with the private sector. It was passed by voice vote at the behest of generous private carriers and right-wing think tanks ideologically opposed to public service and seeking to profit as the USPS strips its own public assets.

Allison Fu uncritically quotes USPS spokesman Augustine Ruiz as saying that “It makes good business sense” to sell property that it owns to then lease space that it doesn’t. You don’t have to get an MBA from Haas to know that is not a good business model —unless you are a real estate broker that is representing both the seller and buyer while also advising the USPS on which of the public’s properties it should sell.

In fact, the sale of a portfolio of properties acquired and paid for by U.S. taxpayers for over a century and now estimated to be worth between $50-100 billion appears to be largely driven by the giant real estate firm CBRE, a company chaired and largely owned by private equity billionaire and U.C. Regent Richard C Blum. That a company controlled by the spouse of Senator Dianne Feinstein received an exclusive contract on exceedingly favorable terms, and that the sale of valuable and historically significant public property is further enriching both of them would, not long ago, have piqued the curiosity of gumshoe journalists. That it provokes scarcely a yawn today is yet further evidence of the depth to which an ever more lazy and lapdog press has sunk in the new Gilded Age of the 21st century.

[View the list]