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Bonus Backlash: More Media Envy

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Noel Sheppard at the Business & Media Institute runs through a long list of media outlets running envy-evoking boom year bonus stories. The worst offenders: NBC, the Washington Post, and the Boston Globe, according to Sheppard.

Evoking envy is certainly not a new affectation for the media. In fact, the class warfare card is regularly played throughout the year. However, this Christmas journalists have displayed Ebenezer Scrooge-like disgust, finding it unimaginable that people should be paid large bonuses.
The worst offender was certainly NBC. On the December 16 “Nightly News,” anchor John Seigenthaler drearily stated: “Most U.S. businesses – 66 percent – give no bonuses at all. Those employees lucky enough to receive a cash gift will get an average of $837. Compare that to the bonuses Goldman Sachs gives out, a jackpot so big they could give every employee more than $600,000.”
Mike Taibbi’s report followed, and he later expanded on the divide between rich and poor: "But to many, today's version of the haves and have-nots feels different. In the boom of the Clinton years – and I'm talking a chronological, not a political distinction – the rising tide of that bull market truly did lift all boats, or at least a whole lot more of them."

Perhaps more interesting, Sheppard points out that the dominant angle was very different seven years ago. In 1999, the media seemed to celebrate the big bonuses. So what happened?
Media Scrooges: 'Bah, Humbug' To Wall Street's Christmas Bonuses [Business & Media Institute]