The left and their unions…

Last week, far left site Think Progress announced it would be closing up shop for good. Professor Jacobson blogged about the sites closure:

But back in the day, in the earlier years of Legal Insurrection, we wrote a lot about Think Progress and its efforts to smear the Tea Party as racist and violent. Think Progress led an obsessive campaign to demonize the Koch brothers and Andrew Breitbart. The false claim that Sarah Palin’s electoral map was connected to Jared Loughner’s shooting of Gabby Giffords was spread with the early help of Think Progress blogger Matthew Yglesias.

According to The Daily Beast, TP was running a budget deficit of $2.5 million, tried to find a publisher, failed to do so, and so the site was shut down. Remaining staff walked away with a sweet severance package and the Center for American Progress planned to use their own staff to publish think tank content on the defunct blog. The last bit rubbed the TP union the wrong way, union labor being replaced with non-union labor and whatnot. And so the legal threats began.

More from The Daily Beast:

The union that has represented workers at the site ThinkProgress said on Monday that it was exploring “legal options” against the site’s owner, the Center for American Progress (CAP), just days after it shut the progressive news outlet down.

“The Writers Guild secured an excellent severance package for our members that goes above the requirements of our collective bargaining agreement, but in light of new developments on the future of ThinkProgress, we are continuing conversations with CAP and exploring our legal options,” Jason Gordon, the director of communications for the Writers Guild of America, East, told The Daily Beast on Monday night.

Gordon would not go into further details. But his statement appears to have been prompted by concerns of remaining staff at ThinkProgress that the site would no longer function as an editorially independent arm of CAP but, instead, as a sounding board for scholars at the think tank. Ex-staffers noted that under the new system, the union workers who had populated thinkprogress.org with content would be replaced with non union workers; and that part of their actual union contract established editorial independence.

Within hours of Gordon issuing his statement, a spokesperson for CAP said it was shelving plans to keep the site running and would instead have it archived. The spokesperson also said that CAP would end the recurring donations feature for ThinkProgress supporters, which had also been a point of contention with union members, who believed that those donors should not have been required to opt out of giving their recurring donations.

So now Think Progress is really dead. Not just kind of dead.

 
 
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