However local media only interested in what the president ate
Last week, President Barack Obama visited Zingerman’s Deli in Ann Arbor in a self-professed politically motivated press stop.
The president is pushing to raise the national minimum wage. Zingerman's co-owner, Paul Saginaw, went to Washington, D.C., in January to lobby for an increased minimum wage.
So what was reported about the president's visit to Ann Arbor?
Paragraphs of detail on the $14 Reuben sandwich the president ate.
What wasn’t reported?
That the reason for the visit — to promote increasing the minimum wage — will reportedly result in the loss of around 500,000 jobs, according to a report from the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office.
Michigan Capitol Confidential reviewed nine articles by eight different news organizations covering President Obama's visit to Zingerman's Deli. Each article mentioned that the president wants to increase the minimum wage to $10.10 an hour.
But it was the level of detail on President Obama's food order that truly was impressive: "Zingerman's corned beef, Switzerland Swiss cheese, Brinery sauerkraut & Russian dressing on grilled, hand-sliced Jewish rye bread" was the second paragraph of an article by WXYZ-TV.
The Detroit Free Press reported: "It was initially unclear which pickle the president ordered, but he ruled out the garlic pickle because he has to go to Chicago later today for a fundraiser."
The Detroit Free Press did mention the CBO report in the 11th graph of a separate story on President Obama's speech at the University of Michigan.
Michigan Radio included comments from Saginaw and President Obama on how raising the minimum wage would be beneficial, but it didn't mention of the CBO report. The Michigan Radio report does say "Republicans" believe the proposal "will reduce the number of jobs."
The Ann Arbor News food and dining reporter staked out the deli on the off chance she would get to meet the president. Her column also mentioned the president’s campaign to increase minimum wage.
Although the stories were color pieces describing the scene created by the arrival of the President of the United States, every one of them mentioned his agenda for raising the minimum wage, but none mentioned the CBO report of a major drawback — the loss of jobs.
Charles Owens, state director of the National Federation of Independent Business, said there is nothing stopping Zingerman's owner from paying his workers above the minimum wage.
"And he doesn't need an act of Congress to do it," Owens said. "In fact, any employer — and many do — who wants to pay more than the minimum wage can do so right now. Not every business in the USA has the benefit of a captive audience of well-to-do clientele because he is located in a university city where much of the standard of living is subsidized by the government through taxpayers' dollars. It's unfortunate that the mainstream media was so excited by a visit by the president that they failed to report substantive news beyond what he ordered for lunch."