Last night, Publicola wrote a piece about Sound Transit’s policy of not running controversial advertising (a policy shared by Metro), and their decision not to run a recent pro-unionization ad.
There’s another side here. In the court of public opinion, advertising money buys support. Eyeballs on an issue raise awareness, and getting more eyeballs on your issue costs money.
Throughout history, the small forces for progressive policies, labor rights, and human rights in general, have less money than those who profit from employee exploitation and oppression.
The policy that caused Sound Transit to reject this ad would also cause Sound Transit to reject much better funded anti-unionization ads. The ability of a company to buy public opinion is something we have very few tools to limit, and this is one of them. Sound Transit’s position helps reduce the influence of money in politics.
There will shortly be a press conference by labor decrying Sound Transit’s choice. While this outrage helps them get publicity on their issue more than the rejected ad ever would, in the long run, Sound Transit’s policy helps progressive policies far more than it hinders them.