USA Today Echoes Occupy Wall Street

Paper uses high CEO wages to argue workers aren’t getting paid enough.

No need for the “share the wealth” crowd to worry. USA Today is ready to step into the 
void and stoke class division in the absence of Occupy Wall Street.

On April 4, USA Today profiled “The $100 Million Club,” a group of wealthy corporate 
CEOs, and contrasted their pay with the US median wage of $40,872 in 2013. A subhead 
on the print edition complained: “CEOs get richer, workers get left behind.” 

Ironically, many of the CEOs the newspaper profiled in the front page story bankroll 
liberal agenda items, something that they wouldn’t be able to do if they weren’t making 
millions. Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg, Oracle CEO Larry Ellison and Starbucks CEO 
Howard Schultz were all supporters of liberal causes on the USA Today list. 

The article blames the recent increase in CEO pay on Wall Street’s recent bull market, 
which “has created a massive wealth effect,” according to article. 

Outrage against high pay for CEOs was a rallying cry for Occupy Wall Street, a 
movement that USA Today repeatedly covered positively. On Sept. 17, 2013, the 
paper published an AP story marking the second anniversary of the movement. The 
article ignored the arrests or criminal accusations made against the Occupiers, but gave 
the group a platform to speak out against “economic injustice” and CEOs who made 
“outrageous sums of money.” In 2012, USA Today applauded Occupy Wall Street 
themes in that year’s movies, while simultaneously ignoring most of the ugly realities 
associated with the protests.

— Mike Ciandella is Staff Writer/Analyst for the Business and Media Institute at the Media Research Center. Follow Mike Ciandella on Twitter.