The Hidden Agenda #13 🕵️🔍



We're back with #13 of our Hidden Agenda series. The idea is to expose the hidden agenda in stories that are mostly being reported on one side of the conversation.


If you have time, reading the articles in this segment will better help you understand the point we're trying to make.

Right Topic: North Carolina Democrats getting paid well

Fox News: Democrat quits state Senate job for new gov't job paying 100g more

Left Topic: John Oliver trolls Mike Pence

CNN: John Oliver's children's book about Mike Pence's bunny sells out

Summary: A North Carolina State Senator is quitting her $14,000 job for a $116,595 job at the state Supervision and Parole Commision. Also, NC Governor Roy Cooper’s cabinet members are making more than the governor.

Hidden agenda: Democrats are getting rich off the government, possibly in unethical ways

Indicators in the article/segment:

  • Mentions her work on prisoner issues as a state senator, then compares it to the similar work she will be doing for the “independent agency”, implying a conflict of interest
  • Mentions the “scrutiny” on Democratic Governor Cooper for his cabinet member's pay raises, implying bad ethics

What's missing:

  • NC legislator jobs are not considered full-time, hence the $14,000 salary to begin with
  • Bryant runs her own consulting firm, bringing in additional income - most part-time state legislators have other sources of income 
  • How much are Republicans making in similar situations?
  • Why is a state senator’s new job national news?  

Background: Mike Pence’s family wrote a children’s book about their bunny.  John Oliver’s staff wrote a book about that same bunny, but made the bunny gay to criticize Mike Pence’s stances on gay issues

Hidden agenda: John Oliver’s trolling is popular and good

Indicators in the article:

  • The article offers facts on how well the John Oliver book is doing
  • Includes quotes from Oliver’s interview with Ellen DeGeneres about his book
  • No quotes from Pence family about their book

What's missing:

  • Mike Pence’s actions as governor are fair game, but the book (by his wife and daughter) appears to be simply a children’s book about the office of the vice president, meant to raise money for charity
  • John Oliver’s version has a stink bug drawn in the likeness of Mike Pence
  • Is trolling Mike Pence’s family an effective/desirable method for social change?
  • Mike Pence’s daughter’s reaction was actually positive about there being two bunny books for charity

Getting paid

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