CNN 'Morning' Team Throws Tomatoes at Burger King

     You say tomato. CNN says paying more for that tomato is doing the “right thing.”

     At least the April 10 “American Morning” team treated McDonald’s OK in their report about the fast food giant agreeing to pay 1 cent more per pound for Florida tomatoes. But investors, consumers and fast food royalty Burger King didn’t receive the same appreciation.

     The deal, according to “Minding Your Business” reporter Ali Velshi, has McDonald’s working with a company representing immigrant farm workers. Under the pact, McDonald’s would make sure an extra penny per pound would go directly to the workers – a 75-percent increase in the cost of a bucket of tomatoes. “This is directly tied to McDonald's saying they're going to pay for something that's going to help the end worker.”

     The report took a decidedly pro-worker stand. “It is not easy being a tomato picker,” Velshi argued. Even with the deal, he complained it will take the “best tomato pickers up to the poverty line” and they will still have “no benefits, no overtime.”

      Burger King has said no to the idea, and that wasn’t good enough for CNN. “Burger King has been approached about the same thing and their comment, which is the comment you get from any businesses, not our problem how our suppliers pay their workers.” Anchor Miles O’Brien’s response was clear: “Oh, you can’t get away with that any more, can you?” “Not in 2007. McDonald's has done the right thing on this one,” Velshi replied.

     Velshi then claimed that this increase wouldn’t cost patrons. “McDonald's is saying they're not going to pass this increase on to consumers.” Only near the end of the report, did he and O’Brien admit the increased cost would be paid by consumers. “And the consumer always pays,” said O’Brien. “Eventually you'll pay for it,” agreed Velshi.