Jun
09
2011

USAT, Baker and Shell: Update

We noted here on June 3 that a USA Today column by former Secretary of States James Baker was missing some important disclosure.

Baker argued that the United States needs to encourage more domestic oil drilling. Baker championed efforts by Shell to drill in Alaska, which have been stymied by government bureaucrats.

As FAIR noted, Baker's Rice University institute receives funding from an array of energy companies, including Shell– which also funds the institute's lecture series. It would be normal for a newspaper to mention this to readers, but USA Today did not.

After receiving a letter from FAIR, the paper issued this correction yesterday (which is hard to find on their website):

USA TODAY
June 8, 2011 Wednesday
FINAL EDITION
Corrections & Clarifications

SECTION: NEWS; Pg. 10A

A June 1 Forum column by former secretary of State James Baker on Alaska energy exploration should have noted that Baker has links to Shell Oil Co., which is mentioned in the piece. The James A. Baker III Center at Rice University receives funding from Shell, and the company also sponsors a lecture series for Baker's institute.

About Peter Hart

Activism Director and and Co-producer of CounterSpinPeter Hart is the activism director at FAIR. He writes for FAIR's magazine Extra! and is also a co-host and producer of FAIR's syndicated radio show CounterSpin. He is the author of The Oh Really? Factor: Unspinning Fox News Channel's Bill O'Reilly (Seven Stories Press, 2003). Hart has been interviewed by a number of media outlets, including NBC Nightly News, Fox News Channel's O'Reilly Factor, the Los Angeles Times, Newsday and the Associated Press. He has also appeared on Showtime and in the movie Outfoxed. Follow Peter on Twitter at @peterfhart.