Mar
04
2013

Keystone's Endorsement by a TV 'Leftist'

carville-keystone

The controversy over the Keystone XL pipeline doesn't get covered much in corporate television–it takes tens of thousands of activists marching in Washington to get a few words on the nightly newscasts. But the State Department's recent draft assessment of the pipeline's environmental impact got a mention on one show, and it said a lot. Not about the pipeline, really, but about corporate media. The comment came on the roundtable discussion on ABC's This Week (3/3/13). The panel, like so many of these discussions, was tilted to the right: A Republican mayor from Utah (Mia Love), a former Bush adviser […]

Feb
20
2013

Why Does a Climatologist Need to Explain Economics to Joe Nocera?

NASA climatologist James Hansen has tried to explain to New York Times columnist Joe Nocera why he's so wrong about the tar sands, but Nocera's account of their argument makes it seem like explaining anything to him would be an uphill battle.

Jul
09
2012

Keystone Pipeline: When Industry Ads and Industry-Friendly Coverage Collide

This is the sort of awkward juxtaposition that newspapers usually try to avoid. In today's Washington Post (7/9/12), a story about the Keystone pipeline appears above a Chevron ad: Awkward. Then again, maybe not. Juliet Eilperin's article is all about what supporters of the pipeline project in the state of Montana are saying. Politicians, academics and labor leaders are all behind the project. One critic–a farmer–is heard from ("Not everyone in Montana has embraced the pipeline…"), but she says she'd support the pipeline if it was exclusively for the benefit of a local oil field. Is Keystone really the kind […]

Apr
20
2012

NY Times Bungles Keystone Debate (Again)

More Democrats are starting to shift towards supporting the controversial Keystone pipeline, reports Jennifer Steinhauer in the New York Times (4/20/12). The media discussion has leaned heavily in favor of the project, so perhaps this is no surprise. And this report is no exception. The political fight over Keystone has a lot to do with how the story is framed. Take this paragraph from Steinhauer: With gas prices sticking near $4 a gallon, unemployment high in many states and demonstrable support for the project in numerous polls, many Democrats–especially those from states where pipelines are commonplace–are beginning to sound almost […]

Feb
02
2012

NYT and GOP's Keystone Talking Points

New York Times reporter Jennifer Steinhauer (2/2/12) accurately reports how Republicans want to frame the disputed over the Keystone XL pipeline. But she does almost nothing to challenge that framing. Under the headline, "For GOP, Pipeline Is Central to Agenda," Steinhauer explains: Republicans are framing Keystone as an urgent jobs and energy project at a time of high unemployment and creeping gasoline prices, and trying to portray Mr. Obama as giving in to hard-left environmentalists in an election year at the expense of addressing both. Instead of challenging that narrative, the Times bolstered it, alluding to what Republican presidential candidates […]

Jan
25
2012

USA Today: Keystone Job Cops

With New York Times public editor Arthur Brisbane continuing to puzzle over whether (or how) the Paper of Record should factcheck politicians, one might wonder whether other newspapers worry about the same thing. Take USA Today (please!). Yesterday the paper reported on the very contentious matter of the Keystone XL pipeline and jobs–a favorite issue for Republicans. The paper (1/24/12) told readers: Obama hasn't been willing to ignore politics, says Bruce Josten, an executive vice president of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. He cites several instances–from the failure to reach a deficit-reduction deal with Republicans last year to the rejection […]

Jan
19
2012

Dubious Pipeline Assertions Become USA Today Headlines

Today's front page of USA Today: The paper adds that "Obama was putting politics ahead of jobs and the nation's energy security by rejecting the pipeline now, Republicans and oil industry leaders said." It closes with this: Business leaders and Republicans say approving the project now would create as many as 20,000 jobs for an ailing U.S. economy and lessen dependence on foreign oil. "This political decision offers hard evidence that creating jobs is not a high priority for this administration," said Tom Donohue, the president of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. If the argument in favor of this pipeline […]

Jan
03
2012

WaPo and Keystone False Balance

Nation editor Katrina vanden Heuvel has a column in the Washington Post today (1/3/12) outlining the three important election issues to watch–and one of them is about how the press covers the process: Third, the media's obsession with false equivalence: How the election is covered will almost certainly have a measurable impact on its outcome. The New York Times' Paul Krugman describes what he's witnessing as "post-truth politics," in which right-leaning candidates can feel free to say whatever they want without being held accountable by the press. There may be instances in which a candidate is called out for saying […]

Nov
08
2011

Pipeline Protesters Are Noise to the Washington Post

Opponents of the Keystone tar sands pipeline project–10,000 of them, by some reports–surrounded the White House on Sunday to call on Barack Obama to reject the deal. That generated a short Metro section story in the Washington Post on Monday. More revealing than that was the Post's preview story in Sunday's paper, which presented the issue as one where protesters are "noise" and proponents talk about facts. Here's how Juliet Eilperin's story begins: Canadian ambassador Gary Doer has a straightforward analysis of whether TransCanada will win the Obama administration's approval to build and operate an enormous pipeline to transport oil […]