McCain Seeks 'Balancing Act' on the Planet; WaPo Does Not

Washington Post environmental reporter-slash-advocate Juliet Eilperin penned a front-page piece in Monday’s Post on how John McCain is "instinctive" on environmental matters, pulling a "balancing act," which means insufficiently radical enough to please the Sierra Club and their media friends. Eilperin’s piece was loaded with the opinions of environmental "interest groups" without any group or any policy being labeled as liberal:

McCain's lifetime League of Conservation Voters score is 24 percent, compared with 86 for Obama and 86 for Clinton; Defenders of Wildlife Action Fund's conservation report card gave him 38 percent in the 108th Congress and 40 in the 109th. When [LCV chief Gene] Karpinski tells audiences about McCain's environmental scorecard rating, he said, "jaws drop....I tell them, 'He's not as green as you think he is.' "

The liberal media loves using the term "green" as a substitute for "socialist." When a questioner on Monday’s online Post political chat wondered about the story’s lack of labeling, reporter Shailagh Murray predictably attempted to argue that in today’s economic and political environment, the left is the center now, not the radical fringe:

Charlottesville, Va.: If I might ask you about today's story on McCain and the greens, why doesn't the story use the word "liberal" at any point? Aren't the environmental groups very much a constituency in the Democratic Party, and aren't their policy prescriptions -- higher energy taxes, higher fuel economy standards, alternative energy subsidies -- fairly defined as liberal or big-government-oriented?Shailagh Murray: I didn't write the story, and I can't answer for environmental groups, but do you think with gas heading to $5 a gallon that higher mileage standards and alternative fuel sources are still radical ideas? That's certainly not the way Detroit sees it.

As usual, Eilperin found no space for policy analysts to McCain's right on the environment. There was no room for a Competitive Enterprise Institute or "green" activist enemies like Sen. James Inhofe. McCain might seek to pull off a "balancing act." But the Washington Post doesn't see a need for that.

Tim Graham
Tim Graham
Tim Graham is Executive Editor of NewsBusters and is the Media Research Center’s Director of Media Analysis