New York Times Public Editor Arthur Brisbane gave a dressing down to reporter Ian Urbina’s heavily criticized recent Sunday front-page article on natural gas extraction, “Insiders Sound an Alarm Amid a Natural Gas Rush,” in his Sunday column, “Clashing Views on the Future of Natural Gas.” The benign headline concealed a reasonably incisive critique, accusing Urbina of making unsubstantiated claims and failing to provide sufficient opposing views.
Urbina (pictured) has also penned questionable articles on the supposed environmental dangers of “fracking,” a process used to extract natural gas from shale. Brisbane wrote Sunday:
New York Times reporters Danny Hakim and Nicholas Confessore filed another in a series of front-page stories Friday revolving around the natural gas industry, especially the “fracking” process by which natural gas is obtained from shale and is opposed by liberal environmentalists. This time the scene is the paper’s own backyard: “Cuomo Moving To End a Freeze On Gas Drilling.”
The Cuomo administration is seeking to lift what has effectively been a moratorium in New York State on hydraulic fracturing, a controversial technique used to extract natural gas from shale, state environmental regulators said on Thursday.
The process would be allowed on private lands, opening New York to one of the fastest-growing -- critics would say reckless -- areas of the energy industry. It would be banned inside New York City’s sprawling upstate watershed, as well as inside a watershed used by Syracuse, and in underground water sources used by other cities and towns. It would also be banned on state lands, like parks and wildlife preserves.
It is said that there are no atheists in foxholes. In that context, the recent rise in oil prices seems to have turned the Obama administration into true believers (at least rhetorically) when it comes to the best method to keep gas prices down and the American economy growing.
With oil at more than $100 a barrel, the White House announced last week that it was going to increase oil supply by withdrawing 30 million barrels a month from our strategic oil reserves and put that oil into the world market.
The front page of Wednesday’s National section of the New York Times featured the suddenly ubiquitous Ian Urbina advancing the paper’s agenda against the natural gas industry, as he’s been doing all week: “Lawmakers Seek Inquiry Of Natural Gas Industry.”
Luckily for the Times, it found a few liberal Democrats to keep the story going by calling for an investigation into industry practices.
Tina Korbe at Hot Air has a good roundup of the rebuttals to Urbina’s slanted reporting. Korbe summarized Urbina’s Sunday piece:
In typical Obamanomics fashion, the tax code is being used as a conniving way to promote favored activities and discourage others, in this case, punishing a small handful of profitable big oil companies by forcing a different set of tax laws only on them and not across the board.
The Washington Examiner's Tim Carney explains the flawed policy of a bill that would raise taxes on Exxon, Chevron, Conoco, Shell and BP, but not on smaller oil companies. Read Carney's analysis of the bill after the break, and let us know what you think of this latest move against big oil in the comments.
It seems these days Bill Maher puts his foot in his mouth virtually every time he's in front of a camera.
On Friday's "Real Time," the holier than thou host actually said liberals never talk about nationalizing the oil industry minutes before calling former Alaska governor Sarah Palin and Congresswoman Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) a couple of "crazy" "know nothings" "who both get their historical facts wrong all the time" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
For years America's media have been enthralled by anything that supports the theory that carbon dioxide is warming the planet leading to an imminent cataclysm if governments don't regulate this partially man-made gas.
By contrast, reports that might undermine CO2's importance in global warming, like the following released Tuesday by the AAS Solar Physics Division in Las Cruces, New Mexico, predicting a sharp decrease in solar activity in coming years, typically get either little attention or are downplayed:
Early Tuesday morning, David Shepardson and Christina Rogers at the Detroit News ("GM's Akerson pushing for higher gas taxes") reported that General/Multi-Government Motors CEO Dan Akerson "wants the federal gas tax boosted as much as $1 a gallon to nudge consumers toward more fuel-efficient cars."
Later in the interview, Akerson was much more emphatic about what he would like to see done immediately:
"You know what I'd rather have them do — this will make my Republican friends puke — as gas is going to go down here now, we ought to just slap a 50-cent or a dollar tax on a gallon of gas," Akerson said.
As no clear frontrunner emerges in the Republican presidential nomination race, the liberal media are in a full-scale panic over the thought that the former governor of Alaska might eventually enter and challenge their beloved president in November 2012.
On Sunday, "Face the Nation's" Bob Schieffer asked Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour with some incredulity, "Could you ever envision yourself supporting a ticket that had Sarah Palin at the top?" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
An hour before the disastrous June jobs report was released yesterday morning, NewsBusters publisher Brent Bozell chatted with "Fox & Friends" anchor Brian Kilmeade about the media's spin job on the Obama economy.
[See video of the segment embedded below the page break]
Warning: The following cop-out explanation by Associated Press Retail Writer Mae Anderson will make many readers' heads hurt. Knowledge that she found an economist willing to support it may cause migraines.
On Wednesday's NBC Today, co-host Matt Lauer invited on Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood to tout federally mandated stickers that detail the fuel efficiency of new cars: "Another way to save money is to buy a fuel efficient car and today the federal government is unveiling new fuel economy labels that you soon will be seeing on all new cars."
Lauer asked LaHood, "$3.81, the average for a gallon of gas right now across the country. How much pressure on the administration to get that price down?" LaHood used the opportunity to cheer the new labels: "Gas prices are killing family budgets. The President gets it. This is part of the President's plan – these new labels – part of the President's plan to help people save money at the pump....The President gets it. This is part of our plan here."
Many have noted that homelessness seems to always become a concern for the legacy media when a Republican is president. Similarly, during Democratic administrations, media outlets always seem to find good things about bad economic news (remember "funemployment"?).
The latest such attempt comes from MSN Money, which on Wednesday tallied ten reasons that "you should love $5 gas." While keeping in mind that the media had little interest in pointing these sorts of things out during the 2008 oil price spike, here are the reasons that $5 gas shouldn't get you so upset:
Senate Democrats failed to push through a proposal that would have deprived the five leading oil companies of tax breaks, New York Times reporter Carl Hulse reported Wednesday. Hulse’s headline writer, meanwhile, used the same ideologically loaded "big oil" terminology a liberal Democrat used in Hulse’s story: "Senate Refuses to End Tax Breaks for Big Oil."
The phrase "Big Oil," redolent of sophomoric liberals excoriating Republican greed, recurred deep into the story, from the mouth of a liberal Democratic senator.
People who approach an issue with certain beliefs are generally less likely to check claims that comport with those beliefs. It's called confirmation bias. Observe: Tuesday's New York Times carried this correction, highlighted by John Hinderaker at Powerline:
An article on May 7 about the Obama administration's appointment of a panel of experts to find ways to make hydraulic fracturing safer misstated the prevalence of cases in which fluids from the gas drilling process have been proven to have contaminated drinking water. There are few documented cases, not numerous ones, although federal and state investigations into reports of such incidents are continuing.
In other words, hydraulic fracturing is not, by and large, a danger to drinking water supplies. Since potential dangers to drinking water are integral to virtually every argument mounted against the practice, the incidence of contamination is crucial to the debate.
On Friday's Early Show, CBS's Jeff Glor played up West Virginia Democrat Jay Rockefeller's browbeating of an oil company executive during a hearing of the Senate Finance Committee. The Senator interrupted Chevron Corporation CEO John Watson with a sarcastic reply: "Lovely statement, but do you understand how out of touch that is?"
Glor first noted during his news brief 12 minutes into that 7 am Eastern hour that "rising energy costs are likely to be a key issue in next year's election. So on Capitol Hill yesterday, leaders of the five largest private oil companies were grilled by Senate Democrats, who want to repeal the tax breaks that oil companies get." He then played a clip of Watson's testimony right as he was cut off by the liberal politician:
Just barely a year after it derided the establishment media's obsession over oil-affected birds in the Gulf of Mexico while virtually ignoring the loss human life in awful floods in Tennessee (noted at the time at NewsBusters; at BizzyBlog), Investors Business Daily's editorialists are calling out the press for oversaturating us with Obama-OBL victory lap coverage at the expense of informing the nation about the severity of this year's horrible Mississippi River flooding.
IBD makes great points in the following excerpts (bolds are mine):
If CNN's Roland Martin gives the same answer as a tea party conservative, you know you've asked him a pretty bizarre question. On Monday's 10 a.m. EDT news hour, CNN anchor Carol Costello asked the panel if Obama is now "unbeatable" due to the killing of Osama bin Laden, falling gas prices, and a positive May jobs report.
Of course, the election is over one year away, not all of the possible Republican candidates have officially declared their intentions, and the direction of the economy remains to be seen. But CNN apparently thought it fitting to ask the experts if the 2012 election is all but decided.
Hulse pushed Democratic enthusiasm over the party's latest talking points attempting to place Republicans on the defensive, this time managing to find Democratic optimism in a story about high gas prices and the deficit, without sparing a word of blame against President Obama for either problem.
Democrats are targeting "the five largest and most profitable oil companies: BP, Exxon Mobil, Shell, Chevron and Conoco Phillips."
First quarter profits for American oil companies are jaw dropping. Exxon earned nearly $11 billion, up 69 percent from a year ago. Royal Dutch Shell PLC, Europe's largest oil company, announced it made $8.78 billion in the first quarter, a 60 percent increase over last year. Much of it, but not all, is due to higher gas prices, over which the companies have very little control due to our heavy reliance on foreign oil.
Some in Congress -- mostly Democrats, but a few Republicans -- are calling for an end to tax breaks enjoyed by the oil companies and in some cases, higher taxes on their profits. But the Obama administration is contributing to higher energy prices, which inflate the companies' bottom line.
Here's a non-rocket science question: If you expect a reduced harvest of wheat, corn, rice or any other commodity some time in the future, what would be the wise thing to do about your consumption today? I bet that the average person would answer: Consume less now so that more will be available in the future.
But how in the world can people be encouraged to consume less now? Enter the futures market, which consists of a worldwide group of millions upon millions of traders, often called speculators. Speculators, betting on a future shortage, buy up wheat, corn and rice today in the hopes of making money selling it for a higher price when the bad harvest hits. As speculators buy more and more wheat, corn and rice, they drive up today's prices. As today's price gets higher, people consume less, but more importantly, people do the intelligent thing without bureaucratic edicts. The vital role of the futures trader, or speculator, is to allocate goods over different time periods. And, it's not just wheat, corn and rice that must be allocated over time but all commodities including oil.
The problem is more than perception. As Julia Seymour of the Business and Media Institute reported, on April 25 the average price for a gallon of unleaded gasoline hit $3.86, less than 25 cents away from the record high price of gasoline set in July 2008.
Congress returns next week to a flaring brawl over oil industry profits and tax breaks, with both parties hoping to capitalize on growing public ire at high gasoline prices.
"When oil companies are making huge profits and you’re struggling at the pump, and we’re scouring the federal budget for spending we can afford to do without, these tax giveaways aren’t right," President Obama said in his weekly address on Saturday. But in the Republican response, Rep. James Lankford of Oklahoma countered: "For more than two years, his administration has knowingly increased energy prices by choking off new sources of traditional American energy and smothering our economy in new energy regulations.
The first argument related by Broder shrugged off the problem, saying the rise in gas prices was simply a matter of supply and demand.
MSNBC's Chuck Todd rattled off a list of reasons to explain the sharp rise in the price of oil – none of which included Barack Obama's offshore drilling moratorium – and was "confused" about why anyone would blame the president for the prospect of $4 per gallon gasoline.
On the April 28 "Daily Rundown," Todd suggested the Federal Reserve's quantitative easing measures and increases in global demand account for the dramatic spike in oil, but he absolved the president of any blame.
"I guess what I'm confused about, how is this an administration – what is it that the president could have done about the price of gasoline?" wondered Todd, interviewing Sen. Roger Wicker (R-Miss.).
Back in 2008 then-House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) knew where she wanted to place the blame for high gas prices. “The price of oil is at the doorstep -- 4 dollars plus per gallon for oil, is attributed to two oil men in the White House,” Pelosi said in a CNN interview on July 17th, 2008.
One more sign the Age of Civility is over: an MSNBC host urging Dems to be more "vicious" toward Republicans. Oh, and to engage in more "name-calling."
Apparently writing off any career ambitions of succeeding to the Miss Manners slot, Cenk Uygur issued his recommendations last night in the course of disagreeing with a Dem congressman who was insufficiently coarse for Cenk's taste.
It's always a bit of risk saying that a bunch of supposedly smart folks are wrong, but the economists Jeannine Aversa at the Associated Press consulted for a Tuesday afternoon report on the economic outlook must be taking a double dose of sunshine pills every day.
If we are to believe these folks, the only thing that can stop the economy now is oil -- not the $112 a barrel accompanied by $4 per gallon gas we're seeing now. That's noooo problem. These smarties apparently think it's clear sailing ahead for the economy as long as oil doesn't go to $150, which would translate to at least $5.50 a gallon.
ABC's Jon Karl on Monday railed against the "obscene" profits of the oil companies and demanded to know what House Speaker John Boehner plans to do about it. World News anchor Diane Sawyer alerted viewers that "the five behemoths of the oil industry" are announcing record profits this week.
Using a highly judgmental word, Karl complained to Boehner, "Is there something obscene about gas company, oil and gas company profits being that high when Americans are struggling just to fill up the tank?"