It would appear that if you're an op-ed columnist at the New York Times, you can make up just about any outrageous claim and not get called on it by anyone responsible (if there is such a thing) at the Old Gray Lady.
The column in question, Joseph P. Kennedy II's "The High Cost of Gambling on Oil," goes back two weeks to April 10, but deserves a closer look for two reasons. First Kennedy, who wants to see "pure" speculation by those who are not actual industry participants completely banned (confirmed in the item's browser window title), claimed that oil "extraction" costs "average $11 a barrel worldwide." Second, Kennedy's concluding bio gives the impression that he is an energy industry mogul and not in fact the head of "a non-profit organization that primarily aids the poor in the United States and throughout the world ..." First, here is Kennedy's extraction cost claim (bolds are mine throughout this post):
The man who believes he's got the top rated news program on cable told his tiny audience Thursday that the eldest Kennedy brother was "shot down in World War II."
In reality, Joseph P. Kennedy Jr. was part of an experimental program called Operation Aphrodite that attempted to turn a bomb-laden plane into a remote controlled explosive device.
Kennedy was one of many pilots who lost their lives trying to make this program a reality.
But that's not what MSNBC's Keith Olbermann said on Thursday's "Countdown" (video embedded below the fold with partial transcript, History Channel video describing the mission after that, h/t NBer JEB Stewart):