6 stories out of 317: LAT, Bee, Chronicle hide Obama fracking views

6 stories out of 317: LAT, Bee, Chronicle hide Obama fracking views

media-blackout-efxI have been whining about how the media cover big issues for decades, but there is something uniquely strange about the decision of the California media — in the midst of a sharp state debate over fracking — to not mention that the Obama administration considers it safe.

I have heard that some journos think my criticism is unfair and/or that I am a loopy ideologue. My response: However I feel (or however you feel) about fracking, isn’t it an obligation for California newspapers to relate how the, yunno, FEDERAL GOVERNMENT feels about its safety?

Of course it is.

This weekend, I revved up Nexis to see it the media blackout continues. I searched for stories that mentioned “California” and “fracking” from June 14, 2013, to June 14, 2014:

Times, Bee and Chronicle fracking coverage

I found 132 stories in the Los Angeles Times.

How many mentioned the Obama administration considered fracking safe?

One — a June 21, 2013 op-ed by Rock Zierman, CEO of the California Independent Petroleum Assn.

I found 124 stories in the Sacramento Bee.

How many mentioned the Obama administration considered fracking safe?

One — a March 30, 2014, op-ed by Catherine Reheis-Boyd, president of the Western States Petroleum Association.

The Bee ran a piece from McClatchy’s D.C. bureau in late November 2013 that didn’t even raise the question of fracking’s safety; it just pointed out how widely used it was and how it was transforming the economy of several states.

So I guess that one counts, giving the Bee two stories that give the Obama perspective on fracking safety.

I found 61 stories in the San Francisco Chronicle.

How many mentioned the Obama administration considered fracking safe?

Two, by staff reporter David R. Baker. Another Baker piece describes Obama as a fracking supporter.

So that gives the Chronicle three.

So there were 317 stories mentioning “California” and “fracking” for the past year, and only six mentioned that the Obama administration considers if safe — and two of those were op-eds from oil trade association executives and one was a wire story.

So only Baker’s three stories amount to staff-produced journalism on California and fracking from the state’s three most influential newspapers that noted the profoundly important fact that the greenest administration in U.S. history sides with those who say fracking is safe.

Draw your own conclusions. Sure looks like groupthink to me.

Green, please-the-Sierra-Club groupthink.


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  1. Dana Law
    Dana Law 15 June, 2014, 07:11

    You are not a “Loopy Idealogue” but you’re rightly obsessed with the bias against fracking. This “received wisdom” on fracking is sad because normally the news is in lock step with the administration.
    I hope you win because we have to live in Lovely San Diego for the rest of our lives and we want the economy to stay strong.
    Dana Law
    El Cajon

    Reply this comment
  2. Ulysses Uhaul
    Ulysses Uhaul 15 June, 2014, 08:20

    “Lovely San Diego”

    The most politically inept city on the West…..Brady Bunch tacky over priced hotels, skimpy goldfish tacos, a local culinary scene that makes one gag, traffic from hell and a early California themed Old Town full off modern Chinese trinkets.

    Pack and Ship….at least for your kids’ sake-

    Reply this comment
    • Dana Law
      Dana Law 15 June, 2014, 10:05

      Let’s not be too cynical. My kids are young adults. Starting their new and already successful lives. We have to fix these problems as best we can. If we “pack and ship” we are letting them down. We can’t shout “get off my lawn.”
      We have to face our local problems and “never quit.”
      El Cajon

      Reply this comment
  3. Seanmorhamcpoly
    Seanmorhamcpoly 15 June, 2014, 17:42

    U ahaule, Stop your doomer talk you captalist pig, trying to pump the ahaule biz.

    Reply this comment
  4. Ulysses Uhaul
    Ulysses Uhaul 15 June, 2014, 21:22

    Touchee touchee….we appreciate your business and we are patient. You’ll come around and Pack and Ship with us.

    Reply this comment
  5. Ken
    Ken 15 June, 2014, 23:14

    For whackos’ sake people, the article was about fracking not “pack and ship.” R U all nuts?

    Reply this comment
  6. Queeg
    Queeg 16 June, 2014, 08:08

    Ken who cares what the propaganda is…You’re ruled,…..fattened and cleaned out by big box stores with Chinese trinkets…wake up Kenny…..

    Reply this comment

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