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

by Chris Reed | June 15, 2014 6:15 am

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[1] it[2] safe[3].

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[4] 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.

  1. considers: http://fuelfix.com/blog/2014/02/05/former-obama-official-fracking-has-never-been-an-environmental-problem/
  2. it: http://www.utsandiego.com/news/2013/Aug/05/obama-administration-defends-fracking-safety-again/
  3. safe: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/05/17/us/interior-proposes-new-rules-for-fracking-on-us-land.html?_r=0
  4. piece: http://www.mcclatchydc.com/2013/11/28/209028/fracking-led-energy-boom-is-turning.html

Source URL: https://calwatchdog.com/2014/06/15/6-stories-out-of-317-lat-bee-chronicle-hide-obama-fracking-views/