There’s a stunning amount of misinformation surrounding the oil spill, the responses, the dangers, the facts on the ground, the consequences . . . because, as usual and with the exception of PBS and the BBC, almost no actual reporting can be found on TV broadcast or cable channels, which is where most people get their news.
CNN has been talking to a very angry head of a Louisiana parish for almost two months and almost every day. His way of life and that of his constituents is threatened and he is justifiably frightened and angry. But however authentic this guy is, he is not the story.
Even tonight there is CNN as usual, speculating about whether the Jones Act is preventing the use of foreign skimmer vessels in the Gulf. While Wolfe and Anderson grimly discuss this with people who have no idea and no data but do have opinions, McClatchy – one of the last remaining genuine journalistic enterprises we have – did the reporting.
There are dozens of stories at their site, including the one to which I just linked. From that story:
“It’s a little shocking to me that a president that has such a multinational orientation as this president didn’t immediately see the benefits of waiving the Jones Act and allowing all of these resources to come in,” former House Majority Leader Richard Armey, R-Texas, said in remarks to Newsmax.com, a conservative website.
Armey and the other Republican critics are wrong. Maritime law experts, government officials and independent researchers say that the claim is false. The Jones Act isn’t an impediment at all, they say, and it hasn’t blocked anything.
“Totally not true,” said Mark Ruge, counsel to the Maritime Cabotage Task Force, a coalition of U.S. shipbuilders, operators and labor unions. “It is simply an urban myth that the Jones Act is the problem.”
Kinda love that daring definitive language – you know, where they say things like “is” and “isn’t”. Bold stuff.
And they’re not even The-Most-Trusted-Name-In-News.
(But still, it’s too bad they couldn’t get Donna Brasile or Ann Coulter to chime in. I guess they’re not really ready for the big time.)