Saturday, July 26, 2008

Louisiana Environmental Disaster: Where Are The MSM?

Back in 1988 when the Exxon Valdez ran aground, I can recall at least a few weeks of steady coverage by both the three major networks and cable news (just CNN at the time) of the disaster, its environmental impact, and efforts to clean it up.

But the fuel oil spill that happened in Louisiana earlier this week proves to be a much larger disaster with farther-reaching consequences--yet for some news briefs I've seen on NBC Nightly News and a couple of cable channels, there hasn't been the major coverage it should be getting. Why aren't the MSM taking it seriously?

And scorpiorising says,
it is somewhat shocking to me, given the size of the spill and its potential impact on fragile wetlands, that there isn't more help coming to help wildlife, and to help with cleanup.

In my view, the fact that the mainstream national media have been keeping coverage to a bare minimum has something to do with the lack of help for wildlife and cleanup.

The dire consequences of this disaster are already being seen: New Orleanians-area residents drink water from the river, so many are now buying bottled water.

Also, the Delta National Wildlife Refuge, where many waterfowl have their home base during the winter, is preparing for the disaster's future effects.
As he piloted his boat out of the refuge's headquarters in Venice on Thursday, manager Jack Bohannan pointed out thick black chunks of oil and multicolored sheens near the river bank. A floating water hyacinth caked in thick black muck floated by.

"Remember this is nothing compared to what's going to be happening," he said. "This is just a sign of things to come."

And I haven't run across anything yet in my sources, but I shudder to think of the impact a hurricane would have on this fuel oil spill.

Below is the comment I posted on NBC's Daily Nightly website. If it doesn't appear there later today, it's been censored:
Bear with me for being off-topic, but an environmental disaster is taking place that needs much more intensive coverage not only because of the difficulty of cleaning it up, but because of its long-term effects.

I mean the oil spill on the Mississippi at New Orleans. I will say that Nightly did headline the spill both last night and Wed., but that was not enough news coverage for such a big disaster. Where's Anne Thompson when we need her awesome environmental reporting?

This oil spill is a bigger disaster than the Exxon Valdez disaster, which received several weeks of steady coverage after it happened. It endangers Louisiana's fragile wetlands and could only add to the growing "dead zone" in the Gulf off Louisiana.

Could NBC be practicing self-censorship by keeping full coverage of this environmental disaster off the air, to make sure the Republicans stay in the White House?

Louisiana 1976
If this comment doesn't appear under NBC's Daily Nightly. it's been censored.

And last but not least, there was this intriguing comment by wordene:
This is the real reason why Grampy McSamepants didn't show up for his photo-op. Wouldn't want the Lazy Media to accidentally report some real news. They haven't filled their daily quota of propaganda disbursement.
This article by Huffpo's Karen Dalton-Beninato provides confirmation of this view, which makes sense to me.

(Bear with me for concluding with a quick rant, but I would have included some photos I found on flickr the way scorpiorising did, but I just can't get them to transfer over to DKos. Under one of her diaries, someone said there's a code you can pull up from a photographer's photostream, but there's no way I can find it? WTF? And I tried to see if Photobucket has anything, but they don't.)

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Midwest lover of New Orleans and of all things having to do with Louisiana.