The national trade association of the oil and natural gas industry, the American Petroleum Institute, is running a TV commercial touting America as the new “Energy Superpower” because the U.S. is now the world’s #1 producer of natural gas. The ad says that, “The new energy superpower is red, white and blue.” It gives credit for this achievement to the industry’s growing use of the controversial practice of underground hydraulic fracturing.
But the environmental group No Fracking Way says that fracking causes groundwater pollution, earthquakes, and increased methane emissions. They complain that the TV commercial is being used to deceptively justify the further expansion of fracking.
“The fossil fuel industry is also lying about the biggest reason natural gas production has increased,” said the group’s spokesperson. “The real reason is the growing number of blathering TV show hosts on the Fox News Channel.”
Law enforcement officers in Pennsylvania are still searching the Pocono Mountains for Eric Frein, who they believe ambushed troopers at the Pennsylvania State Police barracks in Blooming Grove on September 12th, killing one and wounding another. Police say that Frein, who is reportedly a skilled marksman with outdoor survival skills, planned the attack and his subsequent escape for a long time. It’s been reported that Frein had a vendetta against law enforcement because he hated the federal government.
Frein isn’t the only antigovernment right-wing extremist to kill a policeman this year. In June, Jared Miller and his wife Amanda shot two police officers at close range while the cops were eating lunch in Las Vegas, Nevada. The Millers dragged the dead policemen out of the restaurant booth and covered them with a Gadsden flag, a symbol that’s popular with the Tea party movement. They also left a swastika and a note that said, “The revolution is beginning.”
The Millers then fled to a nearby Walmart where Jerad fired a shot at the ceiling to get everybody’s attention and then told all the shoppers to leave the store. Amanda then shot and killed a private citizen that tried to stop Jerad. When police arrived at the Walmart in response to 9-1-1 calls the Millers engaged them in a gunfight. Police killed Jerad and Amanda shot herself to commit suicide.
Afterwards it was revealed that the couple had previously joined supporters of Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy, who provoked an armed standoff in April against U.S. Bureau of Land Management agents that were executing a court order to remove Bundy’s cattle from federal land because of his longstanding refusal to follow grazing regulations or pay the $1.35 per month grazing fee.
The media coverage of the Bundy story was intense, and many reporters were sympathetic to Bundy’s groundless complaints, with the cable TV Fox News Channel crossing over the line into dangerous sensationalism. The killings committed by the Millers received less coverage, and the Eric Frein story has received even less. There would certainly be more intense media coverage if a black protestor from Ferguson, Missouri, or a Muslim immigrant assassinated a policeman. Apparently, we are at a place in American history where terrorism committed by white, right-wing antigovernment extremists isn’t considered to be that serious of a problem.
Tonight I was watching CNN’s coverage of Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon’s decision to order the state police to take over law enforcement in the city of Ferguson and restore law and order in that community. Nixon ordered the takeover after the city’s police used unnecessary force against citizens peacefully protesting the fatal police shooting of unarmed teenager Michael Brown. They also bullied and arrested journalists covering the situation. The protestors were inflamed by the fact that Brown was black and the officer that shot him was white.
The issues raised by the trouble in Ferguson include police brutality, free speech, freedom of the press, and racism. It’s an important story and I wondered how it was being covered by Fox News.
When I changed channels I discovered that Fox was running clips from the 2008 Democratic presidential primary showing Hillary Clinton expressing anger about her rival candidate Barak Obama’s campaign strategy.
So, instead of covering a relevant story pertaining to the character of our nation, Fox was trying to foster discord among Democrats to try and diminish Hillary’s prospects in the 2016 presidential election.