The Fracking Industry’s War On The New York Times — And The Truth

The Fracking Industry’s War On The New York Times — And The Truth Robert F. Kennedy Jr., October 20, 2011,
Superb investigative journalism by the New York Times has brought the paper under attack by the natural gas industry. That campaign of intimidation and obfuscation has been orchestrated by top shelf players like Exxon and Chesapeake aligned with the industry’s worst bottom feeders. This coalition has launched an impressive propaganda effort carried by slick PR firms, industry funded front groups and a predictable cabal of right wing industry toadies from cable TV and talk radio. In pitting itself against public disclosure and reasonable regulation, the natural gas industry is once again proving that it is its own worst enemy. …The organized attack on The Times and its reputation by well financed industry spin machines is illustrative of the perils and real challenges facing public service journalism today. The Times piece has been the target of massive industry blowback. Industry funded front groups like Energy in Depth, an army of slick PR firms, and former regulatory officials like PA DEP Commissioner John Hanger, now on industry’s payroll, have artfully manufactured deceptive talking points and posted blogs that are parroted by journalists looking for an industry response to The Times coverage and then emailed as “facts” to the industry’s supporters and its indentured servants in Congress. Ironically, many of the attacks against the series have claimed that the articles were poorly sourced or under-researched. Yet, The Times has not printed a single factual correction.

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