Analysis of Gulf Oil Spill coverage…. readers must learn to discern the news:
The Deepwater Horizon drilling rig that exploded on April 20, causing the massive oil spill currently unfolding in the Gulf of Mexico, sank two days later, on the fortieth anniversary of Earth Day.
Given that a 1969 spill from an oil platform off the coast of Santa Barbara, California spurred the first Earth Day, the rig’s sinking is tragically ironic. As Lisa Margonelli, who has written extensively about crude, observed in The New York Times on Saturday, “The history of American oil spills is the history of the environmental movement.”
Unfortunately, the coverage of Earth Day’s fortieth anniversary, which focused on the “green economy” and “clean energy” business, showed just how much the environmental movement—and coverage of the environment—has gone corporate. Even more unfortunate is the fact that some journalists’ reluctance to question industry’s influence on environmentalism has remained on display since the oil spill in the Gulf began. Nowhere is this more true perhaps, than in a front-page news analysis in the Times on Tuesday….”