Updated – BREAKING: New fracking ban in U.S.

by TXsharon on October 17, 2012

in Uncategorized

This is breaking news:

There is a new ban on fracking in the United States!

I just received the following comment on my blog post Who put the “k” in fracking? The truth, the whole truth and nothing but the fracking truth.

October 17, 2012 at 9:35 am

—– Forwarded Message —-
From: Brett Mickelson
To: kim feil ; registration@stamfordadvocate.com
Sent: Wed, October 17, 2012 9:05:47 AM
Subject: Re: so fracking is a word not allowed in your comments? Re: [StamfordAdvocate.com] Please activate your new account

Hi Kim,

Sadly, many of our users attempt to exploit a perfectly legitimate word as a replacement for it’s more vulgar cousin. As a result, we have been forced to block its usage. I apologize for the inconvenience, but I hope you understand.

Brett Mickelson
Executive Producer
Hearst Connecticut Media Group

In order to understand the impacts of this latest fracking ban, we must first understand the definition of fracking.

Macmillan Dictionary defines fracking as “a method of mining in which cracks are created in a type of rock called shale in order to obtain gas, oil, or other substances that are inside it.”

Oxford Dictionary defines fracking as “another term for hydraulic fracturing.”

Um… not getting it. It certainly sounds like a mining method that needs close scrutiny, heavy regulation and one that should not expand to any new areas but I’m not understanding the reason for this latest ban.

Maybe it’s exploit!

Merriam Webster – : deedactespecially : a notable or heroic act.

Nope, that can’t be it.

It must be “its more vulgar cousin.” But, who is this cousin? Could it be the grammatically incorrect “fraccing” or “fracing?” Nope, I was unable to find a dictionary definition of either word and Google searches kept changing my search terms to “fracking.”

Seeking an answer to the cause of this latest ban, I went directly to the source Brett Mickelson, Executive Producer, Hearst Connecticut Media Group.

How can this be true? Even our president uses the word fracking. It is used in mainstream media worldwide and even in scientific reports.

Please confirm that your paper is or is not censoring comments if they include the word fracking.  If you do censor comments for using the word fracking, please provide an explanation.

His reply:

Hey Sharon,
I totally understand the concern.  I wish a certain segment of our audience was mature enough to be trusted with words that bear a vague resemblance to a less savory vocabulary, but that isn’t the world in which we live.

There is nothing unsettling about the word “fracking,” and it is an important issue in current events.  That doesn’t stop others from using the term inappropriately in an entirely different context.Thank you for your understanding.
Brett Mickelson
Executive Producer
Hearst Connecticut Media Group

Here is what I understand, Mr. Mickelson: Fracking is a real word. It is used by real–often angry–people to describe impacts to their vital natural resources, health and long-term well-being. It is used by the Government of the United States, by our president and by other elected officials. It is used by scientists in their scientific reports. It is even used by industry.

Banning all comments using the word fracking effectively prevents a large segment of the populace from exercising their First Amendment right sharing their direct experience with this risky process. (brainy types pointed out that our 1st Amendment rights do not extend to a paper owned by someone else. Long live free speech!) That is convenient for industry.

In the interest of upping the level of maturity in the general public, will Hearst Media Group also be banning additional vulgar cousins: dang, son-of-a-gun, and shoot fire? What about vulgar cousins of body parts? Will you ban all commenters from the user name Dick?

Mr. Mickelson, don’t thank me for understanding because I don’t.

Subtitle: Hearst Media Group Bans Fracking.

New information update: Do as I say, not as I do. Thanks to Dory.

Hearst Newspapers owns 15 daily newspapers, including Houston Chronicle, San Francisco Chronicle, Albany Times Union and San Antonio Express-News.  Scroll down to the bottom of the pages at the links below, it will say “© 2012 Hearst Communications Inc., Hears Connecticut Media Group, a division of Hearst Newspapers.”

Update:  As Jim Romenesko points out, fracking is in the urban dictionary. I voted for usage #3 because I’m immature that way.  So honored to be mentioned by Romenesko.

This was also picked up by Grist and Capitol Tonight.

Update 2: Hat tip to commenter Scott for this video of children abusing a vulgar cousin.

Update 3, Hearst responds:

It was a technical issue tied to anti-profanity screening. It has been fixed to allow the word “fracking” to appear in our comments section. It was never a policy here or elsewhere at Hearst.
Thank you.

{ 30 comments… read them below or add one }

Robert Finne October 17, 2012 at 2:05 pm

I blame BattleStar Gallactica



Fish Creek Neighbor October 17, 2012 at 2:23 pm

What the frac???


shakylady October 17, 2012 at 2:40 pm

Holy Shut-Up!


jensequitur October 17, 2012 at 2:48 pm

You’ll just have to talk about it the long way – injection of waste water with surfactants and other chemicals, some unknown, into the Earth’s crust to release deposits of natural gas. Or is releasing of gas now banned by Hearst?


TXsharon October 17, 2012 at 2:53 pm

The definition of fracking uses the word “crack.”


Gloria October 17, 2012 at 2:50 pm

I wonder if Hearst Media Group has any money in fracking operations/frack corporations/frack industry suppliers/frack leases?

If Hearst thinks some of their readers/posters are using the term inappropriately, why don’t they ban them rather than all usage of the word frack? And, Mr. Mickelson, puhleeze don’t give us that tired line about how much staff time it would take to patrol the comments section. Obviously even you, a big kahuna, have the time to patrol.


Pat Hansard October 17, 2012 at 2:53 pm

My argument would be which term is more vulgar….I think the one we are all avoiding here is one heck of a lot less vulgar than fracking…but that’s just me…


Cathy McMullen October 17, 2012 at 3:04 pm

Butt why? fracking insurgent is O.K but don’t frack with me is not?


Dory Hippauf October 17, 2012 at 3:11 pm

I agree that fracking is obscene. Fracking is obscene by what it does to air, water, the land, people’s lives and communities.

Are we now to refer to fracking as “that which must not be named” or as “you know what”?

As Hearst Media Group must be aware, the Natural Gas industry spends gazillion of dollars to buy legislators and to write the legislation which promotes the process.

Perhaps Hearst Media Group needs to take it’s head out of it’s “you know where” and start doing some real investigative reporting instead of acting as a stenographer for the perpetrators of “that which must not be named”


TXsharon October 17, 2012 at 3:13 pm

“That which must not be named” that takes place “down there.”


Diane October 17, 2012 at 3:33 pm

Seriously??!! Get the frack outta here!


pnast October 17, 2012 at 3:34 pm

here in CA, Robert Nast wanted “no frack” for his personalized license plate … the state refused the request … go figure?


Fracking Crazy October 17, 2012 at 3:42 pm

Why, isn’t that just fracking crazy….!!


TXsharon October 17, 2012 at 3:45 pm

Don’t try to comment on Hearst Media Group’s site. You be banned.


dick October 17, 2012 at 3:47 pm

Looks like I’m screwed. Or should I say: It looks like Hearst Group but their “you know what” in my “down there”?


Scott Cannon October 17, 2012 at 4:01 pm

I blame the children and their dirty little mouths!http://youtu.be/gdyr1DZV92k


Chip Northrup October 17, 2012 at 4:16 pm

No more fracking ! Hooray !


Jill wiener October 17, 2012 at 4:33 pm

If only the deciders at Hearst had the power to ban the truly vulgar process of fracking we would all be a lot safer.


Tim Ruggiero October 17, 2012 at 4:35 pm

Ironically, it was the frackers who invented the word. Whether certain media or Industry is now offended by the use of the word because of its negative connotation or not, we’ll that’s just too damn frackin bad-it’s part of the lexicon now and it isn’t going to change.

If any of you frackin frackers have a frackin problem with that, well, go frack yourself. You’ve fracked us over we’ll enough.


bigyaz October 17, 2012 at 5:43 pm

So do they ban freaking, farking, forking, f***ing, f@#$ing, etc.? How about every other word used as substitutes for “vulgar” terms (shoot, gosh, darn…).

I don’t think young Mr. Mickelson has thought this one through. (I also don’t think he understands the usage of its vs. it’s, but that’s another issue.)


Anonymous October 17, 2012 at 6:27 pm

WHAT A RESTRICTION???? It would be nice if the RRC SWR’s would be so restrictive!


Anonymous October 17, 2012 at 6:30 pm

I’ll bet that if this media group up north had the GASHOLES drill through their living room, they would have a different idea!!!!


kim Feil October 17, 2012 at 8:59 pm
Khepry Quixote October 18, 2012 at 12:33 am

Normally I’m more erudite than the response that follows: Hearst Media Group is now a certifiable pussy. Yes, that’s right, they’re frelling pussies.


Mike Knapp October 18, 2012 at 9:22 am

Is there nothing that you people can’t feign outrage over? Or work into some convoluted conspiracy theory?

I mean seriously, do you realize how you guys look to NORMAL people?


TXsharon October 18, 2012 at 9:28 am

Dear Mr. Knapp:

It has come to my attention that you took a photo of me off my blog without permission and posted it on your blog. That photo was taken by a friend with my camera and I did not give you permission to use it. I demand that you take that photo down.

You used the photo in a blog post where you make libelous and injurious statements about me.


Anonymous October 18, 2012 at 2:42 pm

Mike ‘ole buddy—I’m a NORMAL person and I know that you “SUCK”.


Jenny L. October 18, 2012 at 10:38 am

Blowing up people in Jefferson County PA, is that normal Mr Knapp? Isn’t that a bit outrageous?



Kevin October 18, 2012 at 10:39 am



Dory October 19, 2012 at 7:06 am

wonder if spelling it as frac|< will get it past the censors?


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