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.
About Sharon Wilson
Sharon Wilson is considered a leading citizen expert on the impacts of shale oil and gas extraction. She is the go-to person whether it’s top EPA officials from D.C., national and international news networks, or residents facing the shock of eminent domain and the devastating environmental effects of natural gas development in their backyards.
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In order to understand the impacts of this latest fracking ban, we must first understand the definition of fracking.
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!
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.
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 rightsharing 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.”
Excluding the headline, the word fracking is used 3 more times in the article.
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: