A new report by Checks and Balances Project found that fracking’s Joe Camel has been “secretly influencing the media and the public on energy issues by moving pro-fossil fuel messaging.”
These groups, and their proponents, have been quoted on average every other day for the past five years in 60 of the largest mainstream newspapers and publications. Despite having received millions of dollars from fossil fuel interests, such as ExxonMobil and Koch Industries, these groups’ financial ties to the fossil fuel industry are rarely mentioned.
I know, right? Not exactly shocking to some of us.
The Checks and Balances Project’s report, “Fossil Fuel Front Groups on the Front Page,” uncovered the extent of this deception by focusing on the 10 most prominent fossil fuel front groups’ traction 58 of the largest daily newspapers, the Associated Press and Politico. This analysis does not include mentions in broadcast, radio or online publications for these 10 advocacy groups. As a result, this report only scratches the surface on these fossil fuel-funded groups’ influence on the energy debate.
Fossil fuel-funded advocacy groups’ failure to divulge their ties to the fossil fuel industry in one story is regrettable, but doing it in over 1,000 stories appears to be planned deception.
The Dallas Morning News has published 11 stories where a Fracking Joe Camel was quoted yet no industry ties were disclosed.
The Fort Worth Star-Telegram has published 17 stories where a Fracking Joe Camel was quoted yet no industry ties were disclosed.
Here is a suggestion from the Checks and Balances department of duh for the next time you want to quote Ed Ireland:
The Checks & Balances Project suggests a simple question to ask pundits and experts being quoted, cited or published in the media: “Do you get money, directly or indirectly, from interests that stand to benefit from what you are saying?”
You could take their suggestion, or you could practice real journalism using this list of resources for journalists who report on fracking.
- Would Mr. Whipple be a source in a story about the environmental impacts from toilet paper production?
- Would you seek ( * )‘s opinion on the latest advances in hemorrhoid surgery?
- They why do you go to fracking’s Joe Camel types like Ed Ireland or Energy In Depth for anything related to fracking?
Now you won’t need to use fracking’s Joe Camel as a source.