Wednesday, November 14, 2007

In The Spirit of Turkey Day

... the FWWeekly offers up it's Turkey Awards, and all the usual suspects are there for (well-deserved) roasting -- Mayor Mikey, Chuck Silcox, and Kay Granger. My personal favorite:

"Fort Worth Star-Telegram and the Gas Drillers: The city’s daily newspaper has celebrated gas drilling from the outset of the Barnett Shale phenomenon several years ago. With so many millions at stake, it’s not surprising that Fort Worth city officials have kowtowed to the industry so far. What’s less easily explained is the Star-Telegram’s motivation for cheering on drillers erecting rigs in bustling neighborhoods. Gushing editorials were nauseating enough, but then we got columnist Bud Kennedy’s view that allowing a high-impact gas well in a tree-covered area near a Trinity River hike and bike trail was A-OK, no problema. More than a thousand residents rallied against the permit, trying to convince the company to drop the proposal or at least reduce its impact on the property. But that passionate show of democracy in action was just so much fuss to Kennedy — the company had a legal right to drill, and nothing more needed to be said.

"That column aside, the paper’s coverage has some people wondering how much Barnett Shale money is making its way to the Star-T’s bank account, either through advertisements or from drilling royalties from its properties. The newspaper has practiced boosterism since chief booster Amon G. Carter founded it. But no newspaper worth its salt should act as uncritical apologist for an industry that has thus far shown little concern for the environment or citizens’ safety and quality of life and shown every indication that it’s willing to bully citizens and, in many cases, lie, cheat, and steal to get what it needs. (No, of course those injection wells won’t affect water wells; 300 feet is plenty of clearance from houses and schools; officer, please arrest those legal demonstrators for daring to express their opposition to our arm-twisting.)

"Recently, however, the newspaper has begun offering a little more balance in its coverage and on its blog site devoted to the Barnett. So in the spirit of the day, we give thanks for small wonders."

Someone give Gayle Reaves a hug. Or buy her a beer. Or both.

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