Tx MSM Drops the Ball in Coverage of “Cap and Trade Summit” Coverage



On Tuesday, as noted in a post yesterday, three state agencies invited a bunch of Exxon-funded climate denialists and representatives from carbon-intensive industries to a day-long bash-a-thon of congressional action on climate change.

Gov. Perry gave the opening address, subtly calling the Waxman-Markey bill a “monstrosity” and an “impending meteor strike on the Texas economy.”

It was a remarkable event, laying bare how far the state’s Republican leaders are willing to go to protect the industries they’re supposed to regulate. This was clearly a preview of what’s to come when the Senate takes up climate change legislation next year.

My guess: The campaign is going to look a lot like health-care reform, with corporate interests pouring money into Astroturf groups and Republican leaders stirring up their base into an apocalyptic fury.

Yet, the MSM totally missed the story. Based on a search of the Lexis-Nexis news database, only one 480-word story (Matthew Tresaugue, Houston Chronicle) appeared in the dailies about the summit. The Capitol press corps instead chose to keep pushing the non-story story on Gov. Perry’s recession remarks.

The summit, apparently, was just an opportunity for the political reporters to ambush Perry and keep the pseudo-story alive.

For example, Jason Embry in the Austin American-Statesman:

“Anyone who has listened to my remarks who’s not just a rank political hack knows that in almost every one of my remarks, I have talked about the seriousness of this recession, how it’s impacting people,” Perry said at the Capitol after a brief speech on federal climate-change legislation.

If you want to nail Perry for saying crazy stuff, ask him about his views on climate change.

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Forrest Wilder, a native of Wimberley, Texas, is the editor of the Observer.

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