At the time of the finding, I remarked upon how unabashedly slanted the Journal’s coverage was towards industry interests- especially given that the reporter, Ian Talley, was well-aware of the Bush administration’s EPA internal study finding that regulation would have economic benefits to the tune of $2 trillion.
Well what do you know? The same reporter, Talley, just so happened to be the source of the OMB memo nontroversy:
… Dow Jones reporter Ian Talley (known in green circles for being a frequent conduit for conservative talking points on energy) discovers the memo and writes a story on it (sub. rqd., or read a different version Talley collaborated on for a Wall Street Journal blog).
Perhaps Talley just happened to be perusing the EPA’s horribly designed and nigh-unusable online docketand stumbled across the memo, on the very day of the first congressional hearing to consider the nomination of Cass Sunstein to head the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs at OMB. Perhaps it was coincidence that the story appeared just as OMB was in the news and Sunstein was facing questions.
Then again, perhaps pigs fly out of my butt. Far more likely, a dirty energy lobbying firm—I’m looking at you, Bracewell-Giuliani—tipped Talley off to the memo…
…So the Associated Press does a story on it, as does ABC’s Jake Tapper, along with NPR, the New York Times, any number of blogs, etc. Suddenly, it’s everywhere: the “OMB memo” reveals that EPA regs will destroy the economy (and eat babies)!
Roberts points out correctly that this is a clear example of the media failing miserably in its supposed role of informing the public. I think he lets Talley off far too easy, however.
I could call what Talley is doing a lot of things (most of which I wouldn’t want my mother to hear me say), but it sure as hell isn’t journalism.
[UPDATE: And of course, while the rest of the world has wised up to the actual "merit" of the memo, the brain trust over at Watts Up With That are still engaged in a veritable orgy of raving, spittle-flecked paranoia and conspiracy theory.]