In mid-May I wrote about the amount of positive publicity that two of our state politicians regularly receive from our local "newspapers." Senator Shelley Moore Capito and Republican state senator Ryan Ferns receive lots of coverage even though they haven't done all that much. Only two other state politicians regularly receive that kind of positive publicity. Senator Joe Manchin and Representative David McKinley certainly get their share of positive coverage and when they vote against the papers' position, it's usually ignored. (See, for instance, Manchin's recent vote on the trade bill and McKinley's vote again the Ryan budget last year.)
Yesterday was clearly McKinley's day. If you cut up the front page news story, the editorial, and his commentary and place them side-by-side the total is almost two-thirds of a typical newspaper page. What did he do to deserve such coverage? Ah, he decided not to run for governor. Is this a big deal? I don't think so but I'm not one of his major publicity outlets as the local papers are. For a comparison, let's go back to last year's congressional election. What I did, if you were not reading this blog last year, is that I counted the number of square inches that McKinley and his opponent, Glen Gainer, received in the Intelligencer from the primary in May until election day. As you can probably guess, McKinley overwhelmed Gainer by a score of 321 square inches to 98 square inches. (The final results are here.) By comparison, McKinley's total for these three stories/columns totaled 118 square inches. That's right, McKinley received more attention yesterday than Glen Gainer did in six months of campaigning.
One note on his opinion piece. In it, he states the following:
The president claims he is crushing the fossil fuel industry for the sake of the climate and public health. But scientists claim that Obama's directives will have virtually no impact on the global climate. According to the United Nation's report, halting all use of coal in America will reduce the global level of CO2 in the atmosphere by merely 0.2 percent. That's right, he is disrupting our entire American economy in order to reduce emissions by two-tenths of one percent.
"Scientists claim . . . no impact." Did he make this up? And then he quotes from the United Nations report that the reduction will only be 0.2 percent. I spent considerable time yesterday and today trying to find this statistic in various United Nation reports and elsewhere. I found nothing -- which didn't surprise me.