What is left out of the locals' coverage of the benefit bill for retired miners?
On today's front pages, instead of using the Associated Press' coverage (most recently, here) of the effort to pass legislation for retired miners, the local "newspapers" use an article written by their energy reporter and chief propagandist for the fossil fuel industry, Casey Junkins. There are a number of major differences between Junkins' article and the AP's report:
1. In neither local edition does Junkins explain why the legislation may not pass -- if it fails, it's because of Republicans. (Note -- the News-Register does print the first four paragraphs of the original eleven paragraph AP report on page 3 but it leaves out a number of very important points -- this is obviously one of them):
The measure has near-unanimous support from Democrats, but has divided coal-state Republicans. Several endangered incumbents support the bill, but GOP leaders — including Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky — are wary of bailing out unionized workers. . . .
McConnell blocked the pension measure last year and says he's not going to fast-track a plan that some Republicans warn amounts to a bailout.
Mitch McConnell -- Mr. War-on-Coal, himself -- is from Kentucky and yet he's clearly taking the conservative, anti-union, anti-bailout position on the bill. Along those conservative lines, it would have been nice if Junkins had asked Representative McKinley if supporting the bill doesn't go against his very conservative, tea-party-friendly positions on other legislation. (What am I thinking, they seldom ask tough questions -- especially if it's one of their favorites.)
2. The Junkins article ignores Hillary Clinton's support for the bill. According to the AP:
Hillary Clinton is supporting a bill that would protect health-care and pension benefits for about 120,000 former coal miners and their families, an issue that has divided Senate Republicans.
"I firmly believe that if you spent your life keeping the lights on for our country, we can't leave you in the dark," the Democratic presidential candidate said in a statement obtained by The Associated Press.
And while the afternoon's shortened page 3 story does mention it, I could find no record (and apparently neither could the AP) of Trump's position on the legislation in either paper.
What else do the locals cover?
No local article or editorial about coal is complete without blame for the president and the EPA:
McKinley and Capito placed blame for the problem squarely on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
“This is the untold story of the consequences of (President Barack) Obama’s war on coal,” McKinley said. “In 2008, West Virginia had 143 coal mines. Today, we have 48.”
“We wouldn’t have coal bankruptcies,” Capito said when asked about the impact of the Obama administration’s policies.
September 9 update
Today, both papers printed an AP story on yesterday's miner rally at the Capitol which included Clinton's support for the bill and a description of Republican opposition.