Making editorial space for favorites
David McKinley -- credit where credit isn't due
With Veteran's Day over for photo-ops and no additional fake awards to receive, our local representative hasn't gotten much local ink lately. Today's editorial, "McKinley Deserves Credit on Coal Ash," attempts to rectify that with a 300 word editorial praising him for something he most-likely didn't do. The editorial has nothing new to offer us; it's a restating of an unsubstantiated claim for McKinley that the locals have been making for a number of years. Notice there are no dates in the editorial and there is no corroborating evidence. (Actually, there is no evidence for any claim.) From the editorial:
A few years ago, EPA officials revealed a plan to regulate coal ash as hazardous waste. That would have been another nail in the coffin Obama was building for both the coal industry and affordable electricity. It would have made the cost of operating a coal-fired power plant go up substantially.
McKinley fought back decisively. He pointed out coal ash is used in a variety of products, ranging from concrete to drywall. It is not a hazardous material as most reasonable people would define the term.
The EPA plan could have cost as many as 316,000 jobs, McKinley warned. It also would have driven electric bills up for tens of millions of Americans.
McKinley won EPA agreement to delay implementation of its new rules.
I have spent too many hours trying to substantiate this claim and I've even asked my readers for help. Here is what I wrote about a previous search 18 months ago:
I have searched and searched, googling all sorts of word combinations, but I have found nothing to suggest that this happened. Myer and the Intelligencer have mentioned this three times since December 19 when the EPA modified their stance on coal ash. While a number of the articles mention him as an opponent of the EPA, none give him credit for affecting the final decision. Even so, the Intelligencer started praising McKinley for this before that date.
Now they're claiming that he saved 316,000 jobs. I guess if you're going to lie, you might as well make it a big one.
E. Gordon Gee -- preaching common sense and decency?
I have no idea why this opinion piece by the president of WVU was in Sunday's News-Register. When I first saw his byline I assumed it had something to do with the speech given by a Breitbart speaker to the university's Republican club earlier this month in which the speaker singled-out a professor for personal attacks. Gee defended the speaker's right to speak but criticized him for his defamatory comments. (While this made a number of national news sources, the "locals" didn't cover it. See here for a summary.) No, this column appears to be about how we should treat each other in the aftermath of last month's election:
Considering another’s perspective is what we all need to practice. Some feel perhaps this country has become too “politically correct.” Personally, I believe we would not need to worry about the concept of “political correctness” if we could meet each other and our challenges with common sense, with common decency and a common language of respectful understanding. (And I have been known to add in a healthy dose of humor for good measure.)
Okay, here's respectful Gee in 2013 when he was President of Ohio State University:
“Well you tell the SEC when they can learn to read and write then they can figure out what we’re doing. I’ve been down there. I was the chairman of the Southeastern Conference for two years. I’ll tell you something. It’s shameful. It really is.”
“And I want to make it very clear, we have never invited Notre Dame to join the Big Ten. And the reason is the fact that they -- first of all they’re not very good partners. I’ll just say that. I negotiated with them during my first term and the fathers are holy on Sunday and they’re holy hell on the rest of the week. You just can’t trust those damn Catholics on a Thursday or Friday. Literally, I can say that.”
I guess Ohio State's trustees didn't get the fact that this was a "healthy dose of humor" -- he was soon fired. Again, why was this opinion piece published?