Here comes that straw man again and it's a lot easier to be critical when you're not in power
Yes, its once again time to attack liberals for arguments they didn't make and then to somehow blame them for the Republican legislature's inability to act. Here's the opening paragraph from this morning's lead editorial in the Intelligencer, "Keeping Taxes Down No Failure":
Some liberals have begun exclaiming gleefully that the Republican-controlled West Virginia Legislature is a dismal failure. Their reasoning? Why, lawmakers left Charleston this week without approving a state budget for the coming year. Inexcusable, say the critics. A disaster, they add.
Most of the editorial is an attack on liberals with a minimal amount of support for any of its assertions. (For the sake of credibility, couldn't the editorial name at least one liberal and what he/she "gleefully" exclaimed?) The editorial eventually describes how Republicans (along with conservative Democrats) backed away from raising various taxes needed to fill the budgetary shortfall. Somehow, the editorial argues with very little explanation, this failure to balance the budget is connected to 80 years of Democratic rule.
I do have a question, however. Republican control both legislative houses and they've known about this budgetary crisis since early January. If they don't want to raise taxes, why haven't they cut from the budget what they believe are the programs necessary to balance the budget? It seems to me that the Intelligencer is finally discovering what they should have realized earlier this year: that criticizing the legislature is a lot easier when the Democrats are in control. Now the editors must put themselves through some bizarre verbal contortions to somehow blame liberals and Democrats for what the Republicans have failed to do.
"War on coal" moves over a page
I was a bit surprised. The editorial page had nothing on either the president, the EPA , the "war on coal," or even the "war on affordable electricity." And then I looked to the forum page and there it was: "Obama's War on Coal Continues for States" by Terry Jarrett. (Sorry, Jarrett's opinion piece is not referenced on the Intelligencer site. However, if you want to read it, it can be found all over the Web like here, for instance.) The end of the column tells us that
Terry Jarrett is an energy attorney and consultant, and a former commissioner of the Missouri Public Service Commission.
Yeah, right. Jarrett apparently spends a lot of time writing opinion pieces for the mining industry. Media Matters tracked his articles, researched his background, and then concluded that he's not exactly the neutral source that his credits make him out to be. Specifically, Jarrett has clear connections to the coal industry. Here is a summary of some of what they found:
- Jarrett Criticized Clean Power Plan On Behalf Of National Mining Association.
- Jarrett Is Also Listed On Energy Conference Website As Representing Indiana Coal Council.
- Jarrett Has Represented Utilities Through His Law Firm.
They also note his frequent use of debunked claims and his fear-mongering. (I see now why the Intelligencer used him.)
The Intelligencer has again failed its readers. I have no problem with publishing Jarrett's article. If it is going to use a source like this one, however, it has an ethical obligation to give the source's full background so that the reader might decide whether he/she is a credible source -- something the Intelligencer clearly didn't do. Once again, the Intelligencer demonstrates that its more interested in serving its friends in the coal industry than informing the citizens of the Ohio Valley.