By Arthur Alpert
I rarely write about the Albuquerque Journal’s editorials because the daily’s owners have a right to express their opinions there. And since the aim of most editorials is to persuade, the authors deserve plenty of room to assemble and tailor evidence for the argument.
That said, editorials ought to live up to the same standards you and I impose on, say, the newspaper’s opinion columns or news stories. Like seriousness of purpose, accuracy, the proper use of evidence, logic and, above all, fairness.
By these yardsticks, I generally grade the Journal’s editorials on local issues as acceptable, some higher, but when it comes to national topics, I flunk a lot. Such is my dismay, however, at the newspaper’s take on the Keystone pipeline published Friday, Nov. 21, that a D or F would not adequately reprove it.
It was that journalistically shameful.
“Pandering to their environmentally activist base,” the editorialist wrote, “59 Senate Democrats, including both Tom Udall and Martin Heinrich, have again declared war on American jobs and rejected a boost for the U.S. economy and another step toward energy independence by blocking congressional approval of the $5.3 billion Keystone XL pipeline project.”
The Journal’s stand was no surprise, of course. As my colleague, Denise Tessier and I have noted here, New Mexico’s largest print daily regularly publishes fossil fuel industry views via essays ostensibly from concerned citizens but financed, in fact, by the industry. Also, pro-fossil fuel industry opinions from “think tanks” also financed by the industry or its affluent allies. Nor do the editors bother to identify the real sources of these opinions for readers.
Simultaneously, it omits most stories on alternative energy progress, technically and in market terms. [Read more →]