Thursday, August 20, 2015

On Politicians, Port Ambrose LNG "experts" and the "news"

According to the Rockaway Times Melinda Katz is just the latest of Queens politicians who mostly appear to be courting a miniscule  number of people when it comes to the Port Ambrose LNG proposal over all the rest of their constituents

According to Jon Cori, in an article recently published in the free newspaper the Rockaway Times, Jessica Roff of the Catskill Mountainkeeper, a woman who is responsible for lots of misinformation on the rockaway pipeline project and has often described the Port Ambrose LNG proposal as the EXACT OPPOSITE of what it is in reality, was an "expert" fielding questions about the proposed project at a protest event this past weekend in the Rockaways. To go into the history of "reporting" by Queens publications on both the Rockaway Pipeline project and the Port Ambrose LNG proposal over time and what qualifies as news or even information or a source is probably something that could make up much of an entire course in a university level journalism class.  On Rockaway reports that there were about 50 people at this sparsely attended protest (which according to Jon Cori's article was organized by a number of groups and business sponsors) and some people were local. The leader observer writes an article titled "community draws a line in the sand presumably meaning the Rockaway community. However, social media pictures of the actual event display photographs of non-local organizers or activists, whether fractivists or occupy organizers, like Patrick Robbins, Monica Hunken, Jessica Roff, Judith Canepa, and Maureen Healy, among others. 

Monica Hunken formerly of Occupy the Pipeline appears to coordinate perhaps a photo at the Port Ambrose LNG draw a line in the sand event in the Rockaways

So who are the politicians or government officials listed in the various news articles, who one would assume should be interested in what benefits their constituents as a whole, but who for the last two years seem to be more interested in courting votes at rallies or hearings or gaining some street credibility mainly from antifracking movement? The tally of those folks from this weekends event include Phillip Goldfeder, Joseph Addabbo, Melinda Katz and the new NYC Parks’ Rockaway Supervisor Portia Dyrenforth.

NY Environment Report Emily Manley "reports" on the Port Ambrose LNG proposal, politicians like Donavan Richards and David Denenberg (who may be currently behind bars) , the antifracking movement "umbrella group" Sane Energy Project and the No LNG Coalition 

How is all of this poor reporting or communication possible?  Well one reason among many and it might be the most important is that the "reporters" like Emily Masters of the Environmental Report blog, whose bio describes her eight years experience in the nonprofit, conservation, and local food fields, and Jon Cori do not understand what they are reporting on. I've seen for three years now as the news coverage on natural gas projects oscillates between what appears to be PR by official sources, be it politicians or companies and then PR by activists. I've seen more misinformation in the news than real information. Another important reason why the misinformation may build over time is that reporters and politicians may find it hard to believe that activists or people they trust, often are aligned or are friendly with might not give them information that is anywhere near the truth.

Many leaders of local environmental groups, including fractivist organizations like the Catskill Mountainkeeper and Sane Energy project, have in fact been promoting misinformation on the Port Ambrose proposal as well as their numbers, expertise and influence for the last two years.

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