Submitted by Judith Siers-Poisson on
A new YouTube video raises the question of whether CNN's coverage of the clean coal debate has been biased by a multi-million dollar advertising campaign purchased on CNN by the coal industry through Americans for Balanced Energy Choices, a coal front group since renamed the American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity. The ad campaign, which began a year ago, was created by Waylon Ad, a firm representing both ABEC and the National Mining Association. A coal industry website describes the purpose of the CNN ad campaign: "The St. Louis ad agency's spot, which follows a debut effort that broke in April, suggests coal use is economically efficient and environmentally friendly. In the latest spot, a panorama of people and faces, including a man in the middle of a field with an electric guitar, is shown as a voiceover touts coal use." The low budget video piece was posted on YouTube June 24. Watch it for yourself: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qKR-6Szlv0g
sfinn replied on Permalink
Weak, weak evidence
This is some weak evidence. The first guy appears to be a commentator, not an employee of CNN. The next guy, a reporter, says "People are split on the cleanliness of coal."
If you're making the point that CNN is biased in favor of clean coal, you need more than this!
Mutternich replied on Permalink
Look a little closer.
If you go to the YouTube page, you can see that the commentator is Allan Chernoff, and he does work for CNN:
Oh, wait -- you did go to the YouTube page, and you made the same mistake commenting there!
Chernoff has done some excellent work, but that statement, "Coal gasification has been in the works, it's very important, it's part of our energy future" shows CNN's bias. Those people pretty much say what CNN wants them to say, and CNN's accepting advertising money from the industry does constitute a conflict of interest.
As for the other reporter's statement, "People are split on the cleanliness of coal," that's just the obligatory nod in the direction of balance. It's worth nothing towards any prize for unbiased reporting.
Actually, they're biased for DIRTY coal. There is no "clean coal."