Wednesday, August 6

Wildcatters

You no doubt recall the uncovered emails during the run-up to the Sonics’ trial, but you’ll be forgiven if you missed one in particular, in which Clay Bennett bemoaned the Seattle media’s attack-dog nature. In the email, the square-jawed one called the local scribes the “worst in the country,” because, as you know, Clay Bennett is the foremost authority on American media.

To Bennett, raised in Oklahoma City, it was an unwelcome and unfamiliar phenomenon. You see, when your wife’s family owns the media, you tend to see more flattering stories about yourself, and you don’t tend to run into people like Greg Johns and Percy Allen.

You know, objective journalists.

It was with that memory in mind that I read this story on NPR’s website (hat tip to Raf for not listening to KUBE on the ride home yesterday).

In essence, the story revolves around Chesapeake Energy’s (helmed by one Aubrey Mcclendon) efforts to drill for natural gas in the center of Fort Worth, Texas, despite the protestations of the local citizens.

To combat the protests, Chesapeake has gone all out in its media campaign, hiring Tommy Lee Jones to pitch for them, and even going so far as to create “Shale TV,” a daily talk show about the situation. Obviously, despite the presence of some hired-gun local journalists to run the show, most people would be a little skeptical about the news you would get from this type of source. But let Julie Wilson, a Chesapeake communications honcho, explain:

"Well, I think we pay those journalists — whether on Channel 8 or Channel 11 or the Star-Telegram — in terms of advertising support," Wilson says. "We see this as pretty much instead of running the ads on the program, we're just writing the check direct."

Congrats, NBA, you’ve got yourself one heckuva ownership group there.

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

Ehhhhhhxcellent.

chunkstyle23 said...

"These fumes aren't as fun as beer… Sure, I'm all dizzy and nauseous, but where's the inflated sense of self-esteem?"

Oh, and Pete, thanks for outing me as some lefty, elitist, birkenstock wearing, subaru-driving NPR listener. Now I'll never get a job at the justice department.

anonymous #12 said...

you tend to see more flattering stories about yourself, and you don’t tend to run into people like Greg Johns and Percy Allen.

Thank you to Geg Johns for continuing to discuss the case. Percy Allen, Gary Washburn & Eric Williams have all appeared to have lost interest. I wonder if these are the writers that Sherman Alexie was referencing in his latest article?

nuss said...

Typically, story assignments come down from above. Considering that all 3 of the beat reporters have been MIA since the case was settled, I'm thinking that they're either polishing their resumes and/or on vacation. Hopefully, it's #2.

Dan Engel said...

Julie Wilson, Chesapeake communications director: “You know, like, we’re pretty much just going to pay journalists instead of going through all the bother of buying ads to influence the publisher. What does ‘conflict of interest’ mean?’”

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