I don't really see how there is any serious prospect for solving either our energy security problem or our climate problem if the traditional media doesn't do any policing whatsoever of statements by major politicians. Here is McCain yesterday:
"... it will be vital that we continue oil production at a high level including offshore drilling. Now, the briefings that I have had with the oil producers, there are some instances that within a matter of months, they could be getting additional oil."
Standing in front of a large California oil drill, in what appears to be filming of a new movie, There Will Be Lies, McCain went so far as to say:
But there's abundant resources in the view of the people who are in the business that could be exploited within a period of months. So offshore drilling is something we have to do.
Okay, I can understand why he believes whatever stuff the oil producers make up -- they are lining his pockets now. And I understand the three reasons that McCain would lie to the public:
- His original "placebo" argument wasn't very compelling: "Even though it may take some years, the fact that we are exploiting those reserves would have a psychological impact that I think is beneficial."
- The truth is even less compelling: Ending the moratorium on coastal drilling holds no serious promise of reducing gasoline prices for US consumers even a single penny two decades from now according to Bush's own energy analysts (see "The cruel offshore-drilling hoax").
- Since he has no actual plan for getting us out of the economic mess Bush got us into, McCain is now going so far as "framing his support for expanded offshore drilling and other energy proposals as economic stimulants in an effort to woo voters concerned about the floundering economy" (Greenwire 7/29, subs. req'd). Seriously!
But why does the media let a major party candidates get away with such disinformation? And it is disinformation. As a U.S. Energy Information Administration analyst told me earlier this month: