HACKED TO DEATH: HIJACKING THE NEWS

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WCPN morning-show host Dan Moulthrop is always polite and pleasant, but spin him at your own risk.

On Tuesday, the topic was Issue 2, the controversial, industry-backed proposed constitutional amendment that would create an oversight board for livestock companies. The debate was thick with competing and borderline-histrionic claims. Moulthrop pressed hard for clear answers from the guests; the studio must have been full of the smoke that at least one of them was trying hard to blow up Dan’s ass. And the callers weren’t much better. At one point, the host complained, “I’m having this frustrating experience right now where I feel like every phone call we go to has been planted by either campaign in this issue.”

We can relate.

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Last week’s cover story — “Drill Baby Drill” by Erin O’Brien — generated a lot of comments on Scene’s web site and blogs, most of it from people with a dog in the fight over suburban gas and oil drilling.

The first two comments were from the Northeast Ohio Gas Accountability Project, and the tone suggested that NEOGAP was irked at not having been interviewed for the story (some homeowners involved with the group were interviewed). These were followed by a string of comments slamming the article, O’Brien and Scene.

“These comments and the article are riddled with so many innacuracies it is sad. This one-sided journalism slanted toward liberal nanny-statists must stop … This should show people the kind of tactics these leftist organizations (NEOGAP) are using (lies and inducing fear) to achieve legislation that would bring the Ohio oil and gas industry to a complete halt; causing many more to lose there [sic] jobs.”

Nothing unusual there. But this from “samanthasam” caught my attention:

I live in an Ohio residential neighborhood where there are many oil and gas wells that has been producing for over 25 years. I’m proud that our community is producing some of our own energy. Perhaps if we do more — we can bring some of our soldiers home that are risking their lives every day in very hostile countries to protect energy sources that don’t even belong to us.

Natural gas can only come from a well drilled in someone’s community. How arrogant to want to use this energy source but expect, in fact demand, that it comes from someone else’s backyard.

To date there has been over 273,000 wells drilled in Ohio. Drilling has also been going on in developed areas (residential neighborhoods, churches, schools, businesses, et al,) since 1860 …

And so on. Curiously detailed for someone who’s just an interested reader. So I checked the IP address of the commenter: It belonged to the Ohio Oil & Gas Association.

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