CNN’s report on coal ash was welcome attention from a national news outlet for the people near Little Blue Run. But the coverage left a mis-impression and was neither objective nor without bias as CNN often claims. The coal industry is one of CNN’s sponsors, and their commercial airing during the report is tantamount to a rebuttal of the claims of the citizens harmed by the industry. Not only is the commercial inaccurate propaganda; the industry perspective is furthered by the reporting. Some of CNN’s news report was wrong or uninformed. Opinion was given as fact, and worse, it was the opinion of the sponsor. It cannot be considered objective journalism to report on a story when one of the parties is a supporting it financially. In fact, After the Press considers the very idea of objectivity to be false and misleading. After the Press does not claim to be objective and instead provides the views of Paul Joffe, whose opinions are clearly stated. Little Blue Run is a coal ash dump owned by First Energy. The company promised the residents back in the ’70s that it would build a retention pond that they could use for boating and recreation — just like the one shown in the Clean Coal commercial. At this time there is no operational Clean Coal technology. Coal contains small amounts of heavy metals like selenium, cadmium, arsenic, and lead. When coal is burned, whatever doesn’t burn is left over, and it’s called fly ash. Heavy metals don’t burn, so they are concentrated in the fly ash. In creating Little Blue Run, the waste dump, First Energy mixes the ash with water and pumps it through a large pipe to a valley that they bought in rural Pennsylvania and West Virginia. The flow of ash-water filled up an entire farming valley on the border between those two states, and a dam was built to hold back the ash mud. No liner was installed to keep the heavy metals from percolating into the water table and poisoning local wells. As the water evaporates from the top of the dump, the ash forms a dry layer. The ash is called fly ash because it is very light and will blow away in a wind; however, no cap was installed to keep that from happening. A similar fly ash dam-dump collapsed in Kingston, Tennessee, leading to a violent poisonous flood. There was another “waste impoundment” flood in Hungary outside a copper factory. CNN’s report followed the Hungarian collapse, which was covered briefly on the same program. However, again, CNN is sponsored by the coal industry’s trade association: “The Coalition for Clean Coal”, which promotes the fiction that new technology makes burning coal clean. In reality First Energy won’t even use old technology to clean up their toxic waste dump. The air around the plant is so toxic that it pits car paint. First Energy’s answer to that is paying for paint jobs on local cars.
This video exposes a confidential report on a secret experiment called “DEEP SPILL” carried out by the US government and a group of oil companies including BP in the year 2000. One of the conclusions was that the most toxic part of the oil would be caught in the water unable to be recovered. Was it a surprise that most of the oil from the BP well stayed in the Gulf of Mexico, at depth, in clouds of small particles? It may have been to us but it shouldn’t have been to BP or MMS (the government agency whose job it is to regulate deep water drilling). It also should have come as no surprise to NOAA (the government agency that regulates anything in the sea around the U.S.) All of those institutions did deny the first reports of the clouds when they were found by the Pelican research vessel and the University of Missisippi’s Dr. Ray Highsmith and his crew. But they must have known because MMS and the oil companies paid for, and conducted an experiment off the coast of Norway in 2000 to see what would happen in a deepwater oil well blowout. Remember all that “this is a new problem” you heard on television? Well the study showed that the oil would not all rise to the surface to be collected but would tend to form cloud layers of neutrally buoyant particles that might be the most toxic part of the oil.
Here’s a direct quote from the report:
“This is important information, because the water-soluble compounds are generally the most toxic ones when exposed to marine biota. The results from these measurements show that the rising of the oil through the water column represents a kind of a “stripping” process of some of the most toxic compounds in the oil. The end result is therefore that a portion of the most toxic compounds is left in the water column.”
It’s been a very bad year for tornadoes, and nothing this year can
compare to the devastation in Joplin, Missouri, an event that was
covered extensively by the national press as it was happening. But on
June 1, 2011, almost the entire east coast of the U.S. was under a
tornado watch, including NYC and Boston. Tornadoes are not like
earthquakes, in that they can be seen forming in advance on Doppler
radar. While a tornado was forming over Massachusetts, CNN was busy
airing an “exclusive interview” with Anthony Weiner, complete with an
8×10 photo of him in his underwear. Wolf Blitzer was in New York with
Representative Weiner, while in the Atlanta studios of CNN their very
competent meteorologist, Chad Meyers, was being bumped. It’s a sign of
the mission at CNN that they didn’t break into the interview to warn
the people of Springfield, Massachusetts when they could have. The
deaths of four people in Massachusetts put into perspective the kind
of scandal that the national news focuses on at the expense of
important stories every day. If only they had treated the Iraq war
with such vigor, sarcasm, and righteous doubt.
The new airport scanners being used by the TSA are machines that use a type of X-Ray usually filtered out in medical machines because they are so readily absorbed by the body. The new machines have been rushed into use thru a recommendation of the former Secretary of Homeland Security Michael Chertoff. His company subsequently got a big contract with the largest manufacturer, Rapiscan. The machines are not as good as a metal detector when it comes to seeing a hidden gun but they were bought to see underwear bombs. one of the problems is that they may not do their job well and will irradiate an entire population certainly causing some cancers. Further the machines are extremely mechanically complex and any error or failure could lead to an unintended very high dose of radiation. Since the machines apparently do not check each dose nobody would know that the machines were giving each victim a carcinogenic dose. If you burn easily in the sun or are prone to cancer or have skin cancer in your family you might be well advised to not only get a pat down instead, but avoid the area within 2 yards of the machine. That’s because radiation is being scattered out of the machine and may be leaking from behind it, unknown to the TSA agent. The TSA agent is also in danger of overexposure and the effect of X-Ray exposure is cumulative, so each dose gets a person closer to cancer and other illnesses which may not show up for many years. Almost no research or testing has been done, contrary to the statements of Janet Napolitano. The few scientific peer review research papers that have been written make a case for the exposure being higher than stated. They also predict that the X-raying of an entire population will eventually precipitate some fatalities. At our site AfterthePress.com we are uploading, and will have links to more information about the machines and real research papers from qualified scientists.
Two days after the midterm elections, before the final counts were made and even before CNN had declared their winners (an event that comes long before the voters’ choice is actually determined), election coverage was eclipsed by “FALLEN STAR” Charlie Sheen, whose rumored tantrum and general reputation was deemed by CNN to be more important than any in-depth epic piece about the voting system that nobody trusts, or the election results that CNN really never waits for. In the piece, the ethical questions are directed outward from the glass house that is the CNN newsroom. CNN loves crowning winners, which, again, is why they announce the winners of our national elections before the vote is counted and then move on, ignoring the actual count, as well as any contests they couldn’t get good odds on. That also may be why the have a best-person-in-the-world contest: CNN HEROS. Maybe this is some kind of winner-or-loser contest with them: talking to Sheen and Tom Sizemore.
Carl Paladino Candidate for Governor of New York state weighs in on the technique called “Hydro-Fracking” or hydraulically fracturing a natural gas bearing layer of rock using water and chemicals. This technique can contaminate ground water. He agrees it’s risky but thinks it’s OK as long as it is not done in the watershed on New York City.