The right-wing media has jumped the tracks

My last few blog posts have been about the Chinese spy balloon situation and the Biden WH’s dishonest spin effort with that, so now it’s time for a right-wing media dishonest spin effort about the train derailment in East Palestine, OH. So, let’s start at the beginning:

Feb. 4, 2023:

“A train derailment and resulting large fire prompted an evacuation order in an Ohio village near the Pennsylvania state line on Friday night, covering the area in billows of smoke lit orange by the flames below.

About 50 cars derailed in East Palestine as a train was carrying a variety of freight from Madison, Illinois, to Conway, Pennsylvania, rail operator Norfolk Southern said in a statement Saturday. There was no immediate information about what caused the derailment. No injuries were reported.”

The right-wing media ecosystem is as nuts and dishonest as the liberal media ecosystem these days, but interestingly, it seems like no one reads the print articles from news media anymore, they just run with Twitter, video clips, TV, and social media hysteria.

I’ve had an interest in toxic waste sites since I was a kid. I grew up in northeast PA about 10 miles from the New Jersey Zinc Company in Palmerton, PA and I was already an adult in 1983 when it became an EPA Superfund site that has taken decades to clean up (still ongoing):

“The Palmerton Zinc Pile Superfund site is located in the Borough of Palmerton, Pennsylvania. Former primary zinc smelting operations from two plants in Palmerton (east and west plants) resulted in area-wide contamination. The several-thousand-acre site includes Blue Mountain, a large smelting residue pile called the Cinder Bank, and much of the surrounding valley north of Blue Mountain. For nearly 80 years, the New Jersey Zinc Company disposed of 33 million tons of smelting waste at the site. Former smelting operations released heavy metals into the valley, causing the wide-spread loss of trees on about 4,000 acres of Blue Mountain. This barren area allowed for surface water contamination from erosion of contaminated soils into Aquashicola Creek and the Lehigh River. Heavy metals contaminated dust, soil, shallow groundwater and surface water. The presence of lead in children’s blood samples triggered public health and environmental investigations. EPA placed the site on the Superfund program’s National Priorities List (NPL) in 1983.”

There’s been this right-wing media/social media hysteria about this train derailment in Ohio, trying to turn it into a Chernobyl situation, and also blaming President Biden and the Secretary of Transportation, Pete Buttigieg, of ignoring the crisis, since the past two weeks the country and media has been fixated on the Chinese spy balloon story. Certainly, there are legitimate questions about why train safety hasn’t been addressed with the massive infrastructure bill that Congress passed in 2021. There are certainly legitimate questions to be raised about the decision-making when temperature changes inside one of the cars raised concerns about a potential catastrophic tanker failure and Governor Dewine said the experts recommended the lesser of two bad options, an explosion that could spew the chemicals and shrapnel for up to a mile vs. doing a slow release burn of chemicals in that rail car. Governor Dewine said he talked to Governor Shapiro of PA and decided to go with the slow release burn option.

So, who all was in the loop from the beginning, well Governor Dewine said he talked to President Biden, who offered full support and he talked to Governor Shapiro, since East Palestine, OH sits on the state line of OH and PA. From the first day:

“First responders from nearly 70 emergency agencies from Ohio, West Virginia, and Pennsylvania quickly mobilized.”

The FOX News primetime coverage last night made it sound like no one was doing anything, when there have been teams from all sorts of agencies – state and federal – on the ground, plus train officials and experts. I have zero expertise to second guess how to handle a “catastrophic tanker failure” situation, but apparently every FOX News primetime host does. Here’s what I do know, there will likely be ongoing clean-up efforts needed and there is a very real potential for people to get sick too.

Governor Dewine held a press conference yesterday and I watched some of this. He had officials from various agencies on hand to explain what’s been going on. There have been teams on the ground testing air, testing soil, testing water, monitoring fish and wildlife impacts, monitoring other health concerns. They are urging the residents in East Palestine to drink bottled water as testing continues and they are urging residents who have private wells to call and schedule free testing of their wells. Bottled water is being provided free too. The wildlife lady at that briefing described over 3,000 dead fish estimated so far and there are efforts to contain the water contamination, but it’s a serious concern.

The entire situation is serious, but it’s not Chernobyl and this right-wing spin effort has left me as disgusted by this right-wing media ecosystem as I am by the left-wing media ecosystem. It’s a total disservice to the people impacted. We’ve got the left spin war and activism teaching Americans to hate America and the right-wing spin war is teaching them to believe the American government and every politician or person, whom the right-wing media decides is bad, is evil and is trying to destroy them or America. This coverage has been appallingly bad and the amazing thing is the FOX News take that no one in the media has been talking about the train derailment – well, they were all-in on the Chinese spy balloon story the past two weeks too, but now they need a new story to incite the right.

There’s another hot take that there’s been a media blackout of this story. There was a journalist arrested at a briefing in East Palestine and I don’t have all the details, but saw a video clip of the incident. That incident has been blown-up into assertions that there’s been a total media blackout, even though when I heard that the first time, I googled train derailment in OH and came up with pages upon pages of news stories on this train derailment from all sorts of news outlets – local and even liberal big media. It wasn’t much of a media blackout, since I only had to do one quick google search to find out information from the beginning of this crisis to the present.

Of course, naturally, the same people who believe the government is trying to destroy the food supply with the food processing plant fires are now ranting about the rash of train derailments and acting like it’s some conspiracy. I checked the train accident stats from the Federal Railroad Administration and there are a lot of railroad accidents (1573 for 2022), to include derailments, in America every year:

I turn FOX News on occasionally, since I can’t deal with the far-left crazy on MSNBC and CNN went so far into Trump derangement that I couldn’t deal with Stormy and Avenatti, etc. I am about done with FOX News too. Last night really disgusted me – by the time Laura Ingraham came on and started her dishonest conflating topics – from selling the Biden blew up Nord Stream allegation to making this train derailment into Chernobyl, I didn’t even make it through her monologue. Here’s the thing Seymour Hersh has spread stories that were not true many times in the past – he has a very spotty track record and I take everything he reports with a few shakers of salt. I find it almost impossible to believe that President Biden, who dragged his feet responding to the Afghanistan withdrawal debacle, has dragged his feet on aid to Ukraine, ( fast to promise, slow to deliver) was still trying to talk to Putin & was still importing Russian oil at the time of the Nord Stream pipeline explosions, who took a week to decide to shoot down an unmanned Chines spy balloon flying over America and our most sensitive military sites ordered the Nord Stream pipelines to be blown up. And for what purpose? The Germans and other Europeans were still trying to get Putin to reopen the pipeline.

There’s definitely room to question why so many train accidents and what’s going on with funding more train safety measures, since Congress passed that massive infrastructure bill in 2021. However, this deliberate right-wing media effort to create mass hysteria and use this crisis to score political points against the Biden administration and Pete Buttigieg, at the expense of trying to get calm, clear information to the residents of East Palestine and surrounding areas is just as bad as the vast, corrupt Dem/liberal media spin war.

A pox on both your houses.

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Filed under General Interest, Information War, Politics

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