Thursday, August 24, 2006

The Omaha World Herald: Much Smarter Than You

In their editorial section today, the Omaha World Herald takes on Alaskan proponents of drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR). (Don’t be fooled – OWH – 8/24/06.)

The OWH believes Nebraskans should not listen to what Alaskans think should be done with land in Alaska because Alaskans are too self-interested in what should be done with land in Alaska. (Try switching those two state names, and see how that works for you.)

However, the OWH believes it is NOT self-interested in this debate about Alaska’s land, even though their guy Ben Nelson has staked out the exact opposite position on this from the Alaskans and his Senate opponent Pete Ricketts.

As far as the issue of ANWR itself goes, there are arguments on both sides. However, the OWH’s arguments against drilling are:

  • We wouldn’t see the results for another seven years. (Uh, OWH, this is an argument FOR drilling now.)
  • We wouldn’t get THAT much. (So it’s better to get it all from the Middle East?)
  • And…that’s pretty much it.
  • Oh yeah, the lands are, “environmentally important” and “pristine”. (You’ll just have to trust them on that.)

And, by the way, Ben Nelson “provided a vital vote” against the drilling in ANWR. (And do you think the OWH doesn’t realize that this is a major issue on which Nelson differs from conservative Republicans?)

The OWH goes on to say:

Political observers suggest the ads may get louder, more frequent and possibly nastier as the fall election approaches. Nelson, of course, is up for re-election.

Because stating a position which is the opposite of the OWH’s is “nasty”. Hmm…

And as long as we’re here, let’s look at the OWH’s other editorial today:

In the “Midlands Voices” section, State Sen. Philip Erdman of Bayard, (who, by the way, the OWH fails to even recognize as a State Senator) takes on another recent OWH editorial which ridicules State Senator and 3rd District Congressional candidate Adrian Smith for his associations with an out of state group – calling them carpetbaggers. (Midlands Voices: Carpetbagger label was wrongly applied – OWH – 8/24/06.) Yet, as Erdman notes, Smith opponent only recently moved to Nebraska before deciding to run for Congress – the very definition of a carpetbagger.

But instead of letting Erdman make his point, the OWH comes back in the same edition, with another editorial, this time attacking Erdman’s point of view. (A sense of proportion – OWH – 8/24/06.)

So let us sum up the OWH’s position on all things that you should think:

  • Cover your eyes and ears if an ad comes from outside of Nebraska. (And even if they want to give specific facts, the OWH will “refute” them.)
  • Advertising by someone with a lot of money is bad. (Spending lots of money is obscene and Nebraskans just don’t like it, no matter what.)
  • Editorials by someone who disagrees with the OWH are incorrect. (And the OWH will write its own follow-up to prove it.)

You see, there is ONE statewide voice in Nebraska. You should listen to that ONE statewide voice. It is Nebraskan, and therefore correct. And that voice is the Omaha World Herald. And it is the voice of Nebraska.

Just ask them.


Anonymous said...

Personally, I don't think we should waste our time drilling in ANWR, and it has nothing to do with environmental concerns. A four cent a gallon drop in gas prices would easily be offset by OPEC. So it would make no difference whatsoever. I think that the government (which would most likely provide tax incentives for the companies getting the oil) should be focused on renewable energy, like ethanol or biodiesel, because it will reduce our long-term need for foreign oil, rather than focusing on a short-term solution that doesn't do anything about that dependence, which is the real underlying issue.

Do you attack all editorials, or just the ones you disagree with?

Street Sweeper said...

We tend to opine on the editorials that talk down to us like we're 3rd-graders and are disingenuous. Unfortunately, we didn't have time to post after the recent OWH ed that offered "redemption" to the Senate candidates.
Apparently Pete and Ben should start with , "Bless me OWH, for I have sinned..."

There are arguments on both sides of the ANWR debate, which we don't plan to get into (but certainly welcome any commenters to do so). We tend to think that more sources of energy are better than fewer, but that's not really the gist of our criticism here. We'll let the post speak for itself.

Cowpunk said...

Now let's sum up Sweeper's positions:

--There's no reason to whine about groups outside Nebraska trying to influence our politics, but it's completely wrong for people outside Alaska to tell Alaskans what should be done with the NATIONAL wildlife refuge that happens to be in their state.

--Even though the World Herald printed a huge editorial by Mr. Erdman which was quite antagonistic to the paper's editors, and then posted their own editorial agreeing with virtually everything Erdman said(and mentioning in its first sentence that he is a state senator, I might add), they are trying to squelch all dissenting viewpoints.

Next week: Streetsweeper smacks down the feds again: "We'll deal with our Injuns as we damn well please!"

Anonymous said...

Fair enough, street sweeper. I can actually agree with you on your point about being talked down to.

And I certainly agree with more energy is better than less energy; I just don't think ANWR is the answer to our problem...and I really hate when candidates (and electeds) claim that it would be some sort of cure-all for our energy needs

Street Sweeper said...

Cowpunk, why you feel the need to try to summarize what is pixilated before you is unknown. But since you failed in any case, we’ll help you out:
We did not take the opposite view of the OWH. However, we certainly find it hypocritical of the OWH to say that Alaskans’ views of what is going on in their backyard should be ignored because they’re “biased”. Senator Nelson certainly does not listen only to Nebraskans when he votes on Federal issues. Nebraskans should, and do, have the same right and opportunity to listen to out of state views when deciding on issues.

As far as Sen. Erdman goes, putting his name on some other ed doesn’t cover omitting it on the piece he wrote. Can you bend over any farther for the OWH? And if they actually agreed with what he wrote, they wouldn’t have written the follow-up.

Oh, and leave the racist remarks on your own website.

Cowpunk said...

Street Sweeper,

So you weren't taking sides when you pointed out the World Herald's "hypocrisy", but they were when they corrected the false assertions of a phony astroturf group? Maybe you can explain the difference, because I fail to see the distinction. Oh wait, I remember now-Ben Nelson is "their guy", and he's against drilling in ANWR.

Some people wonder why conservatives are constantly whining about their victimization at the hands of so-called liberal media, interest groups, blogs, etc., when conservatives control darn near everything now. I don't. I know it must be very hard for you all when the facts almost always have a liberal bias.

Street Sweeper said...

We've made it very clear where we stand on the ANWR issue, if that's what you're getting at. And the OWH is absolutely being hypocritical. If you think they're being all ombudsmanish about the pro-drilling backers, then you're either myopic, naive or both. You'll note that they didn't just make a note of the backers, but went on to give all the lame arguments (your version of "facts") against drilling -- that oh just happen to coincide with their candidate's view.

The OWH is all over the board politically -- but they've made it crystal clear that they're backing Nelson. And as one of the dominant media sources in the state, they can use some balance.

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

... they've made it crystal clear that they're backing Nelson. And as one of the dominant media sources in the state, they can use some balance.

I saw an editorial in the Omaha newspaper this week in which it sided with Ricketts and against Nelson on immigration.

This morning I saw an editorial in the OWH that focused on Nelson's ads on the fair tax. The editorial ridiculed them.

Street Sweeper said...

Glad to see you’ve bought the OWH’s "balancing" act. You’ll also notice that they begin their criticism of Nelson’s ads by saying what a serious and fine job he’s done in the Senate, while referring to Ricketts ads as sophmoric. The OWH will use that same reasoning to endorse Nelson just before the election. Bank on it.

Anonymous said...

People throw the word "balance" around way too casually as far as political debate.

News reporters, for TV and newspapers -- they need to be balanced. The opinion people don't need to be "balanced."

When I listen to Rush Limbaugh or Sean Hannity or when I read the blogs, the point isn't at all whether they're "balanced." It's whether they present strong arguments -- and Rush certainly has, for years. That's why I respect him so much. That's how the opinion people need to be judged.

I read the Wall Street Journal's editorial page every day. I want the WSJ to present strong analysis and opinion. I don't want some kind of "balance" that requires the WSJ's editorials to say the Democrats are right. When Hillary Clinton runs for the presidency (and we all know she's gearing up for it after the Senate race in NY this year), the WSJ needs to be free to voice its criticisms in full in its editorials, and not worry about offering "balance" that would weaken the Republican Party's arguments against her campaign.