Tuesday, July 13, 2010

I was just wondering why I've never really subscribed to a newspaper.

Looking at the WaPo website, I find maybe two or three headlines I'd follow, but there's a kind of cool, smug, tone about it that I find off-putting. I suppose this is intentional, an effort to reach out to the young, smart, hip sophisticates in its target demographic. The problem is that this ends up bringing jackasses like Dana Milbank to prominence. I can see why they dislike about conservatives, but it's the same think that annoys the really smart conservatives about them.

The main headline is The Unheeded Lessons from Exxon Valdez, which looks like a thumb sucker covering territory 20 years old. If the WaPo were really as acute and on top of things as it would have us think, why didn't it run this piece four or five years ago, or even last year during Obama's first year? Some investigative reporting could have saved him from this landmine.

Actually, I'm not bothered as much by that as the fact that it's entire coverage is loaded with opinions, all accusatory of BP and nothing critical of main employer in Washington. It's obvious that the apparent success of the newest cap on the well caught the paper off guard; instead of hopeful news, it emphasizes delays and the 84 days it has taken to finally get here, yet complains that BP is being too cautious in conducting the pressure tests of the new cap.

From other sources, I learn that the basic fact is that BP still isn't sure what other surprises the geology surrounding the well may be holding, or what shape the pipe is in. They could shut it down and a pressure build up could blow out the pipe at some other spot where it's been weakened. So they're testing all the various valves and connections in this new cap. And I still don't know how risky this was at the outset.

The total of about 7 or 8 reports and graphics features is the impression that all businesses are enemies of mankind and bastards to boot. Except, that is, the ones that grind up trees to make paper to print on and throw away after a day. Those are all environmentally responsible. They use soy-based ink.

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