Last week Media Matters noted how Matthew Boyle, who works for Tucker Carlson's Daily Caller, published a one-sided story highlighting conservative attacks on the National Labor Relations Board. In the piece, Boyle "simply transcribe[d] the distortions about NLRB made by Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-SC), a member of the House Oversight Committee."
Blogger Brad Friedman notes that Boyle has done the exact same thing this week; basically take dictation from a company and publish a 'news' article without including any comment, context or perspective from the other side. Like the NLRB article, Boyle's latest is a government-bashing piece that condemns regulations. In neither article is anyone given a chance to explain or defend the regulations.
The Daily Caller headline:
The article details how Texas-based coal plant owner Luminant is unable to meet a "new Cross-State Air Pollution rule, which requires Texas power generators to make 'dramatic reductions' in emissions beginning on January 1, 2012."
That's it. EPA regulations forced Luminant to shut down two facilities. No other possible explanation is given by the Daily Caller for why Luminant is laying off 500 workers.
In very little time however, Friedman was able to find an environmental advocate who offered up a very different explanation for Luminant's move [emphasis added]:
This company is highly leveraged, pays out about three and a half billion dollars a year in debt, and is flailing because it bought a lot of coal plants (and decided to build three new ones), as natural gas prices have fallen. Luminant's anxiety about the declining price of natural gas, and its effect on the company's profitability, is right there in their 2010 SEC 10-k filing. So, they're trying to make the EPA and the Clean Air Act the scapegoat for their bad investment decisions.
Boyle really ought to try harder to report both sides of the story.