Thursday, January 19, 2012

A New Low for the Times: “Wide Support for Gas Rules”

The NYT’s “New Gas Economy Rules Generate Wide Support” is a dishonest piece of news reporting, claiming:

 “Nearly everyone involved in the process is on board with the results. More than 90 people who spoke throughout the day asserted that the stricter fuel economy requirements would create jobs, reduce oil consumption, create cleaner air and save drivers money, all while helping automakers increase their profits.”

Not surprisingly, the people “on board” are executives of bailout recipients, GM and Chrysler, and the UAW (whom Obama placed in line before secured creditors). Michigan Democrat, John Dingell (a neutral observer) is quoted as asserting  there is “no significant opposition amongst responsible persons.”

Although the headline and Dingel promise wide agreement, the Times mentions in passing that individual automobile dealers, the National Automobile Dealers Association, and high-end foreign car manufacturers oppose the measure. The article cites as gospel the estimates of an environmental advocacy group, the EPA and NHTSA  that vehicle prices will rise only $2,000. They fail to mention the automobile dealers’ estimate that the regulations will add $5,000 to the car price.

If the Times wishes to be called the “Newspaper of record,” it should cease such irresponsible and biased reporting. Clearly, the new mileage standards are controversial. There is no way to calculate their costs and benefits with any certainty, and there will be strong disagreement. Why can’t the Times simply report this fact, instead of promoting its political agenda in an article that purports to be news reporting and not opinion?

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