Thursday, February 17, 2011


Now that the New Mexico state legislature is being urged on to investigate the recent natural gas crisis we just went through, you know they will take up the call for if there's anything our politicians here savor more than spending the money in their constituents' wallets, its grandstanding before the public.

But, along with executives of New Mexico Gas Company and PNM, they also should be calling members of the news media to explain their behavior in this event. And especially TV news reporters for, as I see it, a good deal of our problems came about because of their highly-biased, anti-utility company coverage.

The first thing I heard on TV at the outset was finger pointing. "Who dropped the ball?" one asked, never mind the horrendously bad weather they were having in Texas where much of our extra gas supply was going to come from or their rolling brown-outs there making it nearly impossible to ship the gas through pipelines.

And then they began ratcheting up the air of panic they were creating. They interviewed everyone they could find who could bellyache, gripe, and weep before the cameras. This was kept up constantly day in and day out.

Governor Susana Martinez was affected by this and irrationally sent the National Guard down to Taos. What did the National Guard know about natural gas distribution or starting up heaters and appliances properly? They were just getting in everybody's way The Governor also demanded hourly progress reports as though that were going to solve the crisis. Truly bizarre behavior brought about solely to appease the crying heads on TV.

Further, because the gas company employees found themselves in this state of panic, I don't think they were thinking things out properly. They ran down to Taos and elsewhere trying to do things willy-nilly with no set plan, also trying to show they were on the job and get the griping news media mouths off their backs.

Then the media set its sight on missed press conferences and public meetings. Frankly, why should they have gone. This would have been another opportunity for smarmy reporters to try to make them look bad and, as far as, public gatherings, why would they go just to be cussed at. The TV news would have really loved this as they could have shown angry people shouting out and embarrassed gas officials trying to answer their queries.

Not that the gas and electric companies are blameless. They showed themselves to be horrendously inept and clueless on handling a situation they should have been prepared for. Damn right they have plenty to answer for.

But how is anyone supposed to act coolly and professionally when you have a 24-hour screaming news media on your back, picking sides, finger-pointing, and making a bad situation infinitely worse. And in this, I never a saw a single report on overworked gas and electric company workers who were away from their homes and families. It was as though they were no more than beasts of the field to most media talking heads.

This crisis made me realize that the news media, especially TV, is a desperate type of insect which feeds off all the hate and confusion it can create. This wasn't news coverage at all but, rather, anti-corporate propaganda doled out by people who neither understand gas or electric distribution and its attendant problems, and who shoot off their mouths to make it seem they are intelligent.
by © Clyde James Aragon
from "Full Frontal Stupidity" -*
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