A liberal blog has published emails purporting to show MSNBC aired an episode favorable to hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, for natural gas while taking advertising money from the natural gas industry and being partially-owned by an energy company.
The environmental outlet DeSmogBlog claims the emails show MSNBC was a “corporate-owned media outlet with business interests that often converge with the stories they cover.” The blog says one episode of MSNBC’s “The Dylan Ratigan Show” from April, 2011, gave a positive interview to a energy magnate T. Boone Pickens about his energy plan. In another interview, Ratigan didn’t immediately embrace the claims of an anti-fracking activist.
At the time of the interviews, the natural gas utility and electricity company General Electric owned 49 percent of MSNBC, which DeSmog claims is a clear conflict of interest that caused the cable company to ignore environmental objections to fracking. DeSmog also alleges MSNBC has run pro-fracking advertisements on behalf of pro-fracking America’s Natural Gas Alliance. MSNBC is now owned entirely by Comcast.
The article’s evidence for MSNBC’s right-leaning and pro-fracking tendencies are that “The Dylan Ratigan Show” explicitly stated natural gas could be a “solution” to dependence on foreign oil and energy problems. The show’s claims have been supported by subsequent events as natural gas is replacing coal as America’s primary source of electricity which is enormously beneficial to the environment. Shortly after the episode premiered, Congress introduced the Pickens-promoted NAT GAS Act, but it failed to become law.
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