6 men may be dead- But who really cares?

If you want a prime example of how the media is tilted, this story, when looked at carefully, says volumes. 6 families may lose their loved ones and probable primary bread winner in the days before Christmas, but that is a secondary concern to the reporter.

Major Fuel Spill Reported in Alaska

ANCHORAGE, Alaska – A major spill of dense, viscous fuel from a freighter that ran aground was menacing sensitive wildlife habitat in the Aleutian Islands, but finding the six crew members lost at sea remained a priority – despite their diminishing odds for survival.

Let’s state with the headline: Maybe, just maybe the story should be about 6 missing crewmen? And what is this, “but finding the six crew members lost at sea remained a priority – despite their diminishing odds for survival.” It makes it sound like we should write them off as a loss.

Thousands of gallons of heavy bunker fuel and diesel spilled from a soybean freighter that was ripped clean in half off the shore of Unalaska Island. Near a wildlife refuge, the area is home to sea lions, harbor seals, sea otters, tanner crabs, halibut and kelp beds.

But with resources scarce in the remote and harsh area 800 miles southwest of Anchorage, the search for the missing took precedence over the environmental threat. [damnit!]

“There are only so many boats and so many planes, and they have been directed to the search for life,” Kurt Fredriksson, acting commissioner for the Department of Environmental Conservation, said Thursday.

So we have people APOLOGIZING to the media for trying to save human life! How whacked is this?

Fredriksson said it was not known how much fuel had leaked, but called it a major spill that could take months to clean up, threatening sensitive wildlife habitats.

“You’ve got bunker oil streaming from a ship that’s broken in half,” he said. “We are in winter and in a very difficult Aleutian Island environment that will put everybody to the test.”

The freighter was carrying 480,000 gallons of heavy bulk fuel and another 21,000 gallons of diesel fuel.

IMC has contracted a private spill response company, Fredriksson said. He said the rough seas could help break up some of the oil and disperse it to the open sea. “That may be a good thing, in terms of shoreline impact,” he said.

DEC spokeswoman Lynda Giguere said conservation officials will be working with the Department of Fish and Game to determine potential threats to wildlife.

“The fuel we’re dealing with is No. 6 fuel oil. It’s a very dense, viscous oil and it’s not easy to clean up,” Giguere said. “This is particularly persistent. It’s high viscosity and it tends to remain on the surface. It’s not good stuff.”

So much of media bias is not that they actually take one side or the other… It is which stories they run and how they present them. We have 6 men probably dead but that is much less important to the reporter than a *possible* fuel spill. I say possible because we have no idea how much was spilled.

But look at it realistically. EVEN IF ALL of it spilled you are looking at a very minor event in the whole scope of things. One freighter in a place the size of Alaska can’t, by the laws of physics, do that much damage. Even the Exxon Valdese, which was predicted to be the apocalypse, really had a minimal effect.

This story is the encapsulation of the liberal mindset; dead otters are more important than dead humans.

Silly me, I would have lead with the fact that 6 men may be dead. But I’m just a guy in my pajamas. Not a “real” journalist like the AP has.

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  1. MichaelW December 10, 2004
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