Sunday, July 31, 2011

Wow, Wow, and Wow! The New York Times Is Trying to Walk Back the Shoddy "Reporting" They Did On Natural Gas -- Op-Ed Comes Out Day After CHK Conference Call -- CHK Confirmed Game Changer in Ohio

Link here.

The link is to a long op-ed piece in The New York Times to which the "public editor," Arthur S. Brisbane, takes responsibility. The op-ed piece appears to be reacting to the backlash generated by the shoddy "reporting" in the New York Times about the hoax, scam, or Ponzi scheme the newspaper described in its portrayal of the US natural gas industry as another "Enron."

I scanned through the Brisbane op-ed piece very, very quickly, and have little appetite to read it again, so I may be misreading it. But it certainly sounds as if The New York Times realized how shoddy their "reporting" was on this story, and appears to be trying to "walk back" the story as they say. [See first comment below: some will argue that the "reporting" was typical "spin" but in this case the "spin" was so bad, everyone held it up to ridicule.]

I find the timing of Brisbane's op-ed piece very, very interesting. I doubt an op-ed piece like this is thought about, written, edited, and published overnight. The Times, no doubt, has been trying to figure out how and when to deal with that shoddy piece of reporting. I'm sure The Times would deny it, but to connect the timing of the op-ed piece to Chesapeake's conference call one day earlier (in which the CEO confirmed a huge shale oil and gas find in the Utica [Ohio] seems to be a no-brainer).

The CHK conference call, confirming a game-changer in US energy, was aired live July 28, 2011; The Times op-ed piece is dated July 30, 2011, and is now making the rounds.

I was alerted to it by Dave to whom I owe much gratitude.

[On July 29, 2011, after hearing the CHK conference call, I suggested that The New York Times editorial staff read the transcript.]

The two biggest stories on this blog so far this year in terms of number of hits are a) the story on the fire at Cyclone 18; and, b) the shoddy reporting of the original New York Times article. In fact if you google "new york times natural gas" (without the quotation marks), this blog is on the first page of results.

If you add the single word "hoax" to that search (as in: new york times natural gas hoax), this blog is the number one result on google.

I find it curious and interesting that The Times blames their shodding reporting on redacting e-mails. It goes much, much deeper than that.


The Utica, extends under upstate New York, and if states want to get out of their budgetary and unemployment debacles, they would do well to look at industries that cannot easily be outsourced overseas. And that includes a favorable business climate: appropriate regulation and oversight, appropriate taxation, and a pro-business stance.

The first comment below suggests the same thing: the Brisbane op-ed piece is a trial balloon preparing the liberal base in New York City to support hydraulic fracking in their state.  It may be the first bit -- and only bit -- of good news that the state treasurer has had in decades.


  1. The New York Times is a political spin agent.

    The original New York Times story was not "reporting", so it can't be "shoddy reporting."

    It was political spin. It was shoddy political spin - so shoddy that it is the subject of ridicule. But it was spin, not "reporting."

    BTW the CHK story broke just after the NYSE closed Thursday when CHK issued the written announcement. And, CHK increased the projected EUR on Marcellus wells. That is, it had understated the prospects, not overstated them. Generally speaking, the resource plays are exceeding early forecasts.

    Every New York Times "story" should be assumed to be spin until proven otherwise.

    I think I linked quite a while back to CHK press releases which provided, or linked to, criticism of the New York Times hoax.

    The original story, and today's item, should be read in conjunction with the New York government actions, and pending actions on Marcellus permitting, the New York budget, unemployment, and the party to which the current governor belongs. It is the party the New York Times supports. There will be many stories to come on the wisdom of the governor to permit drilling with proper safeguards and the beneficial effect on New York state. Expect that to be one reason he will be promoted as the best candidate for President. The New York Times is getting their story straight. It is a political story. It is about politics, not gas or the environment.

    anon 1

  2. I can't agree more (with all your comments, but especially those about the NYT).

    I have posted that The New York Times remains my favorite newspaper to read, but only with the understanding that the first page is also the first page of their editorial section.

    You have been 100% correct with regard to CHK. Readers of this blog have been very well informed by your comments, which have allowed me to expand on them in stand-alone posts. I truly appreciate that.

    I still have great concerns that the EPA could do immense damage to energy prospects in this country, but it's going to be hard for governors of New York, Ohio, and Pennsylvania to deny the importance of oil and gas industry. It goes without saying that every governor west of the Mississippi and the Missouri already feel that way (about the importance of the oil and gas industry).

    It's also encouraging to know that with each "find," it makes it more difficult for a state to enact punitive taxes on their local oil and gas industry. The Marcellus, the Utica, the Bakken, the Niobrara, the Eagle Ford, are going to be competing for resources (money, manpower, and material) and any state foolish enough to discourage the industry will see CEOs move to better prospects.

    Anyway, I don't think I have been as energized by a story as the CHK story in a long, long time. I truly feel the Utica announcement was a game changer for the energy industry in the US.

    Perhaps I am inappropriately exuberant, but that's the way I am, looking through oily-covered glasses.