Media are doing what they're supposed to do

Letter to the editor

Posted: Friday, May 26, 2006

Alaska's Gov. Frank Murkowski urges the news media (My Turn, May 18) to put pressure on their corporate owners to "get the truth out about opening ANWR to oil exploration." He says they have the "opportunity to encourage their corporate partners across the country to be fully informed about ANWR." Murkowski insinuates that it is the media's duty and responsibility to support his exploration and exploitation programs and views. I just wonder how they would react to that.

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Murkowski needs a reminder that the acronym ANWR actually stands for: Arctic National Wildlife Reserve. (That's in "Wildlife" and not "Oil," a fact not lost on our nation's media.)

Murkowski naturally prefers for the nation's media to support his views. What he forgets is that the media are already doing exactly what they are supposed to do - presenting varying viewpoints on this issue from all across the country, including as much "truth" as possible from their varying viewpoints.

What the media rightfully does not do is allow Alaska's governor to define the "truth" for them. Thank goodness for that. We've already seen way too many examples of Murkowski's "truth" and only the small parts of the puzzle that support his ideas: state financed "studies," secret oil contracts negotiations and other state's business conducted behind closed doors come to mind.

I'd imagine the media would hesitate to get in the same boat with a governor who currently claims the second-most unfavorable approval rating of any in the country.

Anne Pennington


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