There's fake news, then there's hyper-fake news when it comes to Pebble - Must Read Alaska
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Thursday, December 12, 2019
HomeColumnsThere’s fake news, then there’s hyper-fake news when it comes to Pebble

There’s fake news, then there’s hyper-fake news when it comes to Pebble

CNN could not help itself. This is just how it does things.

Someone from inside the EPA — likely a disgruntled environmentalist — sent the news agency a suggestion that Gov. Michael Dunleavy had met with President Donald Trump while the president was winging his way to Asia. And the next thing that happened, lo and behold, the Environmental Protection Agency lifted its preemptive veto of progress on the Pebble Project permit.

“Aha!” implied CNN. “Gotcha! This is proof that Dunleavy, onboard Air Force One for a chit-chat, asked the president to lift the veto.”

[Read on MRAK: EPA begins to life preemptive veto of Pebble]

“The EPA publicly announced the reversal July 30, but EPA staff sources tell CNN that they were informed of the decision a month earlier, during a hastily arranged video conference after Trump’s meeting with Gov. Mike Dunleavy. The governor, a supporter of the project, emerged from that meeting ‘saying the president assured him that he’s ‘doing everything he can to work with us on our mining concerns,'” CNN reported.

“The news came as a ‘total shock’ to some top EPA scientists who were planning to oppose the project on environmental grounds, according to sources. Those sources asked to remain anonymous for fear of retribution,” CNN reported. (Italics added by MRAK.)

And then, as fact, CNN reported this gem:

“The copper-and-gold mine planned near Bristol Bay, Alaska, known as Pebble Mine, was blocked by the Obama administration’s EPA after scientists found that the mine would cause ‘complete loss of’ the bay’s fish habitat.” (Italics added.)

The mine is one of the most controversial projects in Alaska, to be sure. And it has been pummeled by fake news for years.

During its construction, it would employ about 2,000 people, and 1,000 during its estimated 20-year life. For environmental industry types, the Pebble Mine is right up there with the Amazon rainforest, and it’s easy to raise money by stoking fear. Opponents of the mine fear it will take out the last great salmon run in the world.

It’s a reasonable concern, but to not even allow Pebble to present its case for mine safety? That was an unprecedented action during the Obama presidency.

Soon the rest of the media was reporting that CNN was reporting this pair of events and all the other speculation, and it became fact across the news landscape for the next week:

Across the land, reporters and news agencies reported on a report that had nothing but conjecture to support it.

CNN, tipped off by the environmental community and opponents of Pebble inside the EPA, led the news pack down the path of speculative journalism. This is Exhibit A for how the environmental industry and the mainstream media concoct stories that become articles of faith that are then repeated as fact.

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Suzanne Downing had careers in business and journalism before serving as the Director of Faith and Community-based Initiatives for Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and returning to Alaska to serve as speechwriter for Gov. Sean Parnell. Born on the Oregon coast, she moved to Alaska in 1969.

Latest comments

  • Are you saying Dunleavy did not meet with Trump? Are you saying the EPA did not change their stance on Pebble? Amazing the stock jumped from 55 cents to 91 cents and traded over 16 million shares on July 30. This is just some random coincidence?
    Two of the largest mining companies in the world already walked on this project. You are correct. It is easy to raise money by stoking fear. Stoking fear is a two way street.

    • Thanks Leo, for proving how simple the general public is. Great reading comprehension buddy!!

  • I wonder how long it’ll be before CNN decides to employ transparency on this particular issue, Suzanne. I won’t be holding my breath.

  • No surprise that modern media has the “ Lemming effect” of follow Bash the President mantra on any subject.
    Pebble Mine has never gotten a fair shake. Propaganda from the Pebble Anti Build factions have distorted the truth from day one.
    The personal attacks on any politician that dare remain neutral on Pebble Mine is unrelenting.
    Recall the TAPS project needed a Vice President s vote to break a Senate tie.
    So it is no surprise that the walk in step together media, is at it again with lies, distortions, fear, and most of all pure hate.
    It appear s that the outcome of EIS and the permitting must not be going their way.

  • I don’t have a comment on Pebble mine one way or the other but, I do acknowledge that the media is chock-full of fake news. Look at how they ran to Hillary’s defense when she got all those people killed in Benghazi because she was inept. our people were over there in the first place trying to find the weapons and rockets that we gave to terrorist so that they could overthrow muammar Gaddafi. Then after that happened, it turns out that we had given all that stuff to isis. Then there’s the selling of guns to drug kingpins in Mexico by AG holder that got one of our agents killed. Then there was the time that they covered for Hillary then she said we were under sniper fire when she landed in Kosovo when in fact they got off the plane walked in got into the limousine and no shots were fired. The media or I should say fake news has their own agenda and it doesn’t align with conservative interests or morals so yeah not sure we need them.

  • The same CNN that just hired Andrew McCabe is making stuff up to fit their agenda? Shhhhhhhhhhhhhhocking.

    • He is about to need cash for lawyer money when the IG report comes out.

  • CNN = Very Fake News

  • So is the story fake?

    • IDK. What I do know is that when somebody continually lies to me I kind of turned a deaf ear to them because they are not to be believed. It doesn’t matter if they’re talking about pebble or if they’re telling me that a particular cut of meat is better than another. I simply tune them out.

    • That is my question also. Clearly the governor met with Trump. Why would he not talk about Pebble. He ran on resource development so why would he not make a case to someone that could help his position.Obviously they did not discuss Fort Greely. I actually viewed the reversal as an accomplishment for Dunleavy. Apparently they did not discuss Pebble and just commiserated with each other how they are being maligned by the fake news.

      • I believe the part you are missing is this:

        “The copper-and-gold mine planned near Bristol Bay, Alaska, known as Pebble Mine, was blocked by the Obama administration’s EPA after scientists found that the mine would cause ‘complete loss of’ the bay’s fish habitat.”

        There is no scientist anywhere that would ever say a mine on one tributary of a multi-river system the size of Bristol Bay would ever cause a ‘complete loss of’ the baby’s fish habitat. There are plenty of people who would say such a demonstrably ridiculous thing, but they are not scientists.

        • i would agree the mine probably would not cause a complete loss of the bay’s fish habitat. I was focused on the first few paragraphs that I took as conjecture.

        • Not to mention the even more damning fact that the EPA was completely blocking it from the permitting/licensing process so that it couldn’t even apply! It’s one thing to find that it isn’t going to be safe for the environment, it’s quite another to say, “You know what? We’re not even going to look at your proposal or allow you to apply for licensing because we don’t like what you are or what you’re trying to do.” That’s exactly what’s occurred here. You can disagree with them all day long, but to shut them out without even hearing the proposal and then disallowing them the normal legal route to even being heard is outrageous and corrupt.

    • Who the hell even watches CNN? Only some desperate Lefties and some very unstable Democrats who think the end of the world is already here. Negativity up the ying yang. Cowardly Negative Nabobs.

  • ” This is Exhibit A for how the environmental industry and the mainstream media concoct stories that become articles of faith that are then repeated as fact.”

    Another great reason why the Governor was right by deciding to go directly to the people instead of relying on the press “to get the word out”.

  • I wonder where the reporting by CNN was while the Obama administration illegally colluded to pre-veto the entire process.

  • It’s CNN, of course it’s true!!

  • Bring on Pebble! Let’s kill all salmon, they are just a nuisance anyway.

    • Have another hit on your fat joint, Frankie. Your CNN gods are waiting to serve you 24/7. Try tuna fish on rye!

      • Certified Numb Nuts. Frank the Wacko fits right in.

  • Very good choice for the title! After reading the Bristol bay watershed assessment two years ago, I decided to invest in Pebble because of all of the blatent bias present in the report. I have been very well educated on the fake news syndrome ever since. I hold faith in the Alaskan public that they can resist the fake news pressure and proceed with developing their incredibly important natural resources.

  • Fortunately, we can block fake news outlets like CNN from or news feeds which I did long ago.

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