Why would ThinkProgress deliberately misrepresent the words of Massey Energy CEO Don Blankenshit? (Oh, dear me, I seem to have a typo in the last word there.)
Here’s what they quote him as saying:
But I also know — I also know Washington and state politicians have no idea how to improve miner safety. The very idea that they care more about coal miner safety than we do is as silly as global warming.
First, Brad Johnson‘s lede takes that piece of lead and turns it into 14 carat gold:
He mocked both “Washington politicians” and local elected officials who attempt to ensure miner safety, calling their efforts “as silly as global warming”…
Apart from anything else, that totally insults the intelligence of their readers. That piece of dishonest spin is immediately followed by the quote. Johnson — and ThinkProgress‘s editors — don’t think their readers will pick up on the difference between what they say and what they show? (I bring editors into it, because the post has been up for two hours now. Even if the editors of the blog don’t vet every post before it’s posted, they sure as hell have a duty to call for corrections when they see something as glaring as this.)
And, then, the headline slapped on the post completes the transformation into pure 24 carat gold: “Don Blankenship Called Safety Regulators ‘As Silly As Global Warming’“.
What I find truly amusing is that in the very next post, Faiz Shakir — Vice President at the Center for American Progress and Editor-in-Chief of ThinkProgress — talks about how Fox News peddles distortions and untruths.
In my book, the distortions in the headline and lede of Brad Johnson’s post are very much in the Fox News tradition. In fact, Brad Johnson (and the ThinkProgress headline writer, if their bloggers don’t write their own headlines) could walk into the Fox News School of Journalism as a guest lecturer any time he wants.