MDN note: The following guest post was submitted by Victor Furman, head of the Sapbush Road Group, a New York landowner coalition in northern Broome and southern Chenango counties. He writes about a major landowner rally in Broome County called Vote4Energy, held at the Broome-Tioga Sports Park near Whitney Point on Sunday, July 15. The rally turned out thousands, dwarfing recent anti-drilling rallies held in the area. The media was invited, but they were a no-show. Vic does a great job of pointing out the hypocrisy.
IF YOU INVITE THEM, WILL THEY COME?
Thousands were there—a prominent New York State Senator, Tom Libous, and a New York Assemblyman, Cliff Crouch, both giving passionate speeches about America and their love for the State of New York. They spoke about American scientists and our educational system—things that give us the knowledge and ability to believe in ourselves. They also spoke about their belief in facts vs fiction when it comes to safe natural gas extraction.
Landowners took to the microphone as well, and even ex-landowners who talked about how they sold their farms due to high taxes and low prices for milk and produce. Speakers talked about their children going to war to protect America’s foreign fuel interests. It was a day belonging to oppressed landowners and farmers, a day in which the call—no matter who yelled it out—was the same: “OUR LAND OUR RIGHT.”
Rain fell in the beginning, hard and sideways, but farmers work in this stuff and they know with lack of rain is lack of crops. Had this been the Spiedie Fest in Binghamton, you would have heard people complaining about the rain. But not here, not this day, because the people at this event know how important water is to a farm, and how important it is to have rain. And how important it is to protect our rivers, creeks and aquifers—the very sources that rain replenishes.
It was a day where friends and neighbors came together to celebrate and appreciate their steadfast efforts in protecting their deeded rights. A day to thank each other and tell of victories and defeats of their four-year struggle.
But something, or rather someone, was missing. They were invited, but where were they? Press releases went out inviting the media to cover the largest gathering of landowners in one area with one purpose since the Bainbridge, NY gathering in 2009. But the media did not show—not one mention in the news of an event that had more people than the Ukrainian Festival and 300 times the attendance of the “Second Annual Splash in The Park” anti-drilling event, which got coverage on all the local TV stations. I think I know why.
THE MEDIA HAS TAKEN THE SIDE OF SENSATIONALISM, NOT SCIENCE, or MAYBE THEY JUST WANT TO CONTROL PUBLIC OPINION.
I am not sure which of the two statements above is more true. Perhaps both are equally true! In my opinion there is no “selling” when it comes to truth because the truth sells itself. Sensationalism, however, sells newspapers and TV commercials and because of that, traditional standards of journalism have become extinct, giving way to the bottom line and profits. Yet…those of us who refute fiction with facts (in the case of gas drilling) are called the greedy ones.
I have no respect for our local media anymore, and I blame them for my feelings. Their failure to give the Vote4Energy event proper coverage, or even a single mention when thousands attended, proves to me and should prove to all of us that they only want you to know what they want you to know. Is this democracy, or are we being herded by thought control by our local and national media?
Drill a Gas Well – Bring Home a Soldier
MDN Postscript: For excellent coverage of the Vote4Energy event, coverage missed by the media, read this post by Energy in Depth.