Is the Philadelphia Inquirer Trying to Emulate The Onion?

When I opened up today’s Philadelphia Inquirer, my eyes went to a headline that read: “A Republican greens can support” accompanied by a photo of Chris Christie. Even before I read the column, I checked the date to make sure I wasn’t reading the April 1 issue.

As the headline indicates, the columnist tries to convince the reader that Chris Christie is a friend of the environment. He mentions that New Jersey is among the nation’s leaders in deployment of solar energy (true), and that the governor opposed offshore liquefied natural gas terminals (a.k.a. highly explosive and dangerous potential pollution factories).

Cherry-picking some positive steps that have been made by the governor does not make him a friend of the environment. Christie has still refused to say that human activity contributes to global climate change and that most reputable scientists have concluded that events like Hurricane Sandy are exacerbated by global warming. The columnist does not mention that Chris Christie unilaterally, over the objection of the legislature, pulled the state out of the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative. And Christie’s pro-fracking stance does not exactly jive with promoting clean drinking water supplies.

The author misleads the reader by stating that “in 2009, leading environmental groups … backed Christie over incumbent Jon Corzine.” Yet, the leading and most credible environmental group, the Sierra Club, took a pass in that election, endorsing a third party candidate over both Christie and Corzine.

The column ends with a swipe at Barbara Buono’s campaign, so one has to wonder what the motivation of the author was. Was it to really tout Christie’s environmental record? Or was it just another instance of the Norcross Newsmedia working to re-elect their friend?

Comments (11)

  1. ken bank

    Before we start using this as another excuse to beat up on George Norcross it should be noted that Anthony Figliola, who wrote the column, is VP of Empire Government Strategies, a public relations firm which works for Republican candidates. This is fully disclosed at the bottom of the essay. Like every other opinion piece published in newspapers it strictly expresses the opinion of the author, and does not reflect the editorial stance of the Inquirer.

    The Inquirer, like every other newspaper I’ve read, solicits opinion pieces from all sides of the political spectrum. In fact, they may have published this essay in response to another opinion piece that bashes Christie for his environmental record. Of course the Buono campaign, or any of her supporters and environmental groups, are free to respond, which I expect they will do so, just as I expect the Inquirer will afford them the opportunity to respond.

  2. firstamend07

    Do Progressives see the bogey man everywhere?

    The Inquirer ,,like most good newspapers, offers opinions that are both ” left ” and “right” .

    To my knowledge George Norcross did not write the article you were talking about. So why take a cheap shot at Norcross?

    Buono does not need the Inquirer to screw up her campaign,she is doing that pretty well herself.  

  3. toaonua

    …Bill Wolfe (banned from this site apparently) wrote this up over on Wolfenotes:

    Interesting response from author, who apparently had spent his “career as a Democrat in New York” prior to being a Christie cheerleader.

    It’s one thing to be an OpEd, but one would hope the facts would be checked. The New Jersey Environmental Federation has recently condemned Christie’s enviro record since being elected. In fact they do so again in a video posted today at NJTVOnline:

  4. TrentonMakes

    Maybe folks are getting overly exercised about DeciMinyan’s throwaway last line.  His post is clearly focused on the core issue: Christie’s disdain for the environment.  The same guy who invoked climate scientists’ warnings of a mega-hurricane to order people from their homes ignores those same scientists when they just as urgently warn about global warming. Maybe not every politician will actually be a climate scientist (reference Rush Holt ad), but they should at least respect them. No one has done the job Christie has of tossing the Kean tradition of GOP environmentalism in the dustbin of history.

    Figliola is an acknowledged party hack and flak, so it is risible that the Inquirer should dignify a partisan screed as a legitimate op-ed.  The question is whether someone with legitimate environmental expertise will be allowed to place a case as cogent as DeciMinyan’s before the Inquirer‘s readers.  The Buono campaign should certainly recruit someone, if the paper does not.

    DeciMinyan’s point-by-point critique will surely be central to the argument. People also should not forget Christie’s disdain for public transit (“block that tunnel!”) and his undermining of state regulation on development in sensitive areas.  


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