Pat McCrory tells a fib

By: - August 27, 2008 10:31 am

Sometimes, it's amazing to see how the right-wing talking points are handed down from the Cheney-Bush administration and filtered through Fox News to the various politicians and candidates around the country. If only the far right could do as good and disciplined a job of running the country as they do in propagandizing, we'd all be a lot better off.

As we're all well aware, one of the latest examples concerns off-shore oil drilling. According to the mantra handed down from the Veep and his assistants, expanded off-shore oil drilling is the big solution to what ails our economy. Here in North Carolina, the message has been quickly absorbed and regurgitated back by candidates Dole and McCrory and others.

While very impressive from a political communications and discipline standpoint, such talking point politics can present a problem — especially when the talking point is untrue and/or receives a little extra embellishment from the ground-level spokesperson.

A case in point is the attached speech by Mayor of Charlotte. At approximately seven minutes and fifty seconds into this little talk on You Tube at a Hendersonville eatery, hizzoner lambastes Beverly Perdue for "scaring everyone" about the risks of oil drilling and says:


We didn't have one oil spill due to Katrina."


Check out, for instance, this article from the Houston Chronicle:

Hurricane Katrina's floodwaters unleashed 1 million gallons of oil from one of the massive storage tanks at Murphy Oil's nearby refinery. The spill spread over 1 square mile and stained 1,700 homes, making it one of the largest environmental spills to occur in the aftermath of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita.

But it was far from the only one.

A Houston Chronicle review of data from the National Response Center shows that the two storms caused at least 595 spills, incidents that released untold amounts of oil, natural gas and other chemicals into the air, onto land and into the water.

The quantity and cumulative magnitude of the 595 spills, which were spread across four states and struck offshore and inland, rank these two hurricanes among the worst environmental disasters in U.S. history. Some have even compared the total amount of oil released — estimated at 9 million gallons — to the tragedy of Exxon Valdez."

Sounds like the Mayor needs to either examine his talking points more carefully or maybe just stick to the script.

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Rob Schofield
Rob Schofield

NC Newsline Editor Rob Schofield oversees day-to-day newsroom operations, authors and voices regular commentaries, and hosts the 'News & Views' weekly radio show/podcast.