UPDATE: It appears that the Energy Accountability Project (or whatever) fixed the misspelling of “accountability” in their logos on their website and Twitter account sometime after this post went live. Unfortunately, “accountability” is misspelled in, well, every piece of content they’ve ever released into the wild!
Like this one:
And this one:
And this one:
And so forth. It’s probably time to mash the reset button on this misbegotten little campaign–or maybe just, you know, delete. After which somebody at the Colorado Oil and Gas Association should show themselves out.
All the money in the world, and no one to proofread. Imagine.
After Kyle Clark at 9NEWS took issue with a “fact-checking” website run by the Colorado Oil and Gas Association–secretly at first, disclosing their ownership only after being called out–we took a closer look at the operation. There’s nothing inherently wrong with an entity setting up a clearinghouse of their own opinions, but two aspects of the site struck journalists as objectionable to the point of having a chilling effect: its secretive nature as well as “index pages” devoted to shaming individual reporters by calling out their alleged misdeeds. Those pages have reportedly been taken down.
But the larger reason this effort appears to have backfired spectacularly among the very people it was meant to influence is that it’s happening at the same time as President Donald Trump’s vicious rhetoric against the news media has ramped up to a fever pitch in recent weeks. Media fact-checking sites as we’ve come to know them generally focus on fact-checking the statements of politicians and opinionmakers, not reporters: though it’s true that Fox News-style “journalism” has made that distinction trickier. COGA’s fact-checking site, on the other hand, directly went after the reporters. Considering that the President of COGA, Dan Haley, worked for the Denver Post for many years, we’re shocked that he didn’t realize how this would be received by his former peers.
To be clear, being critical of news reporting, and even individual reporters is not wrong. We’ve done plenty of that in this space. But to target reporters systematically like this site did — at the same time that the President of the United States treads perilously close to inciting violence against journalists — it all feeds into the hatred of the media Trump wants his supporters to feel. And for the same reasons.
The only other thing we can recommend to the Energy Accountability Project and its former newspaper editor leader, is this…
Learn how to spell “accountability.”
Seriously, you colossal dumbasses. Seriously.