Horse has bolted, but facts of little concern to activists
September 13th, 2016
If you want to frighten the horses, The Guardian is your friend, as environmental activists are well aware.
The latest example is in relation to BP’s plans to conduct exploration work on the southern edge of the Great Australian Bight, 400km off Port Lincoln, South Australia.
For two days running, The Guardian has been promoting “faulty equipment fears” about the bolts which are used by global oil and gas drilling companies to anchor drill rigs to the seabed.
Only problem is, that ‘exclusive’ horse had already bolted, as BP had confirmed before the first publication that no such “faulty equipment” was planned for use off the SA coast.
So why did The Guardian go ahead with the report, which they then doubled down on by giving it top billing on their website?
That is a question which BP is understood to have taken up with the newspaper, but two days later, has yet to get an answer.
And another question is relevant. In its second story, why didn’t The Guardian declare that the author of the opinion piece is as an environmentalist actively campaigning against all oil and gas exploration?
Yes, the website published a follow-up piece, published under the name of the CEO of Greenpeace Australia, David Ritter, but did not see the need to clearly and transparently reveal Mr Ritter’s strong vested interest.
In the meantime, industry players have been clarifying the situation, clearing up yet another scare campaign. So job done, presumably, from the activist perspective. Who cares about credibility, if there is a headline to be had….