We noted last week that the PBS NewsHour's coverageof the Gulf oil disaster one night includeda one-on-one interview with a spokesperson from BP. Going through the show's coverage since then, a remarkable fact emerged: The show hadnot interviewed an environmental advocate opposed to the White House plan to increase offshore oil drilling. The reticence to talk about this obvious policy angle was bizarre–though not at all limited to PBS.
Well, last night the NewsHour hosted a debate between Greenpeace's Kert Davies and Sara Banaszak of the American Petroleum Institute. So let the record show that the NewsHour has opened up a tiny bit of space for that discussion to happen.
And it's an improvement over the comments by PBS liberal Mark Shields, who on April 30 was lamenting the fact that the current spill might set back the effort to increase offshore drilling: "The resistance on the environmental left to offshore drilling, I think, had diminished at the time the president came forward, because of the advances in safety equipment and strategies."
That wasn't really the case; the environmental groups that opposed offshore drilling continued to oppose it, no matter what Barack Obama thought of the idea. It's good that PBS is letting its viewers in on that now.