Keystone Polling and an Oil Spill Time Machine

In today’s USA Today (4/3/13), this headline stood out:


It’s not that the headline finding would be all that surprising–most people aren’t much aware of any particular pipeline, and if they read the papers (like, say, USA Today) they’re very likely to hear that it’s a no-brainer job creator.

Oil spill in Arkansas (cc photo: NWF)

Those polled did not turn against oil pipelines, even though those with ESP could have seen this oil spill in their future. (cc photo: NWF)

What’s really noteworthy is the subhead about the “new oil spill” not seeming to have a big impact–a reference to the ExxonMobil’s Pegasus pipeline leak in Arkansas. As the paper noted, “The numbers come amid continuing efforts to clean up a major new oil spill in Arkansas.”

But “come amid” is another way of saying “entirely unrelated to.” The poll was conducted, as the paper notes, between March 13-17. The current pipeline spill happened on March 30.



About Peter Hart

Activism Director and and Co-producer of CounterSpinPeter Hart is the activism director at FAIR. He writes for FAIR's magazine Extra! and is also a co-host and producer of FAIR's syndicated radio show CounterSpin. He is the author of The Oh Really? Factor: Unspinning Fox News Channel's Bill O'Reilly (Seven Stories Press, 2003). Hart has been interviewed by a number of media outlets, including NBC Nightly News, Fox News Channel's O'Reilly Factor, the Los Angeles Times, Newsday and the Associated Press. He has also appeared on Showtime and in the movie Outfoxed. Follow Peter on Twitter at @peterfhart.