In the ongoing battle for information supremacy between the old and new media, we on the “new” side of the fence are constantly reminded by our peers on the “old” side about their time-honored standards, unimpeachable integrity and professional reporting skills.
Seriously, ask any mainstream reporter and they’ll bristle if you dare to lump them into the same category as a lowly blogger – even though mainstream media outlets are every bit as susceptible when it comes to advancing agendas and making mistakes.
Anyway, falling into the latter category today we have the hilarious story of the press conference that wasn’t – a Monday morning “media event” in which the U.S. Chamber of Commerce appeared to reverse its position on the controversial “cap and tax” proposal supported by U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham (RINO-S.C.), among others.
“There is only one way to do business and that is to pass a climate bill quickly so this December President Obama can go to Copenhagen and negotiate with a strong position,” a U.S. Chamber spokesman announced …
… or so the MSM thought.
It turns out the speaker didn’t represent the Chamber at all, and was merely part of an elaborate spoof orchestrated by an ultra-liberal climate activist group.
From the UK’s Guardian:
Several green organisations tweeted or blogged on the about-face. Reuters news agency put out a straight news story about the Chamber’s apparent U-turn, and the Washington Post and New York Times put the story on their news sites (both later removed the stories from their websites). CNBC actually sought – and got – comment from analysts. It also broke its programming to have a reporter read out the fake press release.
The spoof got under way with a press release inviting journalists to a morning news conference. Most reporters overlooked the misspelling of the Chamber president’s name.
The phony spokesman said the Chamber was not happy with the bill before the Senate and would push for a carbon tax – not the greenest of positions. But he added: “If cap and trade is all we can get we have to take it so at least we can have something to put in President Obama’s hands when he goes to Copenhagen.”
He went out even further on a limb when he called clean coal “a hoax”, saying the money would be better spent on solar energy research. “Clean technology has not only not been proven. It basically doesn’t exist,” he said.
It was about that time, the real Chamber spokesman burst into the room – and had a mild shoving match at the podium. “What happened today was a fraud and I believe illegal,” Eric Wohlschlegel said. The spokesman said he learned of the hoax when a reporter came to the Chamber office looking for the press conference. Wohlschlegel said he immediately leaped into a taxi.
First of all, props to whoever pulled off this stunt.
Don’t get us wrong, we can’t stand the climate change Nazis one iota, and we loathe their costly “cap and tax” nonsense even more, but this is brilliant “strategery.”
It’s also a wonderful reminder that in spite of all of their lofty standards, presumed integrity and so-called skills, the mainstream media aren’t as quite smart as they think they are …