James McPherson's Media & Politics Blog

Observations of a patriotic progressive historian, media critic & former journalist


  • By the author of The Conservative Resurgence and the Press: The Media’s Role in the Rise of the Right and of Journalism at the End of the American Century, 1965-Present. A former journalist with a Ph.D. in journalism, history and political science, McPherson is a past president of the American Journalism Historians Association and a board member for the Northwest Alliance for Responsible Media.

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Posts Tagged ‘Alaska pipeline’

Pipe dream: Palin’s ethics may mirror Cheney’s

Posted by James McPherson on October 25, 2008

As inept as the McCain/Palin campaign has been, and with the squabbles apparently going on within the campaign itself, at this point it may seem that any bad news regarding Sarah Palin is piling on. Still, a report today suggests that a desire for increased vice presidential power may not be the only characteristic Palin shares with Dick Chaney (who must be involved in lengthy political negotiations or a secret romantic tryst with North Korea’s Kim Jung Il, since both seem to have vanished from the face of the earth).

In another apparent case of Palin acting like Cheney with lipstick, the Associated Press reports today that “Palin’s signature accomplishment–a contract to build a 1,715 mile pipeline to bring natural gas from Alaska to the Lower 48–emerged from a flawed bidding process that narrowed the field to a company with ties to her administration.”

As a result of the deal, the state of Alaska may have to pay TransCanada $500 million for a pipeline that is never built. According to public records, Palin also spoke at least twice to Cheney on “energy issues” several months before the pipeline deal was approved.

On the plus side, Palin seems immediately ready to step in and help out Halliburton if she is somehow elected to help perpetuate the Iraq War and its free-flowing no-bid contracts to Cheney’s former employer.

Posted in History, Journalism, Politics | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Crude, sex & drugs: “MMS chicks” gone wild

Posted by James McPherson on September 11, 2008

It sounds like a show that might be titled “Girls Gone Wild: Oil, Drugs and Money.” Playboy is undoubtedly already trying to contact women involved for one of its “theme issues,” such as its earlier renditions of “Women of Wal-Mart” and “Women of Enron.”

And now that the title, the first line, and some of the tags below will undoubtedly draw more visitors to this site than anything else I’ve written (after all, by far the biggest draw up until now has been the tag “Sarah Palin bikini,” while tags associated with the world’s most famous journalist attract almost no one), let me ask this: After revelations of the past couple of days, does anyone still believe that the Bush administration–or the McCain/Palin ticket that wants to repeat or continue most of its policies–is remotely capable of handling U.S. energy policy or tax policy?

For those who missed it because they were caught up in stories about pigs with lipstick or Sarah Palin’s repeated lies about the “bridge to nowhere” and an Alaska oil pipeline, the story is that the Interior Department’s Minerals Management Service has been caught up in an ethics scandal that includes “allegations of financial self-dealing, accepting gifts from energy companies, cocaine use and sexual misconduct. ” (New York Times) Agency employees, some of whom apparently were referred to as “MMS chicks,” are accused of accepting bribes from and having sex with oil company executives.

For the record, the MMS collects about $10 billion annually–“one of the government’s largest sources of revenue other than taxes,” but has been “riddled with conflicts of interest, unprofessional behavior and a free-for-all atmosphere for much of the Bush administration’s watch,” notes the New York Times. The agency apparently has been mismanaging the collection of fees from oil companies and writing faulty contracts for YEARS . Those “mistakes” have cost U.S. taxpayers (and awarded the companies) billions of dollars. The MMS defense apparently will be that they got stoned and missed it.

The only good news from the mess is that it may prompt Congress to hold off on what seemed to be an inevitable rush toward increased offshore drilling.

Posted in History, Politics, Women, Written elsewhere | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments »