The Next Gen of Lefty Journos?

by Unicorn Jones | September 23, 2011 2:38 pm

No one can honestly believe the New York Times is an unbiased and impartial source for your daily dose of news. I mean, sure, the bizarre alternative reality you’d need to subscribe to to fully digest that as truth would be very similar to the kind of alternative reality you’d need to subscribe to to be a repeat Obama voter, so we can clearly see where their remaining reader’s allegiance lies, but seriously.

So, it only makes sense that while reporting on potential natural gas drilling to take place in New York, a New York Times reporter would be repeatedly criticized (by his own New York Times editors) for faulty reporting[1], for disguising critics of the natural gas industry as impartial experts on the subject, and for being motivated by his own ideological delusions. No surprise that a New York Times coddled journalist would eek out pieces that directly advocated for a position opposed to American job creation and energy security and directly in line with radical environmentalists, right?

Yep. Right[2].

In the midst of the highly charged debate, The New York Times published two articles by reporter Ian Urbina (June 25[3] and June 26[4]) as part of a larger series critical of natural gas development. The front-page reports spun a compelling case that the energy industryand even the government had inflated shale reserve estimates.

The reporting relied heavily on anonymous sources and several industry “insiders.” But what was so striking about the thinly veiled advocacy of the articles was that the few sources quoted on the record were not only heavily conflicted, but were portrayed as objective experts. Urbina muddled the identities of his sources – all critics of fracking – with irrelevant associations and omitted their chief affiliations relative to the issue…

What makes even more sense? Inviting this illustrious reporter to shape the hearts and minds of budding journalists at one of the nations premiere journalism schools in the heart of New York State. On October 4th, Urbina will speak at Cornell, lecturing students on his illustrious work “investigating” natural gas and discussing the “responsibilities” of newspaper reporters as part of a “Freedom of the Press” Lecture Series.

The poster announcing his lecture, available on the Cornell website reads, quite ironically:

Join us to hear Mr. Urbina talk about the latest developments in the hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”) debate, disposal of the return water
from fracking wells, current government regulations of the natural gas industry, the science and economics of gas extraction, and the role and responsibilities of newspaper reporting.

Nice. It’s really comforting to think that high profile four-year universities, training the next generation of journalists and political activists are (1) doing their research before inviting a journalist to speak on “responsibilities” and ethics and (2) inviting a journalist to speak at their school who has been roundly criticized by his own profession for failing to judge and write on a situation honestly. I’m sure those students will get a fair and balanced look at the natural gas drilling industry and its potential for economic good.


  1. criticized (by his own New York Times editors) for faulty reporting:
  2. Right:
  3. June 25:
  4. June 26:

Source URL: