Friday, October 21, 2011

The Gorilla in the room

We will be hosting another protest, blowing up our giant 26 foot tall inflatable rat for the second time, in front of the Anchorage Daily News this Friday October 21st 1:00 to 3:00 PM for selling out their readers in favor of to corporate interests. 
Like it or not, ADN is still the media gorilla in Alaska. A little fact checked front page news about oil taxes would discredit the claims of Hawker and Parnell and bring an abrupt end to any significant measure of support BP has for its campaign to avoid paying Alaskans a fair price for the oil they take.
Whether through campaign funds, or other means, want of money is the only logical rational for a fully informed legislator, or governor, or newspaper for that matter, to turn a blind eye and/or assist a resource extractor in a quest to take Alaska's resources for less than other resource extractors would pay if they were given the opportunity.
KTUU News argues that ADN is a private company and has the right to print, or not print as they wish. KTVA didn't see it that way and gave us good coverage two weeks ago. Click here to see KTVS's coverage of our last protest in front of the Anchorage Daily News.
"Sin of omission" is a term you've have learned in journalism. ADN's readers have a right to trust in ADN's truthfulness, and ADN has violated its moral obligation to be truthful with their readers. The  degree to which The Daily News has avoided factual reporting on oil tax issues is obvious and money for silence is only one logical reason.
Getting a fair price for Alaska's oil effects your dividend, your teachers salary, your tuition and just about every thing government service you depend on. Join us and make an impact on a local institution that has sold you out as it licks the boots of British Petroleum.
Ray Metcalfe 907-344-4514

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Protesting the Anchorage Daily News Censorship

Three weeks ago I sent the following letter to the Daily News Room Boss:

Attached is a fact filled sheet designed to provide interested Alaskan voters with the information they need to make informed decisions about oil taxes.

After receiving a negative response to having brought similar articles to the attention of an ADN reporter on oil, I hand delivered two of the articles attached to Attention Patrick Doyle with the question:


“What would motivate the largest newspaper in an oil state to withhold widely published news stories containing readily available information about production costs and oil profits from its readers in the midst of a statewide debate about oil profits and production costs?”

While I have confidence in the integrity of most ADN reporters, I have lost confidence in the integrity and motives of ADN’s management, publishers and owners.

Oil producers and their supporters who claim they want to “make Alaska competitive again” have filled the airwaves and your pages with "facts" that have consistently proven to be fabrications. ADN has made no credible effort to retract, correct, or educate its readers on the world market norms for the taxation of oil.

Rather than provide its readers with readily available fact-filled articles, the ADN uses dueling editorialists to place Alaska’s oil tax issues into the context of a “he said she said domestic quarrel.”

In his Sunday August 14th column Paul Jenkins said that Alaska's high taxes are "forcing the oil industry to go elsewhere, to places such as booming North Dakota.” Clearly knowing the statement is false, ADN demands no correction and continues his column.

Not until after Petroleum News’ “North Slope Booming” article reached ADN’s readers did ADN bother to print anything contrary to Mark Hamilton’s “Starving North Slope Workers Moving to North Dakota Advertising Campaign.” Attached is a Juneau Empire article which explained the same issue eighteen months earlier. It was one of the articles delivered by me to the attention of Patrick Doyle. It preceded Mark Hamilton’s advertising campaign; but ADN's Anchorage readers had no way of knowing they were being misled.

On Saturday August 20th, the ADN gave Representative Hawker a platform to tell Alaskans that "Alaska's Production taxes are the highest in North America." That is also not true and its falsity is easily verifiable.

In a state that relies so heavily on getting world market values for its resources, few issues are more important. The ADN has a lengthy track record of keeping its readers in the dark on such issues. On Thursday of this week, at noon, I will be delivering a power point presentation to the Anchorage Democratic Bartlett Club's weekly forum at Denny's at 3950 DeBarr Rd., Anchorage, AK. My focus will include the ADN’s refusal to educate its readers on this issue.

Please be assured that I do not believe the above sins of omission rest on your shoulders or those of your reporters. I believe its rests squarely on the shoulders of ADN's management.

You are invited to come and listen on Thursday. The Bartlett Club has agreed to leave the following Thursday’s lunch speaker schedule open should ADN wish to respond.

Ray Metcalfe 907-344-4514

The Daily News did not show and has offered no meaningful response. If the Voters knew the facts about oil taxes; Parnell's push to roll them back Alaska's oil tax wouldn't have a snowballs chance in hell of going anywhere. In fact, some people might even begin to think he smelled a lot like Bill Allen.
Political activist Ray Metcalfe led a demonstration against the Anchorage Daily News along Bragaw Street that featured a 25-foot rat this afternoon. Metcalfe and his supporters said ADN refuses to publish the truth about oil taxes.
 Ray Metcalfe and Citizens for ethical Government outside the ADN Offices
Political activist Ray Metcalfe led a demonstration against the Anchorage Daily News along Bragaw Street that featured a 25-foot rat on Friday, October 7, 2011. Metcalfe and his supporters said ADN refuses to publish the truth about oil taxes.
Local political activist Ray Metcalfe is leading a protest against the Anchorage Daily News. Metcalfe says ADN is sandbagging its readers and withholding information about Alaska's oil tax facts.