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6 men may be dead- But who really cares?

If you want a prime example of how the media is tilted, this story, when looked at carefully, says volumes. 6 families may lose their loved ones and probable primary bread winner in the days before Christmas, but that is a secondary concern to the reporter.

Major Fuel Spill Reported in Alaska

ANCHORAGE, Alaska - A major spill of dense, viscous fuel from a freighter that ran aground was menacing sensitive wildlife habitat in the Aleutian Islands, but finding the six crew members lost at sea remained a priority - despite their diminishing odds for survival.

Let's state with the headline: Maybe, just maybe the story should be about 6 missing crewmen? And what is this, "but finding the six crew members lost at sea remained a priority - despite their diminishing odds for survival." It makes it sound like we should write them off as a loss.

Thousands of gallons of heavy bunker fuel and diesel spilled from a soybean freighter that was ripped clean in half off the shore of Unalaska Island. Near a wildlife refuge, the area is home to sea lions, harbor seals, sea otters, tanner crabs, halibut and kelp beds.

But with resources scarce in the remote and harsh area 800 miles southwest of Anchorage, the search for the missing took precedence over the environmental threat. [damnit!]

"There are only so many boats and so many planes, and they have been directed to the search for life," Kurt Fredriksson, acting commissioner for the Department of Environmental Conservation, said Thursday.

So we have people APOLOGIZING to the media for trying to save human life! How whacked is this?

Fredriksson said it was not known how much fuel had leaked, but called it a major spill that could take months to clean up, threatening sensitive wildlife habitats.

"You've got bunker oil streaming from a ship that's broken in half," he said. "We are in winter and in a very difficult Aleutian Island environment that will put everybody to the test."

The freighter was carrying 480,000 gallons of heavy bulk fuel and another 21,000 gallons of diesel fuel.

IMC has contracted a private spill response company, Fredriksson said. He said the rough seas could help break up some of the oil and disperse it to the open sea. "That may be a good thing, in terms of shoreline impact," he said.

DEC spokeswoman Lynda Giguere said conservation officials will be working with the Department of Fish and Game to determine potential threats to wildlife.

"The fuel we're dealing with is No. 6 fuel oil. It's a very dense, viscous oil and it's not easy to clean up," Giguere said. "This is particularly persistent. It's high viscosity and it tends to remain on the surface. It's not good stuff."

So much of media bias is not that they actually take one side or the other... It is which stories they run and how they present them. We have 6 men probably dead but that is much less important to the reporter than a *possible* fuel spill. I say possible because we have no idea how much was spilled.

But look at it realistically. EVEN IF ALL of it spilled you are looking at a very minor event in the whole scope of things. One freighter in a place the size of Alaska can't, by the laws of physics, do that much damage. Even the Exxon Valdese, which was predicted to be the apocalypse, really had a minimal effect.

This story is the encapsulation of the liberal mindset; dead otters are more important than dead humans.

Silly me, I would have lead with the fact that 6 men may be dead. But I'm just a guy in my pajamas. Not a "real" journalist like the AP has.


Listed below are links to weblogs that reference 6 men may be dead- But who really cares?:

» Eric Wood's Blog linked with Otters v. Humans

Comments (19)

Just out of curiosity, has ... (Below threshold)

Just out of curiosity, has anyone ever noticed that the percentage of "oil spills" that occur in "environmentally sensitive areas" is somewhere in the order of 100%?

That's incredible. What's ... (Below threshold)

That's incredible. What's amazing is that this liberal bent overrides journalistic instinct. Any reporter worth his salt would immediately latch onto the human tragedy aspect of the story - 6 men pitted against nature, a heroic struggle to survive against all odds, human spirit etc.

Can I have this guys job?

The 6 men worked for an eee... (Below threshold)
Steve L.:

The 6 men worked for an eeeeeeeeeeeeevvvviiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiilllllllllllllllllll oil company, therefore they got what they deserved.

That's the liberal logic.

Man, that's just incredible... (Below threshold)

Man, that's just incredible how the six missing men are such an afterthought to a paragraph. Sorta like...

"Johnny just ran a 26 mile marathon in his bare feet. Johnny did it in about 6 hours and won a $25,000 dollar prize. He was really thrilled with the money and did a little jig. During the race both his siblings and his mother died.

Johnny really likes sandwiches and hopes to one day lower his time. He'll be running in Boston next year. It should give him a challenge. He ordered oak caskets. Johnny also likes slurpees."

The 6 men worked for an ... (Below threshold)

The 6 men worked for an eeeeeeeeeeeeevvvviiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiilllllllllllllllllll oil company

Oh yeah. They probably had moustaches and monacles as well. Evil monacles. They probably crashed the boat on purpose.

Bush probably had something to do with it, too.

Nah- It was Rove.... (Below threshold)

Nah- It was Rove.

I get your main point. But... (Below threshold)

I get your main point. But in comparison to what is the Valdese spill a "minimal" event? Filling the ocean with oil?

It wasn't an oil tanker, gu... (Below threshold)

It wasn't an oil tanker, guys, it was a freighter filled with soybeans. The fuel oil is that which was required to drive the ship (the diesel was for the generators). The six men were lost when a helicopter taking men off the freighter crashed, and the crew of the freighter was able to take action before they had to evacuate in order to minimize environmental damage.

what? No whales nearby?!?</... (Below threshold)

what? No whales nearby?!?

Any whales at the scene are... (Below threshold)

Any whales at the scene are now also missing.

My only question is this, i... (Below threshold)

My only question is this, if these "journalists" care so much for the environment, why don't we see Blather, or Cronkite, Jennings or any other MULTI-MILLIONAIRE TV news personality spending their money to clean up while we SAVE HUMAN LIFE?

Well, OF COURSE dead otters... (Below threshold)

Well, OF COURSE dead otters are more important than dead humans. Humans aren't an "endangered species," so it's not big deal if a few of them die. (You gotta understand these liberals, you know.)

To paraphrase Monty Python,... (Below threshold)

To paraphrase Monty Python, in Alaska, every sperm whale is sacred.

The Anchorage Daily News, which uses the Associated Press and Reuters as if they were their own news bureaus, drives so hard to the left, they could technically qualify for NASCAR.

Heh, wow....yea i just read... (Below threshold)

Heh, wow....yea i just read the story on my own.

Everyone. Speaking from the position as a marine engineer-in-training, the crew should have been a priority. I am not training to be mate, so I have no idea what they were doing running aground in the first place. However, if I were one of the crewmen aboard that vessel, I'd prefer to be looked after first instead of an amount of spilt oil.

Besides, what was mentioned is correct. The diesel fuel (most likely MDO or MGO, aka Marine Gas Oil or Marine Diesel Oil) is what is used for their generators (most likely) and for startup. The heavy shit (diesel fuel #6) is used for main propulsion.

480,000 is NOT a lot of fuel when compared to a super tanker. Sure it is a significant amount then, say, a fuel oil tank filled a tad too much and it shoots out of the sounding tube when someone goes to take a sounding (it has been known to happen).

As Merchant Seamen (especially engineers, because it pertains especially to us), we are trained to avoid putting ANYTHING over the side that is questionable. Its all about liability, most of us couldn't give a rat's ass if one measly little cup of oil goes over the side, but we DO care when its our licenses, jobs, careers, and bank accounts on the line.

But one thing is certain. The life of the crewmen (and their rescuers) is the utmost priority. No need to apologize.

Sometimes liberals make me so f***ing pissed.

Well to TRULY understand a ... (Below threshold)

Well to TRULY understand a liberal, don't you need to have a full frontal lobotomy? I could only see thinking like that if you were missing MOST (or all) of your brain! Plus, every time I try to understand them, I end up putting a Tylenol executive's kid(s) through college!

The Anchorage Daily News... (Below threshold)

The Anchorage Daily News, which uses the Associated Press and Reuters as if they were their own news bureaus, drives so hard to the left, they could technically qualify for NASCAR.

Jeff- I am SO going to steal that line. ;-)

Well, all the 'correct' t... (Below threshold)

Well, all the 'correct' thinking people up here would agree with Jeff and his assessment of the ADN. This is a Terrible Tragedy and the paper needs to show more responsibility in it's reporting of such incidents.
That said, the Coast Guard station on Kodiak Island is one of the busiest, if not The busiest, in the world, staffed with some of the most experienced and highly trained individuals ever to serve in that branch, and you can be certain they out there now scouring the ocean for these folks. My hope and prayers, as I'm sure yours do, go out to their families and friends; Their children, their wives, their co-workers and compatriots. Many good and honest people will be affected by this on a personal and private level, not just some esoteric 'Oooh... save the planet from evil mankind' level or mentality.
For a legitimate NEWSpaper to miss the story by this wide of the mark is irresponsible and, quite frankly, inexcusable.

What exactly do you want th... (Below threshold)

What exactly do you want them to say. Why don't you post a rewrite of the same length the way you'd like it to have been written. See if you get more than a couple of parragraphs before you realise you are just saying, "this is really bad because some people are probably going to die." Over and over again. Unless you'd like to enhance the families agony by plastering their names and life stories all over the papers?

Steve, no one is saying tha... (Below threshold)

Steve, no one is saying that we could have written a multi paragraph article and not made the family's agony worse. What we are saying is that this person's tone is that nature and the lives of animals which may or may not be where the spill hit land is more important that searching for 6 HUMAN BEINGS who may or may not be alive. I personally don't care if they only find bodies, that would at least allow closure for the family as opposed to burying an empty casket.






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