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Hanger and Klaber Take On New York Times – Yet Again – In Politico Article

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The New York Times Building in Manhattan

Politico has the latest on the energy industry’s aggressive response to New York Times reporter Ian Urbina’s critical articles about the safety and economic viability of shale drilling.

Urbina is the lead reporter on the Times‘ influential “Drilling Down” series, which has focused most of its attention on Pennsylvania.

Marcellus Shale Coalition president Kathryn Klaber and former Department of Environmental Protection Secretary John Hanger are prominently  featured in the website’s report:

Kathryn Klaber, president of the Pennsylvania-based Marcellus Shale Coalition, complained that the Times is on a “witch hunt.”

“In what seems to be a campaign to malign the modern-day shale gas revolution under way in America, this latest attempt to discount hydraulic fracturing’s long and clear record of environmental safety relies on vague and disputed information about an incident that occurred nearly 30 years ago,” Klaber said of Wednesday’s story.

John Hanger, a former secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, compared Urbina to two infamous Times ethics cases from the previous decade.

“This is not their first rogue reporter: Judith Miller, Jayson Blair, the list could go on,” said Hanger, who has complained about the way Urbina quoted him in a gas article in February.

Hanger said he was disappointed that the Times hasn’t taken any action in response to Brisbane’s criticisms.

“What this gas reporter has now is two extraordinary public reprimands,” Hanger added. “He has been censured by one of his own. It shows that the New York Times management with hiring and firing authority is unwilling to protect the credibility of the paper as a whole.”

We’ve documented Hanger’s previous run-ins with Urbina. In June, the two tangled on the Diane Rehm show. Last month, Hanger wrote a series of critical blog posts about Urbina, after the Times public editor Arthur Brisbane addressed his reporting in a column. (Brisbane wrote a follow-up post on Sunday; Times national editors Rick Berke and Adam Bryant responded to his concerns about the series in these two posts.)

Comments

  • E.M.

    It’s pretty bad when our state’s former top environmental regulator is now an attack-dog for the industry he supposedly was supervising. But I have to believe that most people see through the industry’s PR campaign — we’re talking about news reports that are backed by thousands of pages of state and federal documents. Not a single fact in Urbina’s reporting has been proven wrong, so the best the industry can do is call him names.

  • Rousseau

    Hanger has no credibility. His intimate ties to Enron as a PUC commissioner in the 90′s and his efforts on behalf of the electric utility industry in that a public position warrants investigation. Enron John is now engaged in another attempt at historical revisionism for pay. This time its just another paymaster.
    Urbina’s work is thorough, reality based, and well documented.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000241613698 Robert Finne

    These two just keep repeating the same straw man arguments.

    But I have to admit that Klaber ought to know a witch hunt as she has great experience in carrying them out on anyone who dares speak against the industry.

  • Gary Nickerson

    I find it interesting that you provide a link to the Times, but not to the Politico piece. So, I take it, you want your readers to take your word for how horrible she is rather than letting them find out for themselves. As an fervent opponent of fracking, I nevertheless find it obnoxious that both sides only really act as an echo chamber for their own talking points.

    • Anonymous

      Gary – thanks for comment. The lack of a link was an accidental omission, which I’ve now fixed, thanks to your attention.

      You’re reading a bit too much into both the lack of a link, and my focus on Klaber and Hanger. I was simply calling attention to the Pennsylvania people mentioned in the story – localizing a national piece for the site’s audience, which reporters and bloggers do all the time.

      Thanks,

      Scott Detrow

  • Gary Nickerson

    I find it interesting that you provide a link to the Times, but not to the Politico piece. So, I take it, you want your readers to take your word for how horrible she is rather than letting them find out for themselves. As an fervent opponent of fracking, I nevertheless find it obnoxious that both sides only really act as an echo chamber for their own talking points.

  • Gary Nickerson

    Now that I’ve found and read the Politico article, I’m not sure what all the sound and fury in your post is about. She doesn’t come up until the end of the article and has a very minor role. What gives — a slow news day?

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