Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Awful Headline On AP Mining Story

Who put the headline on this AP story that spins readers in one direction?

Wisconsin tribe threatens Walker jobs project
Given the realities of 1,000-ft. open pit mining miles long and the science of acid mine drainage, it could have easily been:
Walker jobs project threatens Wisconsin Tribe 
And, by the way, that's what this is all about - - a "Walker jobs project?"

If it's all about Walker, then here's a better headline:
Walker's mine threatens Wisconsin Tribe, waters
If it's his project, then so is its Walker's damage to state water law, the environment, the Bad River watershed, Lake Superior, the Wisconsin State Constitution's Public Trust Doctrine and its public water protection imperative.


Anonymous said...

How about "Walker threatens to kill Lake Superior?"

Gareth said...

The story also buys into the questionable notion that the mine will be a major job creator for the state's economy, while at the same time defining the Bad River nation's traditional culture and patrimony as merely a "lifestyle", you know, like hippies. And of course, the Governor is "determined" whereas the Indians are haplessly, just in the way:

"Now, though, tribal members find themselves in the path of a major effort to create new jobs in Wisconsin. Their lifestyle may turn out to be the most formidable obstacle yet for a Republican governor determined to show that he can ramp up the state's economy."

It's journalism like this that has caused me to stop buying newspapers.

Water Lily said...

The AP must share its headline writer with the Waukesha Freeman and the J/S, or all 3 headline writers attended the same School of Bad Headlines. (School motto: "Awful Headlines and Awfully Misleading as Well")

From today’s Freeman:
"Back to the drawing board for Town of Waukesha’s water service area
City, DNR say town is asking for too much water"

What's wrong with this headline?
1. The Freeman doesn't quote the DNR, nor indicate if it even tried to contact the DNR. The Freeman's source of information? Ed Henschel "said" Duchniak "said” the DNR "said". . . . “The DNR says" is unsupported, misleading, and may be entirely false. The Freeman may as well have written that “Simon Says. . . “
2. No one, not the City or the DNR has the authority to direct the Town "back to the drawing board" on a legally passed resolution (including map) made by the duly elected Town Board of Supervisors. Nor is there anything in either the body of the Freeman article or the City's letter to indicate the City or the DNR even said it.
3. The 5.5 million gallons/day (mgd) amount requested was the City's OWN FIGURE, stated in the City's Nov 8 letter to the Town. If there’s an error, it's not the Town's. Diversionmeister Duchniak admits in paragraph 5 that the mistake was the Water Utility's and then blames it on a consultant. (So many consultants, too little time to track their work.) As the Water Utility has never come clean on exactly how it conjures up these water numbers -- 18.5 mgd, 10.9 mgd, 5.5 mgd and 1.26 mgd -- even to the DNR who needs the projection assumptions before approving the application --it's anyone's guess whether the 5.5 mgd or the 1.26 mgd are in any way accurate or even truthful.

Here are a couple of alternate headlines for the Freeman to consider:
a) City Wanted Entire Town of Waukesha in Water Service Area. Now Reneges on Terms It Agreed To Three Months Ago.
b) Water Utility Screws Up Estimation of Town's Water Need. Can It Be Trusted To Make an Accurate Application?

continued . . . .

Water Lily said...

. . . and then there's yesterday's JS article, written by the incomparably compromised Don Behm with headline by. . . Anonymous?:

“Waukesha officials reject Town of Waukesha's water demand”

What's wrong with this headline?

1. The Town of Waukesha has 'demanded' nothing, be it water or inclusion in the water service area. That is a totally-owned construct of the City, its Water Utility and its SEWRPC collaborators, drafted out of the collective arrogance of the 3 pretend-governments when they assumed they could force the Town into it, or sneak its inclusion into the water service area without notice.
2. The use of "Waukesha Officials" is a gross mischaracterization to describe the unelected, non-resident, overpaid Duchniak, and the unelected, slightly-less overpaid Henschel.
3. As mentioned above, the City, the Water Utility or SEWRPC have neither the authority nor the legal standing to “reject” a legally enacted resolution made by the Town. In paragraph 3, Behm writes “. . Henschel says a recent decision to include a northern portion of the town in the city's service area was flawed and needs to be reconsidered.” Later Behm quotes Henschel describing the Town’s request as “inappropriate and excessive.” Who the heck is Ed Henschel? A non-elected bureaucrat, speaking on behalf of the non-elected Water Utility manager on a subject neither one has the legal expertise or standing or the political authority to make. He’s a sniffy opinionator, too.

As a sniffy opinionator, however, Henschel has nothing on Duchniak nor Behm, whose sniffy opinions often are printed as journalism.

Duchniak says, "We are not bound to 20 years worth of tax payments for annexed properties," if only a portion of the town is included. The Water Utility manager again oversteps the bounds of his knowledge and authority when he speaks to a City tax issue. But Behm eagerly laps this up as fact and questions . . nothing.

A couple of alternate headlines for the J/S to consider:
a) “It’s Not Our Fault!” Says City of Waukesha about Bungled Water Numbers. The Consultant Did It.
b) City of Waukesha Demands Approval of Water Diversion from the Town of Waukesha, Wisconsin DNR and the governors of Ohio, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, New York and Pennsylvania.
c) City Says it was “Drunk” When it Agreed to Water Relations with the Town