Next from the WaPo: Second Cousins Weigh In

By July 11, 2008Global Warming

We mention below the front-page Washington Post story on possible EPA regulation of carbon dioxide, “EPA Won’t Act on Emissions This Year.” It’s also worth citing this passage from deep in the story as a skilled example of coloring a story through nuances and subtleties and abandonment of the paper’s normal attribution standards. Our emphasis:

But broader concerns over the regulatory “domino effect” that would be caused by any endangerment finding were expressed by members of the National Economic Council, the Council on Environmental Quality, and officials such as OMB general counsel Jeffrey A. Rosen and Cheney energy adviser F. Chase Hutto III, several meeting participants said. [Who?]

One [who?] said that Rosen asked at one meeting if carbon dioxide emissions from a tailpipe could be treated differently than those from a power plant, wondering if the molecules are different. The answer was that they are not.

Hutto, a former Cato Institute intern and Bush campaign volunteer during the Florida vote recount in 2000, whose grandfather patented at least seven piston inventions for the Ford Motor Company, has “an anti-regulatory philosophy and concern about what regulation means for the American way of life. He would talk, for example, about not wanting greenhouse gas controls to do away with the large American automobile,” said the meeting participant. [Who?]

Ah, so we’re identifying people by their grandparents* now. Very good. We’ll expect that Washington Post reporters will apply this newfound standard to everybody named in their stories now. Or is this propinquity rule just for Administration officials who express doubts about regulation?

This is also the very first reference in the news we’ve seen to F. Chase Hutto III instead of just plain Chase Hutto. Maybe the Roman numerals were necessary to justify the reference to old grandad.

* And their internships, too!



Leave a Reply