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Sierra Daily

Jun 03, 2011

A Picture Is Worth A Thousand Blowhards

Think Progress notes that at Thursday’s House Oversight Committee hearing discussing the aftermath of last year’s BP oil disaster, Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour (R) pinned the drop in tourism in his region not on any of the obvious perpetrators -- BP? Transocean? –- but on the news media for focusing on images of “a chocolate pelican.”

According to Barbour, a former energy-industry lobbyist: “So people saw on TV the same brown pelican coated with looked like 3 inches of oil, I mean, looked like a chocolate pelican. And they showed it every hour, every day, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, for weeks and weeks and weeks. And the news media, particularly 24-hour cable TV, gave citizens the impression the whole Gulf Coast was coated in oil. People deduced from that that it was unsafe, unpleasant, don’t want to go there.”

Some of the most compelling of those “chocolate pelican” images were taken by Charlie Riedel of Associated Press. It's well worth revisiting them here.

--Reed McManus

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