Today’s Crappy Journalism Award

Yesterday, the evil, communistic Federal Environmental Protection Agency put Richmond on its ‘bad-air’ list. Richmond Times-Dispatch reporter, Rex Springston (not to be confused with 80’s rock legend Rick Springfield), put together a jolly-good story about it. By the fifth graph, Springston offers up an interesting bit of reporting:

Some people consider a spot on the bad-air list to be a black eye for a region and an impediment to growth.

But being on the list can lead to benefits, said Donald S. Welsh, administrator of the EPA’s mid-Atlantic region. Children miss many school days and adults miss many workdays because of asthma attacks and other problems linked to ozone. A mandated air cleanup could help reduce the missed time.



The wording here creates the impression that missing school and work is a good thing. No doubt some people do think this way. Any excuse to miss work is a good excuse. Therefore, the mandated air cleanup seems like a bad thing because it would reduce the missed time from work and school. Boo! We don’t need no education! Stick it to the man!

The actual meaning, though, would have been better presented had the reporting unfolded as follows:

Being on the bad-air list, to some, is a black eye for the Richmond area and could impede much sought-after growth. However, there is a bright spot. According to Donald S. Welsh, administrator of the EPA’s mid-Atlantic region, mandated air cleanup forces the region to confront a major health problem. Children miss many school days and adults miss many workdays because of asthma attacks and other problems linked to ozone. A mandated air cleanup could help reduce the missed time.

Oh, but I’m glad that the Richmond Times-Dispatch makes sure it slants its stories to a more business-rights approach like it does. I mean, so what if those polluting businesses couldn’t care less about citizen’s health problems, since attending to that type of concern would eat into profits. I mean, a guy has to make a buck, right?

Hey, folks, it’s a dog-eat-dog world. If you can’t stand the heat get out of the kitchen. If you’re having problems breathing in Richmond – move out. What’s wrong with you, anyway? Don’t question a corporations God-given right to use their land anyway they see fit. Don’t you believe in America?

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