Monday, December 28, 2009

60 Minutes of Fox News

I watched Leslie Stahl posture her way through the California Water Crisis last night on 60 Minutes.  To tell the truth, I found little difference between her coverage and that of Sean Hannity on Fox News, which I dissed here.  Well, maybe Stahl's was more visually impressive with her helicopter ride over the Delta with Schwarzenegger.

This is not just my opinion. One LA based freelance journalist, Elizabeth Green, managed to tweet "Hasta la vista, 60 Minutes". and linked to her short, direct criticism of Stahl.
On the subject of size, a couple of minutes, far less than 60, of checking crop output would have taken the steam out of what the program suggests is a looming almond crisis says On the public record. That and a half-way energetic intern might have put a question mark over the stuff about Schwarzenegger’s “unlikely” political alliance with the Latino Water Coalition. Here’s a Capitol Weekly report about the origins of the governor’s stage army, which the giant network credulously took as an authentic grass roots movement.
Green Party activist Lloyd G. Carter left some more direct comments regarding Stahl's in-over-her-head explanations at the CBSNews site.
For those who want a different view of what's really going in California water politics, I suggest you visit the following link to the Golden Gate University Law School Environmental Law Forum:

You will discover that the American taxpayers have showered a billion dollars of subsidies and cheap water on the problem-plagued Westlands. The fundamental problem of San Joaquin Valley agriculture is not lack of water, it is low prices caused by surplus. In the last four years, almonds have dropped from $4 a pound to $1-2 a pound. The San Joaquin Valley now has 650,000 acres of almonds. Do we really need to spend billions of dollars on new dams to grow more almonds? Which the Westlands should never have planted! Stuart Woolf should never have planted his almond orchards. At a congressional subcommittee hearing at Fresno City Hall a couple of years ago, Woolf threatened to take his 25,000-acre "family farm" operation offshore if he was not provided water.

Finally, Stahl failed to mention that big growers like Stuart Resnick, a confidante and major contributor to Sen. Dianne Feinstein, is making tens of millions of dollars re-selling farm water supplies to Southern California development interests so we can grow an ever larger population in the Mojave Desert. This is a prescription for disaster.

That is right, Lloyd. It is also an opportunity for Greens who are the only party with the ideas to make this state work.


Alex Walker said...

This is the story of the century in California. And yet, it still doesn't get as much "play" as it deserves. The fact that there is not more scrutiny over the many billions of dollars that Arnold and his boys want to put into their "solution" is proof that the general reactionary bellyaching about California's "Tax and Spend" liberalism has less to do with any concern about taxing and spending, than with a general hatred of those on whom "The Liberals" we are said to be wasting "our" taxes.

Wes, we gotta get a complete list, of exactly who has been "bought" by Resnick. Folks in L.A. may not understand the problems of the Delta, but we are very familiar with the problems of crooked politicians.

Martin Zehr said...

Governor Schwartzennegger said on the "60 Minutes" show that "We can have it all." The crisis in California is filled with examples of how precisely this k9nd of thinking has undermined the prioritization of investing in public education and water infrastructure. Agriculture and ecological restoration are not incompatible, but we do need a timeline and a reasonable plan if we are to integrate the two ssets of objectives and implement the actions needed to address both.