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Monday, June 23, 2008

OH-02 GOP Jean Schmidt: Cincinnati Enquirer's Online Edition Seems To Have Scrubbed Her June 21 Column

CINCINNATI (TDB) -- Was there something the newspaper found fabricated or deceptive? Republican U.S. Rep. Jean Schmidt's guest column appeared in Saturday's print edition of Ohio's third-largest daily newspaper under this headline: "Others also have been wrong about Chinese drilling off shore of U.S." But in the column, Schmidt never said she was wrong. Unfortunately, you cannot read it online today in the Enquirer (but The Daily Bellwether has the full-text below). The Gannett Co Inc.-owned newspaper -- which was criticized by Schmidt for having "lost sight of the larger picture" -- does not have her article posted on the Internet.

The omission from the paper's Opinion section is odd. An editorial appeared the same day in the Opinion section with several reader-authored limericks about the emergence of cicadas in Cincinnati. The editorial remains accessible on the Web, and the editorial and accompanying limericks can easily be found by clicking this link.

Meanwhile, a search Monday afternoon for Schmidt's guest column turned up nothing on Google. Perhaps the Enquirer will eventually post her column. So far, there's been no explanation about why it is unavailable online.

In print, Schmidt was combative. She refused to admit that her statement on the House floor June 5 (captured by YouTUBE) "that the Chinese are drilling off the coast of Florida" is totally false. Both Vice President Dick Cheney and conservative columnist George Will have retracted similar claims. Schmidt did not -- and so all can see the position she has taken -- the The Daily Bellwether is reprinting her June 21 Cincinnati Enquirer guest column. Read on for the complete text of Schmidt's article:

"A recent story that appeared in this newspaper strongly implied that I simply made up a portion of a statement I have on the floor of the U.S. House. On June 5, I stated that the Chinese were drilling for oil in conjunction with the Cuban government. I was not the only one to have made that statement. House Ways and Means Chairman Charlie Rangel (D-N.Y.), and the Chairman of the Senate Energy Subcommittee Byron Dorgan (D-N.J.) both made the same assertion. In fact, USA Today, a newspaper owned by the Enquirer's parent company, Gannett, reported Feb. 22, 2007: 'After the Soviet Union collapsed, Cuba opened its oil program to foreign investment in 1993. Today, companies from Spain, Norway, India, Malaysia and China are involved, either drilling wells offshore or using horizontal drilling to reach reservoirs in shallow coastal waters.'

"I am now called into question by one Gannett newspaper for saying what is published in another Gannett paper. By the way, USA Today has not retracted its story.

"According to a report issued by the Congressional Research Service, the Cuban government has signed agreements with oil companies from Spain, India, Norway, Venezuela, Malaysia, Vietnam and China for oil and gas. I am certain that citizens of Ohio's Second Congressional District, as they pay more than $4 a gallon to fill their gas tanks, are breathing a sigh of relief that oil companies from at least seven countries have the right to exploit resources within 60 miles of our borders -- a right that the congressional Democrats will not grant to our own domestic oil producers. And that was the larger point of the statement I made June 5.

"While the leadership of the current Congress dawdles, other countries are acting to increase oil and gas supplies. As we consider legislation to allow the United States to sue OPEC, increase taxes on energy producers, and re-start investigations of price gougers and speculators -- actions that will not lower gas prices by one cent -- other nations get it. In fact, it seems that even communist nations understand the law of supply and demand better than the Democratic congressional leadership. It is truly a shamed that The Enquirer lost sight of the larger picture. There is no way to ease the burden of rising energy prices without finding and taking advantage of, in an environmentally sensitive way, our own domestic resources.

"At the very least, we should be discussing the issue. The Enquirer missed a golden opportunity to further the discussion."

1 comment:

  1. Bill, thank you so much for alleviating any guilt I might have had in stopping blogging about the 2nd. Your top notch posts on our beloved Jeanie have made my life a lot easier.