Rubbish in the Daily Mail


We’ve noted before that factions of the British press have often been less than objective in covering the oil spill, and the Daily Mail is emerging as one of the more aggressive supporters of British Petroleum. Now some Alabama officials say the Mail made up quotes – a big black eye for any credible news organization.

The Press-Register’s Dave Helms has a story about a local lawmaker who was misquoted about the creation of “spillionaires,” a term actually coined after the Valdez spill in Alaska for people who made a lot of money from the cleanup. In denying the quotation, Alabama state Rep. Spencer Collier told the Register: “I’m not that witty.”

The misquote and shoddy reporting isn’t a huge deal in itself, but it’s worth noticing as part of the trend in the UK media to paint British Petroleum as a victim of “Brit-bashing” in the former colonies. The shameless pandering is a testament to the enormous power and influence wielded by UK’s largest corporation.

The story also illustrates that the Press-Register website continues to be a great place to track the Alabama part of the oil spill story. See the Helms piece at:

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Stuart H. Smith is an attorney based in New Orleans fighting major oil companies and other polluters.
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