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And now for the rest of the (Fox News) story

The coverage of California water by Fox News Host Sean Hannity last night was disappointing. It was simplistic, one-sided, misleading and, in some cases, flat wrong. And perhaps most egregiously, the famously “small government” host delivered his message on behalf of wealthy farmers who owe their very existence to the federal handouts and are still deep in debt to United States taxpayers.

Let’s be fair. Mr. Hannity got some things right. He is correct that unemployment is particularly high in many towns in the San Joaquin Valley. The food lines and human suffering are real. In 2009, water deliveries to farming communities on the west side of the Valley have been significantly reduced. And part of that reduction is due to the Endangered Species Act protections designed to protect Delta smelt from extinction.

But Mr. Hannity does not tell the whole story. He does not mention that these valley towns have had chronic unemployment and poverty problems for decades that have had nothing to do with water supplies. He ignores the finding by the California Department of Water Resources that the primary cause of the water supply reduction this year is drought and only 5% is due to protecting Delta smelt.

Mr. Hannity blames everything on the smelt, describing it as a “2 inch minnow”, and ignores the ecosystem collapse that has affected a wide variety of fish, including salmon. (He did allow Zeke Grader of the Pacific Coast Federation of Fishermen’s Associations a chance to speak, but did not acknowledge that unemployed fishermen are also part of the story and he repeatedly ignored Zeke’s invitation to visit coastal fishing towns.)

Mr. Hannity talked about impacts to many crops, and made special note of tomatoes. He did not mention that California is in fact expecting a record tomato crop this year. Nor did he mention that many farmers in the valley are getting full water supplies.

Mr. Hannity did not explain that his story was about a relatively small group of farmers who were the last to develop land in the valley were thus awarded the most “junior” water rights. For some reason he did not mention that many of the people protesting the Endangered Species Act were in fact paid to do so.

Mr. Hannity did not explain that these farmers are also hundreds of millions of dollars in debt to the United States for the cost of their water delivery systems – a debt that would be measured in billions were it not for the fact that they have carried loans for decades without paying a single penny in interest.

So Mr. Hannity was flat wrong when he said that these farmers do not want a government handout. They do. They owe their very existence to government-funded water delivery projects that they have not repaid. (And, by the way, they are lobbying Congress for billions more to clean up their toxic drainage.)

Finally Mr. Hannity did not mention that elected officials throughout the state are committed to finding solutions that really are “fair and balanced”. He did not mention that cities, farmers and environmentalists are working cooperatively to develop a Bay-Delta Conservation Plan to address the needs of the Delta and communities that depend on water exported from it.

Sean Hannity did raise a number of pertinent issues. But he told only a small part of the story. The public deserves to know the rest. It is unfortunate that Fox and Mr. Hannity devoted a full hour to water in California and reported so little ‘news”.

http://blogs.edf.org/waterfront/category/fisheries/


Click to view image: 'Cali rivers'

Added: Sep-18-2009 
By: RicoShay
In:
News
Tags: California, water, issue
Views: 5736 | Comments: 27 | Votes: 1 | Favorites: 1 | Shared: 1 | Updates: 0 | Times used in channels: 1
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  • Don't forget about Agribusiness, they always portray themselves as small farmers but the reality is that they are corporation that work with dirt. They grow cotton with subsidized water, cotton uses a lot of water. Then to top it off, Selenium leaches up, out of the ground because of the subsidized water and become runoff that pollutes the local streams which run to the ocean and kill the oyster fisherman's oyster beds
    Then they dump their cotton crop on world markets and lower the price of cott More..

    Posted Sep-18-2009 By 

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  • Liberals wont be happy till they see American turned into a barren wasteland

    Posted Sep-18-2009 By 

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  • On Dec. 15, 2008, the Bush administration's Fish and Wildlife Service chose fish, a decision driven by a lawsuit filed in federal court in 2006 by the Natural Resources Defense Council and other environmental groups. To settle the suit, the Fish and Wildlife Service agreed to divert more than 150 billion gallons of water this year away from farmers south of San Francisco in hopes of protecting the Delta smelt%u2014a three-inch bait fish. The water is now flowing underneath the Golden Gate Bridge More..

    Posted Sep-18-2009 By 

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    • i dont think anybody said obama was the one that did this......but now it is up to him to get it fixed and the people are still waiting

      Posted Sep-18-2009 By 

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    • which will be nothing.Everything he says is deceit.not the truth ,because he lies.You believe him thats your problem.Your hatred of Bush is clouding your judgement.The problem is people want everything and the conflict with nature always wins to their detriment.Where is common sense for these people.Sure protect the environment,but also people.

      Posted Sep-19-2009 By 

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    • its a shame that you have SO much distrust in your government. Yes I hated Bush but more about his character than of his policies... I was never fearful that the Bush Administration was out to destroy America which is what we now have with those who feel Obama is.

      I DO believe Obama cares about the American people... His ideas to improve Americas welfare long-term is causing him to make tough choices today which many see as him not caring. Him wanting to work towards clean coal technologies... More..

      Posted Sep-19-2009 By 

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  • Now as I understand it the water pumps have been shut off from the farmers to protect some stupid fish. Whatever... here is my question on the issue.

    There are like 57 mayors that all signed a letter to get the pumps turned back on, where are the pumps? Its clear there is enough manpower available why not get them all together in a show of civil disobedience and either
    1) get in some trucks bulldozers etc etc tap directly into the canal someone commented about and take the water
    2) again wit More..

    Posted Sep-18-2009 By 

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  • Yes while we here in L.A. have to suffer with higher water rates for a tiny fish we can't even eat.

    Posted Sep-18-2009 By 

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  • Quit getting your news from the Blogs

    It is all about the Fish

    http://www.waterplan.water.ca.gov/docs/meeting_materials/tribal/all/BDCPOverview_05-22-09.pdf

    Posted Sep-19-2009 By 

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  • how dare you tell the truth.

    Posted Sep-19-2009 By 

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  • Mr is an overstatement for that corporate shill on Murdoch's circus. All up and down interstate 5 the goons with pitchforks are crying: THIS DUSTBOWL CREATED BY CONGRESS. These pinheads have been crying about not being able to use as much h20 as they want whenever they want it for as long as I've been driving the interstate... it's not just about fish or just about food-- its about who gets the water: the large populated areas of the farmers... dunno whose right but these steak eating bastards H More..

    Posted Sep-29-2009 By 

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  • FOX=DEVIL

    Posted Sep-18-2009 By 

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