WaPo Slips Coal Critique into the Entertainment Section

by William Yeatman on February 3, 2011

in Blog

Have you seen Spike TV’s new show on coal mining in West Virginia? I haven’t, but I’ve read the Washington Post’s review, and while it didn’t tell me anything about the show, it did provide an interesting insight into jaded lens through which the mainstream media views the coal industry.

January 28’s “TV Column” starts

“You know that West Virginia coal mine that’s the star of Spike TV’s new reality series “Coal,” from the same guy who brings you Discovery’s “Deadliest Catch””

O.K….so far so good. But in the second paragraph, the post television critic takes an unexpected turn:

“Federal inspectors have cited the Canadian coal company that they say owns the mine for 19 health and safety violations during the nearly three months the TV crew was filming there.”

The remainder of the article is given to the hazardous nature of coal mining. In fact, the regulation of underground mines is an extremely technical and controversial subject. If the Washington Post wants to run stories about this issue, they should be in Section A, written by someone with expertise on the matter. Section C should keep to entertainment.

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