In September, for example, Starr gave a platform to the business lobby -- specifically, the National Association of Manufacturers and the Midwest Alliance for Infrastructure Now -- criticizing President Obama's decision to halt the building of the pipeline. Much of her article was devoted to critics of the decision, while just a single paragraph was given to quoting from a statement from the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, which is central to the controversy.
In a Dec. 5 article, though, Starr went on an odd tangent of misdirection:
Native Americans and other activists vow to continue their protest over the final stretch of the Dakota Access pipeline under the Lake Oahe near Standing Rock, N.D., but at another reservation in the state, Native Americans are happy about the prosperity that pipelines have brought to their community.
“One hundred fifty miles up the Missouri River from Standing Rock, pipelines and pumpjacks are plenty on the Fort Berthold reservation,” an article posted on the Inside Energy website on Nov. 23 said.
“More than 4,000 miles of pipe carrying oil, natural gas and wastewater criss-cross the reservation in the heart of the Bakken oil patch,” the article said, noting that Fort Berthold is home to the Mandan, Hidatsa and Arikara tribes — known as MHA Nation.
But Starr omits the fact that the situation with the Dakota Access pipeline and the Standing Rock reservation is completely different from that of the Fort Berthold reservation. The pipeline as proposed does not cross the Standing Rock reservation as currently constituted; it does, however, cross tribal land the Standing Rock Sioux claim was promised to them in an 1851 treaty but instead provided to white settlers, land the tribe claims contains ancient burial mounds and other historial artifacts. The tribe also asserts that federal officials made little effort to consult the tribe about the pipeline's route.
When Starr did bother to devote significant space to the tribe's side of the pipeline controversy, it was in order to paint it as extremist. A Nov. 23 article cited "a director at a liberal think tank in Washington, D.C." who claimed that "white privilege and white supremacy" led to the creation of the pipeline "and compared it to building a pipeline under Arlington Cemetery and across the Potomac River."
So, yeah, more biased reporting from Starr designed to present only one side -- the side she's getting paid to report favorably about -- as reasonable.
(Photo via EcoWatch)