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Sunday, January 30, 2022
MRC Makes An Anti-Biden, Pro-Oil Propaganda Film
Topic: Media Research Center

At the end of last year, the Media Rsearch Center released a short propaganda film with the unsubtle title "Killing Keystone XL: How Biden Destroyed American Energy Independence." The MRC describes it thusly:

On his first day in office, President Biden revoked the Keystone XL Pipeline permit via Executive Order 13990. With the stroke of a pen, Biden canceled a project that would have boosted U.S. GDP by more than 3 billion dollars, carried 830,000 barrels of oil daily from Canada to the U.S., and directly and indirectly provided up to 26,000 jobs — 11,000 of which were instantly lost. Climate Czar John Kerry, lent a sympathetic voice to the plight of the newly laid-off workers, “Go to work to make the solar panels.” President Trump greenlit the project in 2017, after years of delay from the Obama administration.

Though the Keystone Pipeline project received a favorable environmental review from the State Department, and construction had already started (crossing the Canadian/U.S Border), the Biden administration bowed to radical environmentalists and the religion of climate change, leaving hard-working Americans in the cold. Oil is the lifeblood of our economy and critical to our energy security, but the personal toll may be the highest cost of all. Livelihoods, hopes, and dreams dashed in an instant.

That number of 26,000 jobs is wildly inflated. Only about 4,000 jobs could be credited to construction of the pipeline -- nearly all of which would have been temporary -- and numbers of "indirect" jobs are speculative at best. One clip in the film uncritically shows Donald Trump even more wildly claiming that the pipeline would create "48,000 jobs."

That sets the tone of the film, which is little more than an anti-Biden, pro-oil industry propaganda piece. The MRC has taken funding from fossil-fuel interests.

Nearly the entire first half of the 14-minute film is news clips purporting to detail the history of the pipeline. It's heavy on Fox News clips, as you'd expect, but interestingly, there are also selected ciips from  other "liberal media" outlets that the MRC spends millions of dollars a year to inculcate mistrust in. There are also clips of Trump adminsitration officials declaring that the U.S. became an "net exporter" of oil under Trump -- another slippery, misleading claim. And all the talk about the pipeline purportedly bringing energy independence to the U.S. ignores the fact that it has been argued that a significant amount of the oil products generated from crude transported through the pipeline would be exported.

The latter half of the film briefly features the product of MRC employees Eric Scheiner and Ben Graham (son of MRC executive Tim Graham) visiting "hard-hit towns in South Dakota and Montana to interview residents and business owners to learn first-hand how Biden’s callous decision to shut down the pipeline has negatively impacted these communities." The first clip of of anofficial from a local electric cooperative complaining about "stranded assets" of electrical equipment left behind after the pipeline was halted -- but there was no mention of the fact that this equipment can easily be repurposed or sold. There were also complaints from local businesses and political officials about job and spending losses from the pipeline -- but that money was going to stop even if the pipeline continued because construction jobs would have moved on and eventually stopped after the pipeline was built.

The film concluded with another package of news clips that pushed the bogus narrative that the pipeline's cancellation led directly to higher gas prices.

So, yes, a propaganda film. So much so, in fact, that it got an airing on pro-Trump propaganda outlet One America News. And the propaganda appears to extend to how popular it is. A Jan. 5 email claims the film has "over 1 million views," but the YouTube version of the film to which the email links states its has slightly more than 11,600 views, and the version on right-wing video site Rumble claims only 4,881 views as of this writing. That's roughly 986,000 viewings that MRC hasn't accounted for and are likely not made up by the OAN airing, where ratings are apparently so miniscule that its main distributor, DirecTV, is dropping the channel.

Posted by Terry K. at 6:11 PM EST

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