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Frack protesters: Facts or farce?

Published: 8/4/13 @ 12:00

It’s not often that you show up to a news event and find that you’re part of the news.

Don’t Frack Ohio staged a protest Monday in Warren with about 200 people from around the Valley and the state.

Spotted among the handful of signs was “We deceive; You believe.”

Above the words was, um, our logo.

“The Vindicator.”

A close look at the sign showed the original target of the sign was Fox News. You can see the faint colors of that logo under the printout of our logo.

But they chose to target the Vindy. To be clear, they had many targets. We were just one.

That was not the end of the surreality. A chant crawled out:

“Give us a fracking break, we don’t want another quake.

“Block the roads, shut the gates; we don’t want your toxic waste.

“Oil and gas, go back to Hell; we don’t want your injection well.

“Vindicator getting rich, by being oil industry’s b****.

“Vindicator spewing lies, because of oil industry ties.”

Wow ...

I guess, to hear it said aloud, “Vindicator” has a bit better cadence for the chant than “Fox News.” Our name vs. “Fox” in the world of protest chant -writing is like getting dealt ace-jack instead of four-seven.

But as for truth and reality, the sign and the chant are ridiculous to the level of insulting — like a four-seven.

Truth and reality are the Achilles heel of any protest effort, and ultimately cuts into any effort’s ability to court new believers. It’s not just a shame that the anti-frackers chose to take aim at us, it’s completely inaccurate.

First, I’d like to have all “that getting rich” stuff that they proclaim. Newspaper profits are tough to come by these days — in case you’ve not watched the Plain Dealer last week.

Second, “spewing lies” is a fairly pointed charge — and not absent of some harm and collateral effect.

I would say we are guilty of “spewing the complete story.”

And that’s what protesters of many issues often hate to hear — the complete story. Ignoring a complete story undermines one’s ability to be a complete contributor to society and articulate an issue.

Some protests lose even before they start because they swap facts for farce.

That’s the frack protesters’ problem.

But when they extend that personal misguidedness to actions that flat out call someone a liar and other unsurly things, now you’re affecting an honest workforce and economy.

Here’s the complete story of the Vindy and fracking to date:

We are very aware of the industry and have aggressively reported its arrival and expansion, no differently than we would the growth of U.S. 224 retail or Lordstown Cruzes.

That aggressive reporting sure has highlighted the promotion of many positives. It’s what a fair general media does.

But our work also has been tough on the industry.

I encourage you to look at yesterday’s story about aggressive landmen. In addition, look up these stories online:

April 28: Landowners face challenges over new leasing rules.

May 1: Proposal to transport frack waste on Ohio River.

July 7: Trumbull County gas and tempers flare.

Sept. 28: Disaster waiting to happen?

And all of this coverage is a backdrop to our award-winning coverage of the D&L earthquake issue. It was The Vindicator’s coverage — ridiculed by locals, state officials and even another veteran media person — that stoked the debate. When the big quake hit Dec. 31, 2011, state officials could not get on the phone quickly enough with our staff to explain what they now were going to do, even though they chided us for weeks.

The chiding of being too tough on the fracking industry even led to a spirited exchange between a current Vindy manager and a former one, who now helps promote the industry.

All of this amounts to:

Hate us for being balanced and complete.

But don’t chant “liars” and worse words when a complete look at the history shows the opposite.

It’s hurtful to the community and the merchants who have to decide every day if we are trustworthy.

Todd Franko is editor of The Vindicator. He likes emails about stories and our newspaper. Email him at tfranko@vindy.com. He blogs, too, on vindy.com. Tweet him, too, at @tfranko.


Posted by questionreality (anonymous) on August 4, 2013 at 8:08 a.m.

After reading this, a few quotes came to mind:

An Oakhill defense attorney once said: “The Vindicator’s claim that it represents the ‘public’ may be wishful thinking on its part, at best.”

“I would not be so foolish as to associate myself with a claim that Democrats are by nature dishonest, or Republicans inherently pure. Indeed, simply calling yourself a Republican does not make you honest anymore than calling yourself a journalist makes you objective.”

The bigger a man’s head gets, the easier it is to fill his shoes.

Posted by ytownsteelman (anonymous) on August 4, 2013 at 8:43 a.m.

Generally, liberals play fast and loose with the facts because their whole philosophy isn't based upon fact but emotion. This is why conservatives as so often frustrated, because rational fact based arguments have no effect on emotion based libs.

The anti frackers seemingly cannot even figure out the difference between a production well and an injection well, and cannot evaluate the availability, uses and limitations of various forms of energy. They try to make the case that fracking fluid that in itself is non toxic will somehow magically become toxic while being diluted in groundwater to poison that groundwater. I must have missed that lesson in science class.

Posted by republicanRick (anonymous) on August 4, 2013 at 9:46 a.m.

The anti-frackers are psychologically feeble people who vent their frustrations at being insignifcant members of society by protesting against fracking.

There was a published study several months ago about why a small but vocal group of people protest society's advancements. The study found what I stated above -- they feel powerless, lost, and left behind by an advancing society so they lash out at imaginary evils.

They should be treated as we treat hoarders or agoraphobics or people afraid of spiders. That is, with empathy. But, their vocal and unscientific beliefs should not be allowed to impede progress and the advancement of society at large.

Posted by republicanRick (anonymous) on August 6, 2013 at 7:26 a.m.

STOP, you prove my earlier point perfectly. You are an uninformed, economically disadvantaged, rag-tag member of the lower class. You make yourself feel important, and lash out at the achievers in society, by spouting off about imaginary evils.

I feel sorry for you but will not allow your types to hinder the advancement of society with your false scientific beliefs.

Posted by kurtw (anonymous) on August 7, 2013 at 11:51 p.m.

The 2nd Post- Ytownsteelman- says it: "Liberals play fast and loose with the facts because their whole philosophy isn't based on fact but emotion".

Amen Brother and Amen again! I couldn't agree more. You can never win an argument with a Liberal on any issue that concerns them because facts fly off them like water off a ducks back. It's blind faith all the way- a religion. Its like trying to ague with a Jehovah's Witness or a Snake Handler- after a while you realize- "Why am I wasting my breath- these people are impervious to reason".

Liberalism is a Religion. That's all there is to it. The only thing you can do is talk to the reasonable people on the sidelines and tell them the truth- hoping- and praying- that will be enough.

Posted by kurtw (anonymous) on August 8, 2013 at 12:08 a.m.

About Comment One: That's a bunch of baloney! The Vindicator doesn't "represent" the Public (nor does any media outlet)- the Public can take care of itself, thank you very much! All we need are the facts needed to make intelligent decisions. And, I think, the Vindicator, along with the other media outlets in the Valley, does a pretty decent job in that department. The rest is up to us.

P.S. The Bottom Line is there's enough objective information available for anyone who wants to reach an informed decision- to do so- the people who want to remain dumb (like the anti-frackers) will do so regardless.

Posted by kurtw (anonymous) on August 9, 2013 at 10:51 p.m.


Could someone please explain to me- possibly the writer herself- what the hell that means?

Taxes come from the people in the first place, don't they? And let's not forget the Revolution that kick-started this country hinged on that very issue: "Taxation without Representation...".

The above quote is pure, boiler-plate Marxism- take money from the greedy rich (large corporations and rich people in general) and give it back to the "people" from whom it was "stolen" in the first place (read Karl Marx- he wrote the Liberal Agenda strangling us now 140 years ago).

Only problem is, the money never gets back to the "people" at all- it goes to line the pockets of the Political Elite- 800 Billion in "stimulus" money- where did a high percentage of that money go? It went to cronies of the Obama Administration and other members of the Democrat Machine (the teacher's union got a huge chunk)- very little did anything to "stimulate" the economy at all- which, 5 years into "The Anointed Ones" watch is still moribund.

Our Constitution gives us- the people- the right to overthrow a government (as we did the British) if it becomes "tyrannical"- have we reached that point? Good question...

Posted by Letstryagain (anonymous) on August 15, 2013 at 5:43 a.m.

The intelligent reader knows that every written word is represents the bias of the author. Knowing the degree of bias is important for determining how to accept the wriiten words.

Regarding STOP's quote regarding taxation. I would suggest going to a country where there is a greater amount of repatriation of money back to the people and stand in line for your fair share. I think you, and the rest of us, will be much happier.