Murdoch's WSJ Omits Jobs Mention From Report On Canceled FL. Rail Project

Blog ››› ››› ERIC BOEHLERT

Florida's newly elected Republican governor, Rick Scott, made headlines yesterday when he announced he was canceling plans to build a high-speed railroad between Tampa and Orlando. Scott cited costs as the reason he was backing out of the imminent project.

As Rupert Murdoch's Wall Street Journal reported:

Mr. Scott canceled the planned 84-mile line between Tampa to Orlando Wednesday, just as rail firms were preparing to make bids this month and potentially start construction later this year. Mr. Scott, a Republican elected in November, had said since taking office that he was concerned about the costs of the project.

Florida becomes the third state to say "no thanks" to federal high-speed rail money. New Republican governors in Ohio and Wisconsin returned funds in December after campaigning against rail projects in their states as wasteful spending.

But what word was missing from the Journal report? "Jobs." There was no reference in the article to how many jobs may have been eliminated by canceling the massive construction undertaking, as companies prepared to submit bids for the multi-billion dollar project.

Republican governors like Scott have made the issue of rail projects political by decrying them as signs of wasteful spending. (Scott criticized Obama during his press conference announcing his plans to kill the rail project.) But the flip side to that argument is that the construction projects can create tens of thousands of much-needed jobs.

And from the Miami Herald:

Backers of the project estimated the line ultimately would have created more than 20,000 jobs in Florida.

And the Tampa Tribune:

State officials said it would create more than 23,000 jobs, many in construction fields where unemployment is nearly 20 percent

And St. Petersburg Times:

Backers of the project estimated the line ultimately would have created more than 20,000 jobs in Florida.

Most news accounts included reference to the huge number of jobs attached to the project. At Murdoch's Journal though, there was no mention of jobs in the high-speed rail debate.

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