ABC's purposefully misleading Gulf Coast report?

Blog ››› ››› ERIC BOEHLERT

Last night, ABC's World News Tonight aired a tough, who's-in-charge piece that condemned the federal government for its botched handling of the BP oil spill. Specifically, ABC told a tale as told by Louisiana's GOP governor, Bobby Jindal, about 16 oil-sucking barges that were temporarily docked by the Coast Guard. Jindal thought they should have been out in the Gulf cleaning up the spill.

Why were the barges docked? Well, here's what ABC reported in its online dispatch [emphasis added]:

But the Coast Guard ordered the stoppage because of reasons that Jindal found frustrating. The Coast Guard needed to confirm that there were fire extinguishers and life vests on board, and then it had trouble contacting the people who built the barges.

But guess what? In the report that aired on network TV last night, ABC left out that explanation. (You can watch the report here.) In fact, ABC left out any explanation as to why the barges were temporarily docked. Instead, viewers were left with the impression that the clueless Coast Guard ordered the barges to stop cleaning up the Gulf for no reason at all.

It's hard to imagine why ABC producers would air an entire (GOP-friendly) segment all about how the Coast Guard took barges out of commission, and then not include the stated reason why.

And FYI, in its report ABC never once mentioned the phrase "BP."

UPDATED: Drudge is billboarding ABC's very misleading report. Mission accomplished!

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