After hyping exaggerated claims about potential Keystone XL pipeline related jobs, Fox News is now simply inventing them. Fox is claiming that 114,000 U.S. veterans are heading north of the border to build the Canadian portion of the Keystone XL pipeline. In fact, the jobs are “not at all related to the Keystone pipeline,” according to the company recruiting workers in Alberta, Canada.
Fox News got the story - and clearly did not check it - from Veterans of Foreign Wars, which sponsors the jobs-listing website, VetJobs, that partnered with the Edmonton Economic Development Corporation to advertise skilled-labor jobs available in Alberta. VFW's press release suggested the jobs would involve the Keystone XL pipeline, stating: “Though America's Keystone Pipeline is delayed, the Canadians are moving forward on their side of the border and have an immediate need for tens of thousands of workers.” But in a phone conversation, VetJobs founder Ted Daywalt said he was not trying to imply that the jobs were related to the Keystone pipeline, and that media reports “jumped the gun.”
Edmonton Economic Development Corporation is recruiting for four companies in Alberta -- none of which are TransCanada, the corporation behind the Keystone XL pipeline. EEDC Spokesperson Renee Worrell said that those jobs were for everything from road work to downtown development to oil and gas projects, but are “not at all related to the Keystone pipeline.” Worrell said EEDC was seeking to hire “a couple of thousand [workers] by Fall” to address an estimated worker shortage of 114,000 there. Worrell further clarified that the jobs are “not limited to military veterans, we just know that some of them have the skills that we're looking for,” contrary to Fox's claims.
The message of Fox News' fact-challenged story is that those jobs would be here in the U.S. if the Obama administration had greenlighted the pipeline, and veterans wouldn't have to “reluctantly turn their backs on the country they served to find jobs.” While discussing the story this morning, Fox host Juliet Huddy said: “With a story like this that gets the headline that this story is no doubt going to get, do you think that there's a possibility that maybe [Obama's decision] will be reversed?”
UPDATE (7/6/12): Yesterday the conservative website CNSNews.com, run by the Media Research Center, wrote that the job openings were “misreported by some media as an opportunity for U.S. veterans to land jobs on the Canada-side of the Keystone XL pipeline.” But instead of correcting their false report, Fox is doubling down. Today, Brian Kilmeade hosted VetJobs' Daywalt and claimed, “With the Keystone pipeline in limbo here in America, Canada is luring our nation's veterans in some cases with thousands of jobs there to help build a portion of that along with other projects in Canada.”