Adminstration Denials per Column Inch

Today’s Wall Street Journal had a page 2 article on the role of Vice President Cheney’s office in quashing any EPA action on greenhouse gases. The article was based on a report produced by a House committee chaired by Congressman Ed Markey (D-Mass).

The report (which to be fair, almost certainly has some political bias against Mr. Cheney) covers the same ground as other publications have, namely that the EPA was moving toward using the Clean Air Act to regulate greenhouse gases until Cheney’s office reached out and touched the EPA.

For me, the remarkable thing is not that Cheney did this – we all know about his meddling ways – but how blatantly the administration denies it. In fact, in the course of this single WSJ article (2 half page columns, 615 words according to my word processor), there are three blanket denials of something that has been reported repeatedly:

White House spokesman Tony Fratto: “Chairman Markey’s report is inaccurate to the point of being laughable.”

Cheney spokeswoman Megan Mitchell: “I don’t accept their premise.”

Energy Department spokeswoman Angela Hill: Energy Secretary Bodman “has not reversed course.”

That’s one denial every 205 words. Who takes these jobs as spokesmen and spokeswomen?


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