COMMENTS: Drilling Down

Energy was the topic for this day's quarrel between Barack Obama and John McCain. ABC and CBS both led with Obama's proposals for conservation and renewables and McCain's response for exploration and nuclear--Jake Tapper and Dean Reynolds filing respectively--while NBC confined its coverage to a mention in passing.

ABC's Tapper fact-checked two disputes. Had McCain fallen into "the pocket of Big Oil" since revoking his opposition to drilling in coastal waters? Tapper leaned against McCain, pointing out that while Obama had received $400,000 in campaign contributions from oil interests in his entire campaign, McCain had racked up $1m just in the last month since he made his switch. Second, was Obama correct in his advocacy for properly inflated tires and tuned-up engines? It would not quite put as much new oil on the market as drilling for it offshore, Tapper judged: efficiency 800K barrels daily, drilling 1,250K. Anyway according to the Department of Energy, CBS' Reynolds noted, "it will take nearly a decade to get results from new drilling."

As a footnote CBS anchor Katie Couric issued a correction to her slip in last week's profile of the McCain Campaign HQ in Arlington Va. The Republican National Convention will be in St Paul not its twin Minneapolis, she clarified: "So, our apologies to all the people of St. Paul, along with a reminder that the man for whom your city is named encouraged his followers to be patient and forgiving." A second apology for blasphemy might now be in order. Those to whom St Paul was preaching were not his "followers" but those of Jesus Christ. They are called Christians not Paulists.


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