No Fracking Way

Reporter Covers Promised Land Without Covering Promised Land

by Chip Northrup on January 7, 2013

By interviewing people that either had not actually seen the movie or refused to talk about the movie. At least he was not hit with a pie for his efforts (read on). Evidently the NYT reporter, Michael Wines, has bounced around a bit at the Times. Was listed as being in China, formerly Moscow, now Oneonta . . .

His coverage of the premier of Promised Land  was in Oneonta, New York, on the front line of the Frack Wars – and the cradle of the Home Rule movement. Which is the plot of Promised Land.  But his interviews consisted primarily of sound bites from some local gas bags, who had not bothered to actually see the movie. So they did not talk about the movie, nor did Mr. Wines. The plot of which centered around a town’s right to exercise land use laws. You know, like the Town of Middlefield, not far from Oneonta, which has defended its land use laws in court.  Or the Town of Otsego, right up the road, which was the first town to ban shale gas drilling in New York. Or the City of Oneonta itself (which has banned shale gas drilling) where Mr. Wines was when he was conducting the interviews.  Towns like the one portrayed in Promised Land. 

The best line of the movie – which Mr. Wines interviewees had not actually seen – was “Good luck in New York,” which reads as a kind of inside joke – to the people that have in fact bought a ticket and watched the movie.  Meaning: “Good luck with those Home Rule votes.”  In places like Oneonta, where Mr. Wines was busily not commenting on the movie.

So the piece read as a bit of a hack job – and  now I can see why. The reporter is evidently a bit of a hack from way back.  Under the heading, really truly can’t make this stuff up. . . . behold a memorable moment in Michael Wine’s brilliant career in journalism:

NY Times Moscow chief gets a nasty facefull

“Reporters and editors for The New York Times let out a collective “Eww!” yesterday after learning that one of their own had been the victim of a prank, the details of which were decidedly not fit for a family newspaper. Moscow-based alternative magazine The eXile this week awarded the title of “Worst Journalist in Russia” to Michael Wines, chief of the Times’s Moscow bureau. His prize: a cream pie in the face. What he didn’t know at the time was that it was a double whammy: The pie was filled with horse semen–or so The eXile claimed in a story about the attack, titled “Hack Eats Horse-Sperm Surprise,” complete with a photo of a pie-covered Wines. Times spokesperson Katherine Mathis confirmed to Media Life that Wines was hit by a pie, but she could not verify that the pie contained horse semen. The American expatriates who publish The eXile say they settled on Wines for, among other faults, his fawning coverage of current president Vladimir Putin. “

frack face






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