By Dan Kennedy • The press, politics, technology, culture and other passions

Hot air over a Cape Wind book

Has WGBH‘s Cape Cod radio station, WCAI, been suppressing news about a new book that takes a favorable view of Cape Wind, the controversial proposed wind farm? It’s a claim that’s been rattling around for the past few weeks. Now the Phoenix’s Adam Reilly takes a look. And though he finds no definitive proof, he does dig up some interesting tidbits about power, money and potential conflicts of interest.

You want conflicts of interest? Well, you’ve come to the right place. I’m a paid contributor to another outpost of WGBH, “Greater Boston with Emily Rooney.” The editor of Cape Cod Today, Walter Brooks, who’s pro-wind farm and who first alerted me to this story earlier in the month, is a friend of Media Nation. Walter and I have appeared together on WCAI to talk about online journalism.

So it’s just as well I’m taking a pass on this. Read Adam’s story and decide for yourself.

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  1. raccoonradio

    >>The editor of Cape Cod Today, Walter Brooks, who’s pro-wind farm and who first alerted me to this story earlier in the month, is a friend of Media Nationhe was on Howie Carr’s show the other night during the last hour, though the last half hour of his appearance was cut off on WRKO, WXTK-FM (CapeCod), and WCRN due to Red Soxpre-game.

  2. Anonymous

    It’s really a shame that the charges and counter-charges in this important debate have all been about style instead of substance. Rich yuppies vs. corporate greed-heads makes good copy for the Phoenix, but ignores the fundamental public policy questions that must be answered.Here’s just one: What other form of energy extraction is allowed to use public property for free to generate closely-held private profit? Answer: none.

  3. Peter Porcupine

    What’s that ‘free’ stuff?Jim Gordon will be paying SIGNIFICANT amounts of cash for the construction and production of the wind farm – money that government is loathe to spend. (The only reason we have an ethanol program is – Iowa).The Nantucket Shoals? Becasue of the Great Satan, George Bush, and his 2005 Energy Bill – which also continued credits for solar and other alternative energy – Cape Wind will have to pay a lease fee to the Federal government for the use of its waters – that’s why regulation and oversignt was moved from the Corps of Engineers to the Minerals Management Services, which negotiates leases for timber in parks, etc.So is the answer still ‘none’?

  4. Anonymous

    I get tired of this argument about public lands never being used for private profit. Public lands are used for private profit all the time: cattle grazing, mining, timber, offshore oil drilling. What about the millions that has been invested in this project by its promoters over the past several years?I’ve been discouraged by the reporting on this issue. Why don’t we see reporting on how this has worked in European countries that have tried it? And how about some reporting on the fate of the Cape in 50 years if we DON’T start putting together some alternatives to coal/nuclear?

  5. Anonymous

    Cape Wind is a perfect example of liberalism at its best. Liberals talk a good game but if it affects their backyard they run for the hills. Thankfully some get it, like Deval, but I am suspect of his following thru on this. For years the do-gooders from Hingham and Cohasset enjoyed speeding thru my neighborhood in Quincy to get to the T stations to head into Boston, now that Greenbush is in their backyard they fought it tooth and nail ( it’s sad to see so many women with bob haircuts speeding around in their SUVs to attend Anti-Greenbush meetings) Its not so much that liberals are worse than right wingers, both groups are pitiful in their own ways, liberals just have a holy-than thou attitude and i am enjoying watching their hipocracy from afar!

  6. Mike from Norwell

    Still amazes me to this day that this project came to light around the exact time of the Buzzards Bay Oil Spill. Obfuscation is thy middle name.I’ve got a better idea; bag the wind farm, and let’s start putting up oil derricks in Nantucket Sound.

  7. raccoonradio

    Speaking of politics and the media,gay marriage opponents MassResistanceare saying WTTT 1150 cancelledtheir weekly show and they feelit’s due to pressure from a certainpresidential candidate who has beenfrequently criticized by the group.(Romney!!)

  8. Brian

    Did anyone else feel the Phoenix cover really overhyped and deceived the reader on what the story was about? I opened my copy expecting a broad indictment of the anti-wind farm forces, and instead got two pages about WGBH interview policies.

  9. Dona Tracy

    Dan, we have talked about this before. Walter Brooks runs a totally Cape Wind biased site where he regularly censors both bloggers and public commenters who write anything in opposition to Cape Wind (his paid advertiser). Not only does he censor but he routinely deletes and alters public comments, openly hurls personal attack or allows it only to Cape Wind skeptics and opposition, threatens to or banishes those opposed to his point of view and out rightly only publishes pro Cape Wind articles. I have asked you about ethics in journalism in the past and you seemed to feel anything goes… Brooks has spent weeks creating what he calls a “windstorm of controversy” publishing letters and articles slamming and smearing anyone and everyone who decides not to promote the “Cape Wind” book including our local public radio stations (who already ran an hour long interview with Wendy Williams on the Diane Rhem’s Show) and the Cape Cod Natural History Museum and others in an attempt to bully them into promoting the book which, by the way, the reviewer from the New York Times said and I quote “is a bad book and badly written too”. When you were on public radio with Brooks talking about on-line journalism did you discuss the fact that yellow journalism is alive and well on Brook’s site, I think not.

  10. Dan Kennedy

    Dona: I did not tell you that “anything goes” in terms of journalistic ethics. I told you that Walter, like anyone else, has First Amendment protection to run his site as he pleases. Unethical journalism is protected by the First Amendment just as surely as ethical journalism as long as it doesn’t cross the line into libel or obscenity. And BTW, that is not intended as a comment on what Walter is doing.

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