Rachel Maddow. News thief.
Don’t get me wrong, I love Rachel Maddow. Truth be told, I’m a huge fan. So, if she wanted something from my blog, all she had to do was ask. I would have given willingly because that’s the kind of guy I am.
Instead, she stole my scoop of a lifetime and now it’s plastered all over MSNBC with Rachel getting all the credit. Granted, the segment she did Wednesday night covered more ground and was more professional than my little feature, but then she has more resources at her disposal than I do.
Funny thing is, I almost sent her an e-mail that could have suggested where to search for a really good story, but I didn’t think anyone would read my e-mail up there in the big city, so I didn’t send it. I could have saved her a weeks worth of time.
Had Rachel read the e-mail that I didn’t send and then decided to do the story she couldn't have known about, it could have changed my life. Maybe she would have hired me as a researcher or let me be a guest on her TV show so I could get the fifteen minutes of fame Andy Warhol promised me back in the Sixties.
You can bet I’ll try to learn something from that little mistake.
Anyway, last week I wrote a blog entry for Open Salon about a huge, yet seemingly forgotten, 1979 oil spill that happened in the Gulf of Mexico. The rig was named the Ixtoc I and in comparison, the Ixtoc and the Deepwater Horizon tragedies are eerily similar, like twins separated at birth, then reunited some thirty years later.
In the article, I mentioned that the Ixtoc caught fire and sank off the Mexican Coast with shortcuts in safety measures as the likely cause. I told about how the blowout preventer also failed and how the oil filled the gulf until a relief well was finally completed, thus allowing the well to be capped over nine months later.
To stem the flow prior to that, they first tried a containment dome to no avail (think of an upside-down Dixie cup with a sippy-straw glued in the bottom). Next they tried the junk-shot (a term that sounds vaguely pornographic) where they tried to jam the blowout preventer with tons of items you can find at your local landfill.
Things like old tires, long dead washing machines and seagulls. You know, the usual stuff that comes to mind when trying to stop a major oil spill.
Surprisingly, all of these highly technical, advanced engineering attempts failed to stop the leak, though they did manage to somewhat reduce the flow.
One of the points I was trying to make in my story is that thirty years later, the oil industry hasn’t advanced their methods of plugging holes in the ocean floor or cleaning up their messes. Nothing has really changed over the last three decades in this area. Same methods, different spills.
Einstein's theory of stupidity comes to mind. Or maybe it was his theory of insanity. No matter, both theories work here.
By the way, Big Oil still uses the same method of hiding the oil below the surface by spraying poisonous dispersants and they still have the same disregard for anything environmental. Another thing that hasn’t changed is their desire for profits above all else.Some things never change.
So anyway, I'm sitting there Wednesday evening watching MSNBC and there is Rachel Maddow......
TELLING THE SAME DAMN STORY!!
But, enough of that. I’m sure she had her reasons for stealing my thunder. I was actually surprised that all these "professional" news agencies hadn’t looked for the connection between the two historic spills earlier. I mean, what do they do up there all day?
Anyway, I suppose it’s possible that I wasn’t plagiarized and that someone on Rachel’s research team cracked the code and may have done a Google for “oil spills in the Gulf of Mexico” just like I did and found the same information. It could have happened that way.
But, in the long run I think I would rather believe that Rachel secretly reads my blog. Maybe I’ll skip the fifteen minutes of fame and just hold on to that thought for a while.
Here is Rachel's story; It's a good one.
And this is mine.