The most curious omission in media coverage of the West Virginia pollution disaster -- the city of Charleston has been brought to a halt -- is the absence of discussion how politics in West Virginia harbors antipathy to the very environmental regulations that ought to protect the state's drinking water.
Here is a glaring example how the Tea Party/ radical right's agenda -- adopted in coal country by Democrats -- breaks down. It is almost as though the media -- that knows no boundaries when it comes to matching mayhem to the appetite of its audiences -- has found something in the underbrush of the West Virginia tragedy that is too horrible: the indelicate matter of voters supporting choices that undermine their own existence.
It is curious that at the very same time, the media has macerated a similar totemic event in New Jersey, where the George Washington Bridge monster traffic jam ties back to political ambition gone haywire. Arguably the Elk River in West Virginia represents the same theme of politics making mince-meat of citizen safety with a significantly more dire outcome than waiting in lines of traffic. Yet the media holds its nose.
Although both US Senators from West Virginia are Democrats, they are a leaden part of the Democratic majority in the Senate that exposes the American public to the worst of right-wing extremism against environmental regulation.
West Virginia is a poor state. Poverty indexes put the state near the very bottom. So when a story like the Elk River, that bears an eery familiarity to the burning rivers of the industrial midwest that spurred in the 1970's the first federal environmental laws, emerges: one struggles for interpretation more clear than a poor state subject to most unfortunate, unavoidable calamity.
Not a word over there at Fox News how environmental rules might have reached to protect Charleston's drinking water from the owners of the coal-industry company. The Politburo in the Soviet Union had the Soviet era organ called Pravda to selectively inform Russians. That pretty much defines what Fox News is, when it comes to rules protecting the environment. Where is the indignation? Where is the outcry?
Although federal regulatory authority -- through the bogeyman of the right-wing, the US EPA -- is not implicated in the Elk River disaster, the shadow cast over a city incapable of delivering clean water to citizens invites full disclosure.
According to news reports, even though the tanks were decades beyond their useful life, the catastrophic pollution event awaits dilution and time. Thus it is always with pollution in the United States.
The name of the company responsible for the catastrophe in West Virginia: Freedom Industries.