El Defensor Chieftain: surely you can do better!
It seems to me that El Defensor Chieftain is losing its credibility. I suppose we should all be thankful for alternative voices such as this venue, and we can all applaud the fact that the Mountain Mail will ride again, after a brief time being out of business. What am I grumbling about? Well, the Chieftain seems to be so short-handed (budget cuts, anyone?) that their idea of news is to reprint pabulum and canned press releases as "news" or "opinion" pieces. The latest (in a long line of such rubbish) is their shilling for the American Farm Bureau Federation - an organization that is to farming what the US Chamber of Commerce is to business.
The American Farm Bureau Federation is composed of (and, more importantly, funded by) mostly corporate, factory-scale farming (and ranching) outfits. You can guess what those factory farmers and ranchers want, can't you... the ability to use as much pesticides, herbicides, genetically modified seeds, and scarce water as they wish, while shunning any regulations which might control the runoff of toxic substances from their fields and feed lots. Much like the US Chamber of Commerce, the Farm Bureau's corporate agenda inevitably leads to a radical, almost irrational, opposition to anything that might benefit the environment (and "we the people"), as they fear that it might also impact their bottom line, their shareholders' profits, and - horror of all horrors - their CEOs' annual bonuses.
Now, what does that have to do with El Defensor Chieftain? Well, the Chieftain - in their infinite "wisdom" (or in their infinite desperation to have stories to print) routinely gives free space to the American Farm Bureau Federation to espouse their anti-environmental propaganda. The latest diatribe from the spin doctors at the Farm Bureau preaches about environmentalism, whilst simultaneously coming out against each and every possible new environmental regulation. The audacity to speak out of both sides of their mouths within the span of a single paragraph; sometimes within the span of a single sentence, boggles the mind. Why does the Chieftain print this canned propaganda?
The Chieftain is really short-sighted; they could be selling advertising space to the Farm Bureau; while the Farm Bureau's propaganda would still be balderdash, at least they'd have to pay for it, and it wouldn't be pawned off as "news" or honest "opinion" pieces. But, no, the Chieftain is a shill. They've fallen a long way since the days when they were an actual bastion of real news in this community. It's no wonder some folks are defecting and not renewing their subscriptions. Mountain Mail (and Socorro News!) anyone?
Editor's note: this reminds me of a related commentary we ran a while back on the Farm Bureau.