The good people at the New York Times can’t hide their contempt for Donald Trump, or his choice for Secretary of Energy Rick Perry. It’s so bad that they’re abandoning any remaining pretense of objectivity and reporting unsubstantiated, wild rumors as if they’re fact. As the Washington Examiner notes:
Reporters were aghast – petrified even! – after the paper published a shocking report titled, “‘Learning Curve’ as Rick Perry Pursues a Job He Initially Misunderstood.”
The first two paragraphs read:
When President-elect Donald J. Trump offered Rick Perry the job of energy secretary five weeks ago, Mr. Perry gladly accepted, believing he was taking on a role as a global ambassador for the American oil and gas industry that he had long championed in his home state.
In the days after, Mr. Perry, the former Texas governor, discovered that he would be no such thing — that in fact, if confirmed by the Senate, he would become the steward of a vast national security complex he knew almost nothing about, caring for the most fearsome weapons on the planet, the United States’ nuclear arsenal.
Shocking stuff indeed. Shocking, that is, until you reach the fourth paragraph, and discover that the story hinges entirely on a single quote from a GOP energy lobbyist.
“If you asked him on that first day he said yes, he would have said, ‘I want to be an advocate for energy,'” Michael McKenna. “If you asked him now, he’d say, ‘I’m serious about the challenges facing the nuclear complex.’ It’s been a learning curve.”
That’s it. That is the only piece of supposed evidence provided by the Times to back its claim that the former Texas governor was surprised to learn he’d be tasked with overseeing the U.S.’ nuclear arsenal.
Despite the story’s obviously thin sourcing, members of the press were quick to spread the article on social media, each apparently trying to one-up the other in terms alarmism.
Turns out, that’s all there was to it. An out of context quote pushed by someone to further the Times baseless narrative that says Perry is a totally unqualified idiot who’s in over his head.
But this is bananas. Perry served as governor of one of the nation’s top energy producing state, where much of our nuclear arsenal is housed. And his campaign website suggest that he’s well versed in America’s energy issues:
In 2011, Perry’s presidential campaign website outlined his plan to shutter the DoE and roll the National Nuclear Security Administration into the Department of Defense.
The site read:
The only way to guarantee the Department of Energy does not continue to grow, or allow a re-introduction of federal intervention in the energy market, is to fully abolish the department.
However, within the Department of Energy, the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) and other key nuclear programs must be preserved and re-located to the Department of Defense. Our nuclear technology and capability (both civilian and military) are essential to U.S. national security, and must be preserved. The Department of Defense is a natural location for our nuclear programs, protecting our vital national security interests, and preserves the structure that supports our nuclear power system.
Read the rest of the Examiner piece here. It lays out that Perry knows quite a bit about American energy policy. But because Perry is a Republican Texas Governor who once misspoke at a debate, the Times would prefer to pretend he’s an idiot.