"It has happened three times in two months. First with Time magazine, then twice with the New York Times.
A story in a national publication says the Deepwater Horizon disaster might not be quite as bad as everyone feared. Government and oil company employees nod their heads, eager to send the message that their cleanup efforts are succeeding.
Then comes the backlash, along with further evidence that the oil is still wreaking havoc.
The most recent example offers the most dramatic turnaround. On Monday, the New York Times published a story on its website headlined "Gulf May Avoid Direst Predictions After Oil Spill." Preliminary reports from scientists "suggest that the damage already done by the spill may also be significantly less than was feared," the story reported.
Then, on Tuesday, the Associated Press reported that scientists had found a layer of oil 2 inches thick on the ocean bottom. Under the oil, they found dead shrimp."
Craig Pittman reports for the St. Petersburg Times September 16, 2010.