"How Oil Companies Manipulate Journalists"

"Subpoenaed emails reveal the ways fossil-fuel corporations try to influence the media—and why they often succeed."

"“Kill the story.”

That’s what Alan Jeffers, a media relations manager at ExxonMobil, told the Houston bureau chief of Reuters in October 2016, about a year after InsideClimate News, the Los Angeles Times, and Columbia Journalism School began publishing reports revealing ExxonMobil’s decades-long campaign to deny climate science.

The Reuters bureau chief had forwarded Jeffers a press release from the Center for Media and Democracy about a filing the group made to the IRS alleging that the American Legislative Exchange Council was abusing its nonprofit status by lobbying for Exxon’s climate denial policies. “Do you have a comment on this please? Someone asked me to file on it, though I must say it sounds flimsy,” he wrote.

“It’s inaccurate and misleading to your readers and part of the activists’ stated objective to delegitimize a company that obeys the law, provides a product we couldn’t live without and generates significant jobs and economic activity for the country and the world,” Jeffers replied."

Molly Taft reports for Drilled (co-published with The Nation) May 15, 2024.

Source: Drilled, 05/30/2024