Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Was Alec Baldwin's Oyster Creek "Forum" Biased?

Chip Gerrity, President of the New Jersey International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, was at the "forum" and shares his thoughts:

The event moderated by actor Alec Baldwin, for reasons that are completely unclear to the writer, was attended by those that oppose the re-licensing of the plant and pretended to be an open forum for discussion. However, nothing could be further from the truth.

There were three individuals permitted to speak in support of Oyster Creek and nuclear power in general. The first was a teenage girl who was cut off in mid-sentence when she questioned the validity of the research that was presented by Mr. Baldwin and others as irrefutable. She was allowed to speak for approximately a minute, prior to the moderator cutting her off completely. The young woman, who was attempting to exercise her constitutional rights, was visibly upset and essentially ran back to her seat.

The next pro Oyster Creek speaker was heckled and left the microphone. Finally Ed Stroup of IBEW spoke in support of Oyster Creek and asked Mr. Baldwin if he was prepared to reduce his own electrical use should Oyster Creek come off line and no longer be able to provide effective and cheap electricity. Mr. Baldwin, not surprisingly, refused to answer the question. Mr. Stroup then attempted to yield the balance of his time to the teenager who had been rudely interrupted prior, resulting in the league immediately ending the question and answer session.
You can read the rest here. For previous posts on Mr. Baldwin and the so-called Oyster Creek "forum," click here.

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

Are anti-nuclear power advocates routinely allowed to speak their minds at industry events?

Didn't think so.

Anonymous said...

The difference there would be that an industry even is not claiming to be an open forum it is clearly a group favoring nuclear power. The same could be said about a Greenpeace meeting, a group which has a stated anti-nuclear position. IT is ok for either of these groups to be one sided because they clearly state their position. However an open forum on the issue is *supposed* to allow people of all views to express their opinion, and if you are claiming to do so then it IS wrong to silence people of different opinions.

Anonymous said...

Anti-nuclear power advocates are always allowed to speak their minds at NRC public hearings. However, I doubt they are allowed to speak their minds at events hosted by ANS or NEI. Yet they are allowed to post comments at this pro-nuclear power forum. Therefore, overall, the pro-nuclear power faction is more tolerant and open to criticism than the anti-nuclear power faction. The fact the Paul Gunter can speak here at the NEI blog but pro-nukes can't speak at NIRS forums demonstrates the point. The anti's believe in democracy - as long as they are the ones who have freedom of speech while everyone else is denied. Their mistreatment of a young girl in this article is proof positive.

bryfry said...

So Baldwin and Co. are now resorting to "beating up" on teenage girls to defend their flawed claims. Hmm ... and just when I thought my opinion of them couldn't get any lower -- yet somehow, I'm not surprised.

Having witnessed first hand the debating tactics of professional anti-nuclear campaigners (such as "class act" Jim Riccio, Greenpeace's Nuclear Policy Propagandist ... er, I mean ... "Analyst"), I know that this type of behavior is more common than not.

But picking on a teenage girl? They truly have no shame.

Anonymous said...

"The difference there would be that an industry even is not claiming to be an open forum it is clearly a group favoring nuclear power."

That's not a difference. The groups sponsoring the Alec Baldwin forum have clearly stated that they oppose Oyster Creek and are anti-nuclear power.

At least everyone was INVITED to that forum...most industry events aren't even open to opponents, or anyone from the public. And by the way, NRC meetings do not count as "industry" events. They're a part of the regulatory process and must be open by law.

Anonymous said...

"That's not a difference. The groups sponsoring the Alec Baldwin forum have clearly stated that they oppose Oyster Creek and are anti-nuclear power."

I'm afraid you are missing the point. There is nothing wrong with a pro or anti anything side hosting an open or closed forum. The problem is when they claim it to be an open discussion and it is clearly not.

Lisa Stiles said...

I'm not sure what industry "events" anonymous thinks are going on that aren't open to the public.

Conferences of NEI and ANS, both national and local, are open to anyone willing to pay the registration fee. They are announced on their websites.

And both NEI and ANS have had nuclear opponents as invited speakers at their events--I personally organized a panel session of Congressional staffers at the 2003 ANS Winter Meeting that included both nuclear supporters and opponents. When I was assigned to NEI, it was one of the sponsors of a local Gaia conference that included speakers both for and against nuclear power.

I have never seen an antinuclear activist at an event sponsored by a nuclear advocate treated as the girl last night was. When I moderated the ANS session mentioned above and one member badgered one of the nuclear opponents, I and my colleagues admonished him to be respectful to our guests and he backed down.

However, more often than not, I have been treated rudely at "open" events held by avowed antinuclear organizations.

Lisa

gunter said...

In all fairness, NEI, NJACRE, and NRC were all extended opportunities by the NJ League of Women Voters to participate on the panel. They all declined.