PBS NewsHour Looks at California HSR Project
Last week the PBS NewsHour filed this 9-minute report on the California high speed rail project. It’s an overview of the project, some of the debates around it (including a visit to Kings County) and short interviews with Dan Richard of the California High Speed Rail Authority, US Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, and Republican Senator Doug LaMalfa who wants to kill the project. It’s worth watching:
Watch Will Brown’s Vision for High-Speed Rail Stay on Track? on PBS. See more from PBS NewsHour.
It doesn’t delve too deeply into the issues, and tends to take the usual “he said, she said” approach to journalism that consistently fails to inform the public about what is actually going on.
That being said, what I do like a lot about this report is that it continues to help frame the debate as Republicans versus Jerry Brown and Barack Obama. PBS has been bullied into cowardice by 15 years of Republican attacks, so they didn’t mention that the states of Wisconsin, Ohio and Florida rejected HSR funds because their Tea Party governors insisted on it for ideological reasons.
But the basic “GOP vs Brown/Obama” framing is there and that’s what matters. And that is why people like Senators Alan Lowenthal and Joe Simitian are so far out on a limb with their opposition to high speed rail funding. They actually think Californians will want to side with the Tea Party over their governor and their president – and that siding with the Tea Party is a good place for themselves to be politically. They will quickly discover how wrong they are.