Sierra Club's Carl Pope - "Shame on the Senate"

Senate panicked into voting against CAFE by deceitful telephone campaign.

Published: 15-Mar-2002

Monday, thousands of watts of light from 88 searchlights pierced through the New York haze to make the 6 month anniversary of the tragedy of the World Trade Center. This, New York seemed to say, was the moment to remember, and honor, the thousands who struggled, and those who lost, heroically, on September 11.

But already, as the beams thrust skyward, a stain of fear and deceit was spreading across America. Powered by the transmitters of dozens of television stations across rural America -- a few hundred watts in Fargo, North Dakota, or a few thousand in Omaha, Nebraska, or perhaps a thousand in Butte, Montana, television station by television station, a superbly orchestrated, sleekly packaged campaign of dishonesty was telling rural Americans that at this moment, six months after the war on terrorism began, their government was coming to take away their pick-up trucks.

Earnest farming faces stared out from the ads -- millions of dollars worth of ads, saturation in places like Rapid City, South Dakota -- and declared, "It's awfully hard to load the hay in a subcompact." Only the analysis in The New York Times business section alerted us that the anxious farming faces were from "stock photos" and the quotes from family farmer General Motors.



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