Corporate propaganda is a feature of life in contemporary America. Perhaps one of the most egregious examples of corporate propaganda is found in Ohio in the unhealthy marriage of Disney radio and the Ohio gas and oil industry. Disney has participated in a 26 stop tour throughout the state of Ohio entitled "Rocking in Ohio" featuring interactive demonstrations which purport to have some educational significance. As always it is the children who are the most vulnerable. In order to to learn how oil and gas pipelines work, children push ping pong balls through plastic straws. Families take on the challenge to procure items alleged to fall from the beneficence of the fracking industry. All of this , of course, is seen as a marvelous opportunity to interest the kiddies in science.After all, it is all an effort to make education fun.
According to industry spokesman Ross Gosjeen, "Our country cannot survive without oil and gas." Such sanguine hopes are not shared by the Sierra Club. No mention is made of fracking or of the environmental devastation wrought by fracking or of the many people who have been harmed by the fracking industry. The presentations are heavily edited and inconvenient facts are simply not mentioned. Interactive games at the elementary schools make no mention of groundwater contamination or of the recent earthquake in Youngstown which is the result of fracking operations.
There is ,however, some room for hope. The Disney Corporation has pulled out of the project. One can hope that their decision was motivated by conscience. The project has also received enough negative publicity to insure that ,at least in this instance ,the public square has not been subverted by private interests at odds with the public good.
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