You must watch this episode of Iowa Press not just for the dull questions but also for the slick GOP-like evasiveness of the Navigator VP. The contrast was stark between the fast-talking, polished Elizabeth Burns-Thomas and the “good guy” on the stage embodied by Jess Mazour, Coordinator of Conservation for the Iowa Sierra Club.
Here are a few of my biased observations of this Iowa Press program which I have said before should be cancelled because they generally do more harm than good with their incessant Republican coddling while treating progressives and Democrats like annoying flies. Type “Iowa Press” in our search box for my previous articles.
When moderator O. Kay Henderson introduced Jess Mazour she appeared to have no idea who she had invited on the show and had to check her notes in order to state her title and organization. No such trouble when she introduced Elizabeth Burns-Thomas. “She is the Vice President for Public Affairs for Navigator” flowed smoothly and smartly off her tongue. “And Jess Mazour is the…. coordinator of…. conservation for the Iowa chapter of the Sierra Club.” Don’t believe me, watch for yourself. It’s right at the top of the show so will take you no time at all to check my work.
This episode I will give the win to Jess Mazour of the Iowa Sierra Club for dominating the dialogue, challenging Navigator VP Burns-Thomas even though she had to jump in uninvited by the hosts, and another time putting the panel’s next question on hold to address inaccuracies by Burns-Thomas. Mazour took no prisoners.
As soon as Burns-Thomas started talking you immediately forgot the question. It seemed in most instances, she did not answer the question but it was hard to tell. I’m sure that was the idea.
Henderson, as is her practice, spoke on behalf of Republicans, sharing that Republican senators accused the opposition of being being unreasonable. Instead of asking, “Is it true that you were unwilling to compromise,” Henderson accepted the Republicans’ false narrative as factual, asking Jess, “Why aren’t critics at least willing to accept some rather than all?” Jess corrected the show moderator, stating, “We definitely would support HF565 with the 90% threshold” because she said, it was a good compromise that the landowners supported.
And there was a double standard – when Jess accused Navigator of refusing to release certain documents Henderson asked Burns-Thomas if that was the case. She did not assume it was a fact. She didn’t ask Burns-Thomas why her company was not releasing documents – she asked if it was true first.
Worst question award goes to Erin Murphy. “..There are 5,000 miles of these kinds of pipelines throughout the country any number of miles and miles of pipelines operating in this country. What is it about this project? Why is this one the one that your group is so adamantly opposed to vs. other pipelines that are out there?”
Where to start.. the question seems irrelevant and hostile. Is the Sierra Club supposed to fight every pipeline in the country? And it’s not just “her group.” 78% of Iowans do not want the pipeline. Stop making it sound like it’s only Jess and “her group” that are opposed.
Mazour politely and effectively answered the questions. She did a great job speaking up for Iowans, farmers, and the environment making the case that these pipelines only benefit private companies, not Iowans.
To progressive friends who have long since signed off watching the Iowa Press program, this one is moderately safe to watch.
Thank you for commenting again on IOWA PRESS. I consider myself a moderate Democrat on some issues, but you don’t have to be a total progressive to find IOWA PRESS a real teeth-grinder.