A train derailment Friday night sparked a massive fire in East Palestine, Ohio, a town about an hour from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Corporate Bonds May Explain Media Coverage Of The Toxic Ohio Train Derailment Disaster

Here’s a clue as to why the still-unfolding environmental disaster in eastern Ohio got so little mainstream media attention over the past two weeks.
TFP File Photo

Here’s a clue as to why the still-unfolding environmental disaster in eastern Ohio got so little mainstream media attention over the past two weeks.

Two of the most powerful financial firms in the U.S. are also the top shareholders in Norfolk Southern, whose train derailed in East Palestine earlier this month, as well as ABC and CBS, according to CNSNews.com on Monday.

Citing a recent analysis by the conservative media watchdog NewsBusters, CNSNews noted that the investment firms Vanguard and BlackRock are the largest shareholders in Norfolk Southern, claiming $4.3 billion and $2.6 billion, respectively.

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Meanwhile, these Wall Street powerhouses also own huge chunks of the media.

Vanguard holds a $15.1 billion interest each in ABC and NBC and another $1.3 billion piece of the parent company of CBS.

BlackRock owns $8.3 billion worth of ABC, $8.1 billion of NBC, and $640 million of Paramount Global, CBS’ parent.

That made Vanguard the No. 1 shareholder for both ABC and NBC, and No. 2 for CBS.

BlackRock was No. 2 for the first two, and No. 4 for CBS, CNSNews noted. 

“The Vanguard and BlackRock ties to the train disaster reflects poorly on their ESG [Environmental, Social and Governance] credentials, while also raising a question about their connection to the broadcast media who have lost interest in covering the ongoing concerns about the derailment,” CNSNews noted.

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NewsBusters reported last week that between the onset of the disaster on Feb. 3 and Feb. 8, when residents were allowed back to their homes, the Big Three networks spent just 30 minutes combined covering the derailment on both morning and evening news programs.

That’s just five minutes a day.

“It truly is incredible, the lackluster coverage that the train derailment and subsequent evacuation in East Palestine, Ohio has received from the Big Three,” said Michael Morris, business director of the conservative Media Research Center, which operates NewsBusters.

“Can you imagine if the same sort of ecological disaster had occurred under the Trump administration? Undoubtedly, the Big Three would be doing all that they could to somehow pin the blame on the former president of the United States. But now, with the Biden administration at the helm — not much more than crickets.”

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NewsBusters added in a report last week, “ABC’s, CBS’s and NBC’s premature abandonment of coverage of the environmental disaster in East Palestine, Ohio may have been a gambit to protect the leftist pro-environmental, social, governance (ESG) standard giants tied to the incident.”

“The fact that ESG-obsessed companies are tied to the Norfolk Southern disaster blows their eco-virtue signaling on sustainable investment completely out of the water and makes the Big Three prematurely dropping the coverage look even more despicable.

Could it be that the Big Three are doing everything they can to protect their shareholders’ investment in Norfolk Southern?”

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