Yesterday, the Fargo Forum published an infographic titled “DAPL By The Numbers.” With a general title like that, we expected a graphic representing both sides of the debate over the controversial Dakota Access pipeline.
Instead, the graphic is based on information released by “law enforcement officials” about the “resources used and impact caused by the protests.”
The graphic tells you about the hundreds of people who were arrested; the 50 to 75 abandoned cars/structures at the protest camp; the millions of dollars the protests have caused taxpayers; and the dozens of livestock that have been killed or gone missing. Take a look.
About those livestock crimes: we haven’t seen any reports of people being charged. So why are the protests to blame?
A more balanced graphic could have included the following data:
- number of rubber bullets used on protesters
- gallons of water used to spray protesters in below-freezing weather
- number of arrested protesters who were actually found guilty in a court of law
- number of dollars Energy Transfer Partners, the company behind the Dakota Access pipeline, donated to North Dakota politicians ($5,000 to Sen. John Hoeven; $1,500 to Rep. Kevin Cramer; $1,500 to Sen. Heidi Heitkamp)
An “audience engagement specialist” at the Forum, Ross Torgeson, came to the graphic’s defense after it was criticized on Twitter for being one-sided.
— Ross Torgerson (@RossTorgerson) January 11, 2017
Torgeson promises that if DAPL protesters send the Forum their own press release with information, he’ll “be sure to pass along that a similar graphic is made.”
@rickabbo when the protesters send out a similar release, I’ll be sure to pass along that a similar graphic is made
— Ross Torgerson (@RossTorgerson) January 12, 2017
You heard the man. Get on it! The Forum can be reached at email@example.com.