The San Francisco Chronicle has finally thrown blogger Zennie Abraham off of its website City Brights after his ties to a Chevron operative were disclosed.
Recently, The Chevron Pit, exposed Zennie and his connections to Sam Singer, a Chevron media consultant based in San Francisco. Singer clearly pays Zennie to write positively about many of his clients, including Chevron. See this post here. Yet, Zennie never disclosed that he was paid to shill for Singer's clients.
Chevron has a long and sordid history with writers like Zennie who pretend to be something they are not, so Chevron can circulate its deceptions about the company’s intentional contamination of the Ecuadorian rainforest.
Given the oil giant’s horrific record of contamination in both Ecuador and the U.S, paying for good news is about the only way for Chevron to get any. This year an Ecuador court awarded a group of indigenous tribes $18 billion for damages related to oil contamination left by Chevron in the rainforest. Several months later, a U.S. court denied efforts by Chevron to avoid paying the judgment.
Chevron, though, sees itself above the law of the land and doesn’t hesitate to resort to such tactics as:
Allowing the spouse of a Chevron employee to fake being an independent journalist so he could attack the legal case of the Ecuadorians.
But Thorne failed to acknowledge two major points in his emails to the environmental groups. First, he is married to Kristen Thorne, Chevron’s senior policy advisor on environment and energy issues. Second, he has operated a pro-Chevron website critical of the leaders of the Ecuador lawsuit against Chevron.
After these facts came to light, Thorne closed down his blog.
Trying to pay a journalist to spy on the Ecuadorians.
Faking a television newscast sympathetic to the company.
In the video produced by Chevron, Randall, interviewed Chevron’s managers and consultants but completely ignored the arguments of the plaintiffs. The fake news report ends with the deceptive voiceover “Gene Randall reporting.”
The “news cast” remains on Chevron’s web site and appears in Google searches.
As for Zennie, we can only hope that one day he’ll get a real job.