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Dueling stories: Should you believe 60 Minutes' story on Chevron in Ecuador -- or Chevron's?

60_Amazon_0503_480x360 Oil giant Chevron had a unique response to a story assembled by 60 Minutes hotshot Scott Pelley on allegations that its facilities in Ecuador purchased from Texaco years ago are now polluting an area the size of Rhode Island.

Chevron hired an ex-CNN newsman to create their own report.

Gene_randallThe New York Times reported Sunday that Gene Randall (left), a former reporter who left CNN in 2001, spent six months developing a report that is something of a mirror image of Pelley's account, except it is  focused, Randall says, "to tell (Chevron's) side of the story."

 As more journalists lose jobs, this is a issue that will surface repeatedly. Like former Congressmen-turned-lobbyists, prominent journalists have a level of public name recognition, storytelling expertise and credibility that can be put to just about any purpose once they leave the Fourth Estate.

CBS Sports anchor Greg Gumbel says he was tricked into a similar arrangement, paid $110,000 for two days spent recording introductions for what he thought would be educational programs, only to find they were used before infomercials for time shares and cellphone chargers.

Check out the 60 Minutes report and Randall's Chevron piece and decide for yourself: Who makes the better case? *



[Last modified: Wednesday, July 21, 2010 2:57pm]


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