Cyberattack Cripples East Coast Pipeline

Hackers disrupted operation of a major fuel pipeline in America, with no word on when it will be back online. The media covered this story similarly across the board, but with none of the vigor and outrage a social media controversy over race would elicit.


A ransomware attack by a criminal cybergang linked to Russia disrupted operations for a major fuel pipeline this weekend.


reporting from the left side of the aisle


  • The New York Times framed its reporting in appropriately dire circumstances, suggesting the fact that Colonial Pipeline has not answered basic questions such as whether a ransom has been paid or when it expects to have the pipeline back online is not inspiring confidence in its response. 
  • CNN’s reporting was very shallow, gliding along the surface with perfunctory details and providing little analysis on the critical points of the story. 
  • NBC News reported on a little-shared nugget: that experts believe this to be a “criminal scheme” rather than one orchestrated or sanctioned by a nation-state. The alleged perpetrators, a group called DarkSide, are often connected to Russia.



Author’s Take

Stories like these can be infuriating, not because of any obvious media bias. In fact, most outlets are covering this story from the same angle. What makes events such as these infuriating is how important a subject like massive disruptions in energy, public utility, or internet infrastructure is, yet the hype machines and outrage-o-meters of ideologically-driven media outlets do not assign it the same enthusiastic coverage as the clickbait-able headlines about woke politics.

Mainstream media unleashes attacks on Elon Musk for sharing memes and right leaning media allows pundits to baselessly disparage the efficacy of vaccines, but gaping security holes in the very systems our economy and daily lives depend on receive perfunctory treatment. When there’s no social equity angle or reaction to woke politics to sell, there doesn’t seem to be much interest.

Return to Freespoke

© Dallas Gerber, 2021