January 07, 2008
This is just an observation of mine, but it seems to me that ethanol's bad press started when President Bush talked about ethanol in his State of the Union speech.
I remember watching the State of the Union speech in 2007 and thinking at the time that it is nice to see support among our elected leaders but wondering if the support of President Bush would be a mixed blessing. I am not trying to make a political statement here but it wasn't a secret that his popularity was pretty low. And it is no secret that President Bush has been a polarizing force in America so it stands to reason that some people will oppose anything he suggests simply out of dislike for him.
Since the State of the Union speech in 2007 the general overall tone concerning ethanol has turned more negative. Sure there has always been people that opposed ethanol, but their voices have gotten much louder and their message has been spread much more readily by the news agencies since the speech.
Of course 2007 wasn't the first time that President Bush mentioned ethanol in his State of the Union speech. He also mentioned it in his 2006 speech.
To illustrate what I am saying, check out this chart on Google Trends which shows that news reference volume increased following both speeches. Of course the chart only tells that the amount of ethanol's news coverage went up after each speech but doesn't tell whether it was positive or negative coverage.
But it does show that both speeches spurred quite a change in the coverage of ethanol. And since the personal biases of the journalist can bleed through into their articles, it points out the need for each individual to do their own research and make up their own minds based on the merits.