Ever watch the cable news networks during the afternoon? You’re bombarded with issue ad after issue ad. Well, imagine that every TV and radio station was like that 24 hours a day. That’s local media here in D.C. And since the climate and energy debate began in earnest on Capitol Hill last summer, it seems like you can’t get through one commercial break without hearing GM or Big Oil explain how they don’t need big government telling them what to do (unless, of course, big government wants to tell them to drill for more oil).

Every morning over breakfast, WTOP Radio gives me a steady diet of news, traffic, weather, and propaganda. But Monday morning brought a new twist that perked me up even before my organic coffee could kick in. It was an ad I’d heard before featuring actors pretending to be “average Joes” saying we need to drill anywhere Big Oil wants. Previously, it had closed with “paid for by the American Petroleum Institute.” But this morning, the ad closed with “paid for by API.” (To hear the ad without the tag line, go here and scroll down to “Times are changing.”)

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Of course, if you look at the American Petroleum Institute’s print ads, you won’t even find an “API.” They’re tagged with “the people of America’s oil and natural gas industry,” which sounds vaguely like employees took up a collection on their own to buy the ad. Is Big Oil afraid of its own shadow?

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