South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem (R) took the media to task Thursday, chastising state reporters for failing to cover the negative economic impact of President Joe Biden's decision to cancel the Keystone XL oil pipeline.
Speaking at a press conference, Noem distributed to the media copies of a Washington Examiner article about a Midland hotel owner and former pipe workers who are reeling from the administration's cancellation of the Keystone XL pipeline project. As one of his first executive actions, President Biden fulfilled a campaign promise to environmental activists to shut down the project, a move that will destroy at least 11,000 jobs and has angered labor unions.
"The article talks about Laurie Cox, who runs a hotel in Midland. She's not sure how she's going to make ends meet and most of her clientele were pipeline workers. She says that she and the workers became like family in recent months," Noem told the media.
"The article also references Trudy Flesner, who runs a truck stop in Milesville. Trudy expanded her operation in anticipation of extra business to provide lodging and services to those who were working on the pipeline. And now that expanded investment appears to be wasted," she continued. "It's an excellent piece of reporting because it goes beyond the data and the statistics to tell the personal stories behind this executive action.
"I want to have a candid conversation with all of you," Noem said, addressing the reporters gathered there. "This article was written by an organization and an entity out of Washington, D.C. Why is that? Why is it that no South Dakota reporters covered the real life impacts of the loss of the pipeline?
"If I had taken an action that had ended hundreds or thousands of jobs in South Dakota with the stroke of a pen, I know for a fact that all of you would have covered it," she added. "I know that if former President Trump had taken an action that had ended hundreds or thousands of jobs for South Dakota families, you would have covered that. And that's how it should be. But frankly, I would expect all of you to treat this new administration exactly the same way. Let's make sure we hold them to the same standard."
Noem told the reporters that she doesn't expect them to always take her side, acknowledging that's not their job. But she added that in her view, reporters reveal their biases not in the way they cover the news, but by which stories they choose to cover and which they ignore.
"In this instance the lack of coverage from South Dakota reporters and media speaks volumes," Noem said.
Video provided by Gov. Kristi Noem's office