Statesman Editorial Kisses AMD Ass

It was a little disturbing to open the Austin American-Statesman this morning and read an editorial advocating allowing AMD to do whatever it pleases as long as it’s defeating its archrival Intel and fomenting the Austin economy:

It is gratifying that AMD is performing so well, given its long presence and high profile in Austin. Part of AMD’s success was based on its Opteron microchip, a high-performance chip that was largely designed in Austin. And Austin will benefit from AMD’s success.

AMD has been a civic-minded company for as long as it has had a presence in Austin, showing up strong in philanthropy and community participation. The company’s surprising performance means that Austin will be in the ring for a heavy-weight bout between two leading microprocessor manufacturers.

Later on, the editorial draws a comparison between Intel and the SOS Alliance and other environmental groups fighting the Lantana site.

AMD is not only battling Intel, it is fighting for its new campus in Southwest Austin. Environmentalists, led by the Save Our Springs Alliance, have targeted the proposed project as unsafe for the aquifer and Barton Springs and are pressuring AMD to abandon its proposal.

Ruiz has said the planned headquarters complex will consolidate AMD’s workforce, cut down on driving time and pollution, and be one of the most environmentally sensitive developments in Central Texas.

Those are powerful arguments, and most of the community, including nearby Oak Hill, support AMD’s project.

Translation: “Oh, you big strong company. You are so handsome and powerful. *swoon* Keep fighting those green hippy bastards!”

This AMD-at-any-price civic boosterism belies a newspaper’s role as an investigative resource. As the photos in this AustinAction Sanity Island post show, Stefan Wray has already discovered significant sediment deposits from contractors preparing to build at the AMD work site.

In its series of articles on Barton Springs being contaminated by tar sealants, the Statesman was quick to sound the alarm of environmental contamination. Now AMD is getting a free pass as long as it’s fueling the Austin economy? As Mike Dahmus noted in this post, the RealEstatesman has a history of being lenient on Hector Ruiz and AMD.

2 Comments so far

  1. harold (unregistered) on January 20th, 2006 @ 1:05 pm

    The Statesman has been kissing Hector’s ass since AMD made its announcement about moving to Lantana.

    Now, Austin citizens who want to protect Barton Springs and water quality in general have been labeled as some sort of competitor to a global computer chip manufacturer.

    AMD can build as “green” as they want. They can buy Austin Greenchoice energy, they can install solar panels and plant freakin’ banana trees on their roof as far as I am concerned. It does not change the fact that moving 2,000-3,000 employees into Austin’s water quality protection areas is just plain wrong. Why don’t people understand that the first step in building green is to choose an appropriate location? AMD failed at step one. How can the Statesman justify printing “…and be one of the most environmentally sensitive developments in Central Texas”?

    There are 16,539 signatures right now over at asking AMD to reconsider their move. Nearly 1,500 of those signatures are from Southwest Austin. Yet, the Statesman claims that most of the community supports AMD’s project. Where is their justification for this claim?

  2. M1EK (unregistered) on January 20th, 2006 @ 1:46 pm

    Harold’s nailed it. And, by the way, the move has nothing to do with shortening employee commutes (which it won’t) but everything to do with shortening the CEO’s commute (he lives in the Barton Creek Country Club area).

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