Vanguard and BlackRock, giant asset management firms known for their commitment to investing in liberal Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) causes, aren’t just the top two shareholders of Norfolk Southern, whose train derailment created an environmental disaster, they’re also among the top shareholders of the parent companies of the broadcast networks that have abandoned coverage of the ongoing toxic threat.
Last Tuesday NewsBusters reported that, while reports of health problems feared to be associated with the train derailment in East Palestine, Ohio have continued, broadcast network news coverage has all but vanished:
“But the fallout is far from over. There have been widespread reports of chickens and fish dying, new chemicals discovered, pets falling ill, and residents complaining of health complications. Unfortunately, the liberal broadcast networks (ABC, CBS, and NBC) have completely moved on from the story.”
“However, once East Palestine residents were permitted to return home, the media’s interest in the story evaporated. ABC stopped covering it entirely. NBC gave the story just 38 additional seconds, and CBS was the only network to offer more than a minute of coverage (64 seconds) after the morning of February 8.”
As of Friday, Vanguard ($4,302,831,536) and BlackRock ($2,560,700,848) were the two largest shareholders of Norfolk Southern Corporation.
Likewise, Vanguard ($15,064,023,320) and BlackRock ($8,318,730,584) were the two largest shareholders of the parent company of ABC (Walt Disney Co.).
Vanguard ($15,096,981,335) and BlackRock ($8,110,351,413) were also the two largest shareholders of NBC (Comcast).
Vanguard ($1,289,903,982) was the second-largest shareholder of Paramount Global, the parent company of CBS, while BlackRock ($640,084,407) was the fourth largest institutional stockholder.
As NewsBusters noted on Thursday, the Vanguard and BlackRock ties to the train disaster reflects poorly on their ESG credentials, while also raising a question about their connection to the broadcast media who have lost interest in covering the ongoing concerns about the derailment:
“The fact that ESG-obsessed companies are tied to the Norfolk Southern disaster blows their eco-virtue signaling on sustainable investment completely out of the water and makes the Big Three prematurely dropping the coverage look even more despicable.
“Could it be that the Big Three are doing everything they can to protect their shareholders’ investment in Norfolk Southern?”
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