That ABC News story about GlobalFoundries

The much hyped ABC World News story about the GlobalFoundries chip fab and Malta aired last night. And it was shockingly bad.

As reported by ABC, the chip fab story is one in which a plucky "tiny American town" got together, put on a show, "beat out of the world," and is now "coming back to life." And (best TV reporter smile voice) look at those crazy white coverall suits people have to wear at a chip fab!

No mention of the fact this "tiny American town" isn't actually in the middle of nowhere, but rather is part of the 59th largest metro area in the country -- and in the middle of the most prosperous county in that metro area. No mention of the $1.4 billion in public incentives used to lure the fab project, including an unprecedented $665 million cash grant. No mention of UAlbany's College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering and its focus on chip fab research, the presence of which was key to attracting the fab. No mention of the billions in public and private investment going into this metro area for chip fab research.

There are so many angles to this story that could have highlighted both that Americans are capable of advanced manufacturing -- and the investment, complications, and side effects of attracting that sort of development.

What makes ABC's story even worse is that the correspondent, David Muir, is from upstate New York. He grew up in the Syracuse area, went to Ithaca College, and was on the local TV news in Syracuse. It's not like this place should be totally foreign to him. We're reasonably sure he's heard of the Albany metro area.

But attention is attention.


I'm shocked, SHOCKED I say, that a national news organization would pay short shrift to our fair region.

When I saw that the piece was part of the "American Towns" segment (or whatever it's called), I had a feeling they'd go with the "plucky little town" angle. Disappointing, absolutely. Surprising, not at all.

"And look at those chips stamped into that circle..."

Oh my. I think the "how do I look" remark was the extend of his depth.

Sadly, the west coast does indeed think of upstate NY as "in the middle of nowhere", particularly with regard to chip fabrication.

I think I stopped believing in these fluff pieces when I was seven, about when I stopped believing in Santa Claus.

Here's a real story from The Economist that ran a couple of issues ago:

The Springs that Heal

At least the rest of the world is excited about the scale of economic, and technological advances on the horizon!

Woo 59th! Take THAT, "New Haven-Milford CT MSA"!

Malta, NY is pretty close to my definition of 'the middle of nowhere'.

Yes; It's shallow MainStreamMatrix reporting....... what else is new?

From the recent article in The Economist:

"Some resent the subsidies, but the state anticipates a return of $2.54 for every dollar spent on the project."

Based on yesterday's report of Industrial Development Agencies by the state Comptroller, however, the state's anticipated return on "investment" in GlobalFoundries may just be some irrational exuberance.

I am shocked they made no mention of UAlbany's Nanoscale College. This would have applied directly to the story at hand.

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