January 22nd, 2010

So Busted: VY Disappears Dave McElwee

by Philip Baruth

Now this is beautiful. You might remember a week or two back VDB mocked Entergy’s slick new website, IAmVY.com, as a blatant attempt to hide behind a few of their more telegenic workers. But in the interim, of course, Entergy has had to admit to more than a few lapses in both safety and honesty, with Entergy VP Jay Thayer himself admitting that the company had misled investigators on tritium piping.

It turns out that another company employee who misled investigators was a Chief Engineer by the name of David McElwee, who just happened to be one of the folks profiled on IAmVY.com. Well, guess what’s changed at the website since the revelations about leaked radioactivity?

Dave’s gone. Vanished. Disappeared.

And along with Dave, a line from his profile that pretty much said it all, had we only known how to read it at the time: “not for one second of one day . . . has Dave worried about the safety of Vermont Yankee.”


And that’s not all. When it launched IAmVY.com, Entergy also decided to make a heartwarming human interest story out of the fact that Dave’s daughter, Beth, had come to work at the plant too. So her original profile played up that connection: “Beth’s dad, Dave McElwee, is a 28-year Vermont Yankee veteran . . . . And she couldn’t be happier working side by side with her dad.”

But if you’ve disappeared Dave, you can’t very well warm viewers’ hearts with him when you’re profiling Beth. So the connection between father and daughter has also gone down the memory hole, as no longer operative or desirable from a corporate standpoint.

The new profile sort of cools your heart, in other words.

But it makes you really appreciate the Supreme Court’s bold defense of the First Amendment yesterday, its decision to allow corporations to spend as much as they please as often as they please in support of candidates who serve their particular bottom line.

Because if you can’t trust corporations, who can you trust? Ask Dave McElwee. Assuming you can find him. Or ask that happy and attractive all-American financial analyst Beth, who used to be Dave’s daughter, once upon a time.