Networks Barely Cover Scandal, But Defend Accused Scientists
It’s been a year since thousands of emails and files were leaked from a prominent climate science group at the University of East Anglia, with startling comments including this one: “We can’t account for the lack of warming at the moment.”
In a story at mrc.org, Julia A. Seymour writes other leaked emails showed potential manipulation of temperature data, a willingness to destroy information rather than release it under the British Freedom of Information (FOI) law and the intimidation of publications willing to publish skeptical articles. The files also indicated that the temperature data was in a “hopeless” state.
Even though many considered it a huge scandal, the three broadcast networks didn’t think so. They ignored the story for roughly two weeks, and have only mentioned it in a dozen stories in the past year.
In those few stories network reporters often downplayed the allegations against climate scientists by calling them “mistakes” or a “series of gaffes,” others sympathized with the accused scientists or insisted that the science supporting global warming alarmism was solid. Journalists even accepted “whitewash” investigations into the matter that supposedly “exonerated” the climate scientists.
The scandal over those leaked files was dubbed ClimateGate and dominated headlines – particularly in Britain. But here in the U.S., the three broadcast networks went on as if nothing had happened for nearly 14 days.
It wasn’t until the evening of the 14th day that one network program, NBC “Nightly News,” finally reported on the climate science controversy. But that first story was not the beginning of a flood of network coverage of ClimateGate. Since Nov. 19, 2009, the broadcast networks have only mentioned the scandal or the University of East Anglia in a paltry 12 stories.
Twelve stories. Why so little coverage? Myron Ebell, director of energy and global warming policy for the Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI), told the Business & Media Institute, “I think it’s pretty obvious why the networks and major papers have ignored ClimateGate. It’s because they don’t want to consider the possibility that the sort of monolithic [global warming] consensus that they support and are a part of is based on junk science.”
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