See­ing green

The Covington News - - OPINION -

Al Gore hasn’t se­cretly bought ev­ery main­stream me­dia news out­let, has he? Then why do so few jour­nal­ists even pre­tend any­more to play fair, straight and skep­ti­cal on global warm­ing?

This swing to sub­jec­tive jour­nal­ism on en­vi­ron­men­tal is­sues be­gan decades ago. But it reached a tip­ping point in 2001, when both U.S. News& World Re­port and Time jet­ti­soned all pre­tense of ob­jec­tiv­ity and cranked out sen­sa­tion­al­ized cover sto­ries about the var­i­ous apoc­a­lypses that an­thro­pogenic global warm­ing was cer­tain to bring to our ten­der planet.

Since then, most main­stream jour­nal­ists ef­fec­tively have de­creed that the global warm­ing de­bate is over, that man’s fos­sil-fuel burn­ing is the pri­mary cul­prit and that any­one who doesn’t par­rot the James Hansen-Lau­rie David party line that hu­mans are in deep and im­mi­nent trou­ble is in bed with ExxonMo­bil or is the moral and in­tel­lec­tual equiv­a­lent of a Holo­caust de­nier.

To­day you rarely see or hear a skep­ti­cal peep on cat­a­strophic global warm­ing from CBS, NBC, PBS, NPR, The New York Times, TheWash­ing­ton Post, Newsweek or the al­ready-know-it-alls at The New Yorker.

Sci­en­tific Amer­i­can has de­volved into a huck­ster for Al Gore. The se­nile tough guys at “60 Min­utes” have gone soft. Only John Stos­sel of ABC’s “20/20” can be counted on to chal­lenge reg­u­larly the me­dia’s alarmist con­sen­sus on cli­mate change.

Com­pare skep­tic Stos­sel to An­der­son Cooper. For his laugh­ably one-sided “Planet in Peril” spe­cial last week, Cooper jet­ted to Green­land’s treach­er­ous ice sheets to demon­strate, ad nau­seam, that global warm­ing is caus­ing glaciers there to melt at a faster rate than 10 years ago.

In their jour­nal­ism snow job, Cooper and his pro­duc­ers made sure to in­clude the me­dia’s pet cli­mate alarmist, NASA’s James Hansen, but they left out the el­e­ments in­vari­ably left out when global warm­ing is­sues are re­ported: bal­ance and per­spec­tive.

No ice chip of skep­ti­cism threat­ened CNN’s scary story line. Cooper— who made a ma­jor gaffe when he said 40 per­cent of Green­land’s ice sheet had gone away in the last 40 years— did man­age to ad­mit it was not likely the is­land’s 630,000 cu­bic miles of ice were go­ing to melt soon.

But for per­spec­tive’s sake, he might have noted how Green­land got its name 900 years ago than how it is to­day. So couldn’t its cur­rent warm­ing be part of a nat­u­ral long-term cy­cle? Sorry, doesn’t fit the stan­dard story line.

Jeff Cor­win’s up-close-and-per­sonal en­counter with po­lar bears for “Planet in Peril” was just as jour­nal­is­ti­cally sloppy. He rode along with a sci­en­tist who used a he­li­copter to chase down and dart a mother bear and her two cubs, who then were weighed and had who knows what else in the name of science done to them to see how they are cop­ing with the shrink­ing po­lar ice cap that has lib­er­al­dom’s top jour­nal­ists in such a panic.

Po­lar bears are un­der stress, un­der­weight, act­ing strange and in dan­ger of be­com­ing ex­tinct by 2050, the star of the An­i­mal Planet chan­nel said somberly.

How many po­lar bears are there in the Arc­tic? How many sep­a­rate bear pop­u­la­tions? Are they all los­ing bears? Are they maybe un­der stress be­cause they are be­ing ter­ror­ized by he­li­copters, shot full of drugs and man­han­dled by mad sci­en­tists?

Don’t ask Cor­win, Cooper or CNN. They were too busy ex­ploit­ing po­lar bears the same way most of their fel­low jour­nal­ists in the un­fair and un­bal­anced news me­dia do— as cliched props in a pro­pa­ganda war.

STEIGER­WALD

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