Via Climate Progress:
Must-read study: How the press bungles its coverage of climate economics — "The media's decision to play the stenographer role helped opponents of climate action stifle progress."
One of the country's leading journalists has written a searing critique of the media's coverage of global warming, especially climate economics.
How Much Would You Pay to Save the Planet? The American Press and the Economics of Climate Change is by Eric Pooley for Harvard's prestigious Joan Shorenstein Center on the Press, Politics and Public Policy. Pooley has been managing editor of Fortune, national editor of Time, Time's chief political correspondent, and Time's White House correspondent, where he won the Gerald Ford Prize for Excellence in Reporting. Before that, he was senior editor of New York magazine.
Continue reading the Climate Progress post and fascinating report.
Of course, the fact that the media has dropped the ball when it comes to reporting on climate change won't surprise progressives or regular readers of Media Matters.
Check out more from Media Matters on this important issue here.
Loading the player reg...
It's not often that we critique Arts coverage, but this Times piece was so dreadful and misleading and just plain pointless, it needed to be called out.
It's by Michael Cieply and headlined "The Films Are Green, but is Sundance?" The soggy point was that the famous film festival is hosting a number of movies with environmental themes but that Sundance....well, honestly we're not sure of the point. We think it's something like, but people used up gas while traveling to Sundance so therefore there's a conflict with the environmental theme. (Did we mention how pointless this exercise is?)
Some lowlights in an article that was literally brimming with them:
Still, a stroll here this week down Main Street — where a dozen idling trucks were unloading supplies and equipment, while an oversize band bus, with trailer in tow, spewed fumes outside a soon-to-be-busy party site — framed the obvious quandary: how can you cram some 46,000 people, roughly equivalent to a fifth of Hollywood's total work force, into a pretty little mountain town without contributing mightily to the problems your films hope to solve?
Are you following? Do you see the false premise the Times constructs? If you're concerned about the environment, if you want to spread the word about environmental activism through film, than you basically shouldn't participate in our society because if you are associated with an industry in which a bus idles, than you're a hypocrite. Or more accurately, an "obvious quandary" is created.
Honestly, we expect this nonsensical logic from Lou Dobbs who points to snow storms as proof global warming might not exist. But to see the Times traffic in this kind of forced jibberish is depressing.
The groans in the article just kept coming [emphasis added]:
Los Angeles to Park City is about 692 miles by the old wagon route, though most visitors seem to come by air through Salt Lake City
Yes, the Times thought it was noteworthy that Sundance attendees did not drive to Utah.
Utility officials said there was no way to determine how much extra wattage was being poured into the valley for the festival's spotlights and the strings of colored bulbs lining Park City's streets.
Too dumb for words? We think so.
And those were the first two--the best two--examples the Times provided in an effort to show that Sundance was not Green.
On Fox & Friends, Brian Kilmeade wondered whether Carol Browner, who President-elect Barack Obama has designated as assistant to the president for energy and climate change, will "have a hard time getting confirmed" because of her supposed "socialist ties." In fact, as FoxNews.com itself has noted, Browner's position "does not require Senate confirmation."
On the January 7 broadcast of his radio show, Lou Dobbs responded to the following recent Media Matters for America items:
Lou Dobbs again questioned the impact of humans on global warming and suggested that solar activity may be far more responsible for global warming, ignoring the conclusion by the United Nations' Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change that "it is extremely likely [>95% chance] that humans have exerted a substantial warming influence on climate" and that this "estimate is likely to be at least five times greater than that due to solar irradiance changes."
On The Radio Factor, guest host Douglas Urbanski cited a December 18 segment from CNN's Lou Dobbs Tonight to support the assertion, which has been widely discredited, that "man-made climate change" is "one of the biggest lies of our time" and in doing so echoed several of the debunked claims and suggestions about global warming included in that CNN segment.
Lou Dobbs said during the introduction of his CNN show: "And tonight, unusual winter storms are dumping snow in unusual places across Western states, and a huge snowstorm is headed toward the Northeast. This is global warming?" During his segment on the issue, Dobbs hosted Heartland Institute senior fellow and science director Jay Lehr without disclosing that Heartland receives funding from the energy industry and without challenging Lehr's assertions that "[t]he last 10 years have been quite cool" and that "the sun" -- rather than humans -- is responsible for recent climate change.
Politico's Ben Smith and Craig Gordon repeated the falsehood that Al Gore claimed to have invented the Internet, writing, "Al Gore took a lot of grief for saying he invented the Internet, but Google's Vinton Cerf can come as close as anyone alive to making that boast with a straight face." In fact, Gore did not claim that he "invented the Internet." Rather, in a 1999 interview on CNN, Gore said, "During my service in the United States Congress, I took the initiative in creating the Internet."
Several media outlets have praised or uncritically reported praise of the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief. However, none of those outlets noted criticism of PEPFAR's requirement that starting in fiscal year 2006, 33 percent of funds set aside for prevention under the act that created PEPFAR be spent on abstinence-until-marriage education. According to many of the government officials responsible for managing PEPFAR abroad, as well as the Institute of Medicine, this requirement hindered PEPFAR's effectiveness in preventing the spread of AIDS until it was removed when Congress reauthorized PEPFAR in 2008.
Radio host Bill Cunningham compared the Cincinnati Zoo to Eugene "Bull" Connor, the Birmingham Public Safety commissioner infamous for using dogs and fire hoses against civil rights demonstrators in the 1960s. Cunningham made the remark while criticizing the zoo's decision to pull out of a promotional partnership with the Creation Museum, which seeks to "affirm the truth of the biblical record of the real origin and history of the world and mankind" and reportedly contains a display featuring "a triceratops with a saddle on its back."
On his radio show, Mark Levin cited a recent study predicting that an ice age will occur in the next 10,000 to 100,000 years as purported evidence that humans should not "try and control carbon dioxide" emissions that contribute to global climate change. But Levin did not mention that the study's co-author reportedly warned against using the study to argue that "we should stop fighting warming" and stated: "There's no excuse for saying 'we've got to keep pumping carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.' "
Goes to the WSJ's "New Administration Would Risk Backlash With Gas-Drilling Reversal."
It's about the possible political drawbacks the Obama administration would face for taking quick action to reverse the current White House's decision to expand natural-gas drilling in Utah. That's all well and good in terms of a legit news story.
But the Journal never points to any proof (i.e. polling data) to substantiate the claim that Obama would face a "backlash" if he halted the drilling. The closest the article comes is here:
John P. Burke, a professor at the University of Vermont who wrote a book on presidential transitions, said the incoming administration risks a partisan backlash if it clamps down too hard on drilling -- especially coming off a campaign in which a potent Republican rallying cry was "Drill, baby, drill!"
So basically, hardcore Republicans might be upset with the gas-drilling reversal. But we're pretty sure partisan Republicans are going to be upset by all sorts of initiatives taken by the Obama team.
To us, that hardly constitutes a "backlash."
The Washington Post distorted a quote by Sen. Barack Obama in reporting that Sen. John McCain "ma[de] fun of something Obama had told a reporter, 'The only thing I've said with respect to coal, I haven't been some coal booster.' " In fact, Obama said during a January 2008 interview: "The only thing that I've said, with a respect to coal -- I haven't been some coal booster -- what I have said is that, for us to take coal off the table as a ideological matter, as opposed to saying, if technology allows us to use coal in a clean way, we should pursue it. You know, that I think is the right approach."
The Washington Post, The Washington Times, the Associated Press, and The Hill reported Sen. John McCain's claims that Sen. Barack Obama is "offering government-run health care" and "an energy plan guaranteed to work without drilling," without noting that both claims are false. Obama has not proposed "government-run health care" and Obama's energy plan calls domestic oil and natural gas production "critical to prevent global energy prices from climbing even higher."