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Memekiller Donating Member (755 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-04-08 11:03 PM
Original message
How the Facts Came to Hate America
A good takedown of how balance bias distorted scientific consensus on climate change.

http://www.boulderweekly.com/20081204/generalpage.html

No sooner has Yulesman put up an overhead showing the various organizations funded by Exxon-Mobile to raise doubts about climate change than a journalist pounces to point out environmental groups are just as financially motivated. (And Amnesty International invents human misery to justify their funding.)

Todd Hartman of the Rocky Mountain News begins by saying, I wanted to start off saying something nice about Exxon-Mobile, and brings up their new ads that put a greener face forward. The ads are so good. Theyre so skillful this charming man whos talking about electromagnetic waves that my 13-year-old son, whos pretty savvy and living with environmental reporters is naturally wary of the fossil fuel industry, got through one of those ads and said, Wow, dad, thats really cool!

Journalists seem constantly afraid of being labeled liberal. They apologize frequently. Moran doesnt hesitate to voice her opposition to Robert F. Kennedy Jr. as EPA Chief because he opposed wind farms off the coast of Nantucket, but is much more delicate about making the rather obvious point that Obama might be more willing to engage in Kyoto talks. She adds a disclaimer to her comment: Not to be partisan

Dodson says networks prefer to call them environmental affairs correspondents.

Thats a very deliberate choice so they could never get charged with being greenies or liberals.
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SharonAnn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-04-08 11:07 PM
Response to Original message
1. "Facts have a well-known liberal bias."
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Demeter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-05-08 05:50 AM
Response to Original message
2. When a Majority of Americans Hate and Ignore the Facts
Facts have a way of coming around and biting you in the ass, and no amount of brute force, intimidation, bribery or conspiracy can get around that!
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Memekiller Donating Member (755 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-05-08 10:17 PM
Response to Reply #2
4. Facts
The facts seem to be biting the rest of us. Bush is buying a $2 million house.
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pipi_k Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-05-08 08:41 AM
Response to Original message
3. Oh great...another
battle for the crazies to wage....


The War on Facts....


They're gonna LIBERATE us from the facts!!!! Yay! Citizens throwing flowers at their feet! It'll be a cakewalk! Mission Accomplished!
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muriel_volestrangler Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-06-08 08:23 AM
Response to Original message
5. I think the writer is too fast to say "we must be balanced"
They say:

Which leads me to another personal anecdote: when Limbaugh went on a tirade about the refilling of oil reserves in the Gulf, I called Dr. Mahlon Kennicutt who did that study. His response: Thats about as far from the truth as can be.

That kind of thing really pisses me off, which disqualifies me from writing about this topic. Too much first-hand experience to color my worldview.


No, being pissed off that one side has lied and distorted doesn't disqualify you. In fact, it shows a desire for truth, which is an excellent qualification for a journalist. If Limbaugh lies, that should be reported - quoting the scientist. That shouldn't then, for a journalist, develop into a crusade to bring down Limbaugh by any means possible; and it shouldn't colour the journalist's reporting of what other climate change deniers say - take their claims on their own merits. But if they distort too, then say so.

Unless, and I've just though this, the "disqualifies me from writing about this topic. Too much first-hand experience to color my worldview" is a view that he thinks other people hold. That might seem to fit better with the rest of the article. :shrug:
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Lydia Leftcoast Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-06-08 01:54 PM
Response to Reply #5
6. The reason journalists do this
Edited on Sat Dec-06-08 01:54 PM by Lydia Leftcoast
is that the rich and powerful will "deny access" to anyone who is too critical of them.

I've always thought that the journalists should tell the truth, and if the Big Boys don't want to be interviewed, the journalist should just grin and say, "Mr. Gotbucks refuses to be interviewed by anyone who disagrees with him."

The type of balance we see nowadays has been parodied as, "And now to learn about the advantages of genocide, we'll hear from Joseph Goebbels."
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caraher Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-06-08 02:03 PM
Response to Reply #6
7. "access" is worthless when they won't tell anything true
I understand why "journalists" use this rationalization, but they need to realize that their job is not about seeking and reporting truths the moment this line of reasoning starts to make sense...
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Lydia Leftcoast Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-06-08 02:16 PM
Response to Reply #7
8. Oh I completely agree
I've been angry at reporters who let politicians spout nonsense and never challenge them.

Remember when Bush got upset because a reporter in Ireland actually challenged his statements?
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Memekiller Donating Member (755 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-06-08 04:25 PM
Response to Reply #8
9. Access only matters in political reporting
The reason things get distorted with climate science is when it gets more "political." You can always get a climate scientist on the phone. It's the politicians who deny access and rain vengeance upon you for drifting out of line.
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