Newsweek’s cover story on global warming’s “denial machine” was an embarrassing – if revealing – example of how MSM environmental journalism has become little more than political propaganda. The premise – there’s an oil company conspiracy to deny the truth – was a self-parody of biased journalism.
To Newsweek’s credit, however, it allowed a rebuttal to its green dogma from one of its own columnists, Robert Samuelson, in last week’s issue. Taking on the role of ombudsman, Samuelson – no right-winger – is clearly disturbed by Sharon Begley’s intolerant, Stalinist (deniers are tools of the enemy!) tone.
Self-righteous indignation can undermine good journalism. Last week’s Newsweek cover story on global warning is a sobering reminder. . . .
Newsweek’s “denial machine” is a peripheral and highly contrived story. Newsweek implied, for example, that ExxonMobil used a think tank (AEI) to pay academics to criticize global-warming science. Actually, this accusation was long ago discredited, and Newsweek shouldn’t have lent it respectability. . . .
Journalists should resist the temptation to portray global warming as a morality tale—as Newsweek did—in which anyone who questions its gravity or proposed solutions may be ridiculed as a fool, a crank or an industry stooge. Dissent is, or should be, the lifeblood of a free society.
Ouch – a columnist having to remind reporters that dissent is a good thing! Alas, that is how far some MSM reporters have strayed from their mission.