Calling Science ‘the Left’ Is Not Advocating for Science

New York Times‘ climate change reporter Andrew Revkin is taking a buyout from his employer after a tough year, the Columbia Journalism Review‘s website (12/14/09) reports. Revkin, whom CJR‘s Christine Russell describes as “one of the most influential and respected reporters on the environment,” says that 2009 “has been the hardest year Iâ┚¬Ã¢”ž¢ve experienced on this beat”–in part because

Revkin has increasingly found himself–and his paperâ┚¬Ã¢”ž¢s coverage–the target of critics on both the right and the left, particularly in the often vitriolic blogosphere. He described himself as “an advocate for scientific reality,” not for either side of the debate.

“The right,” in this sense, means people who dispute the idea that humans are causing global climate change, whereas “the left” means people who affirm that we are–in other words, people who believe in scientific reality. Revkin’s willingness to pretend that science is not on one side of the debate explains a lot of the criticism he’s taken lately from pro-science bloggers.

About Jim Naureckas

Extra! Magazine Editor Since 1990, Jim Naureckas has been the editor of Extra!, FAIR's monthly journal of media criticism. He is the co-author of The Way Things Aren't: Rush Limbaugh's Reign of Error, and co-editor of The FAIR Reader: An Extra! Review of Press and Politics in the '90s. He is also the co-manager of FAIR's website. He has worked as an investigative reporter for the newspaper In These Times, where he covered the Iran-Contra scandal, and was managing editor of the Washington Report on the Hemisphere, a newsletter on Latin America. Jim was born in Libertyville, Illinois, in 1964, and graduated from Stanford University in 1985 with a bachelor's degree in political science. Since 1997 he has been married to Janine Jackson, FAIR's program director. You can follow Jim on Twitter at @JNaureckas.