NYT and Climate Change: It Gets Worse

On Tuesday, the New York Times (2/9/10) was front-paging a non-story about criticism of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change– hyping accusations about scientific misconduct and conflicts of interest that the paper itself called “half-truths” (FAIR Blog, 2/9/10).

Well, it turns out that there was quite a bit of snow on the East Coast this week, which seeminglyinspired another awful piece (2/11/10), this one headlined “Climate-Change Debate Is Heating Up in Deep Freeze.” The whole premise of the piece is based on complaints from right-wing climate change deniers–Sen. James M. Inhofe, assorted “global-warming critics,” Rush Limbaugh, Matt Drudge and the Virginia Republican party.

Not to worry, though; they’re anti-science hysteria is “balanced” by a few comments from actual scientists. But at one point reporter John Broder counterposes “most climate scientists” who argue that severe storms could be linkedto climate change with “some independent climate experts” who don’t see the link. Why such scientists are “independent” isn’t clear; nor is it actually clear who the so-called independents are anyway, since that argument was substantiated with this:

As an illustration of their point of view, the family of Senator James M. Inhofe, Republican of Oklahoma, a leading climate skeptic in Congress, built a six-foot-tall igloo on Capitol Hill and put a cardboard sign on top that read “Al Gore’s New Home.”

James Inhofe is no way a climate expert–unless you count the number of times he is cited in the corporate media talking about climate change.

For more on corporate media’s misreporting of global warming, see Extra!‘s “Special Issue on Journalism and Climate Change” (2/10).

About Peter Hart

Activism Director and and Co-producer of CounterSpinPeter Hart is the activism director at FAIR. He writes for FAIR's magazine Extra! and is also a co-host and producer of FAIR's syndicated radio show CounterSpin. He is the author of The Oh Really? Factor: Unspinning Fox News Channel's Bill O'Reilly (Seven Stories Press, 2003). Hart has been interviewed by a number of media outlets, including NBC Nightly News, Fox News Channel's O'Reilly Factor, the Los Angeles Times, Newsday and the Associated Press. He has also appeared on Showtime and in the movie Outfoxed. Follow Peter on Twitter at @peterfhart.