Newsweek Still Pushing Phony Climate Controversy

Newsweek‘s “environmental issue” has an article (5/28/10) by correspondent Stefan Theil declaring climate change to be “Uncertain Science.” Giving the Reader’s Digest condensed version of the denialist case, Theil refers to “e-mails and documents suggesting that researchers cherry-picked data and suppressed rival studies to play up global warming”–without mentioning that after sensationalistic media stories suggested a scientific conspiracy, subsequent academic investigations cleared the researchers of wrongdoing (Extra!, 2/10 ; FAIR Blog, 4/19/10).

He talks about a U.S. scientist “under investigation for allegedly using exaggerated climate data to obtain public funds”–without mentioning that the scientist, Michael Mann, is being investigated by Virginia’s Tea Party-aligned Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli, whom the Washington Post has described as having “declared war on reality” (Climate Progress, 5/7/10). Theil claims that there is a real scientific debate “over the extent and time frame” of CO2’s greenhouse effect–and glosses over the fact that the actual debate in climate science circles is over whether the consensus predictions have underestimated how much the Earth will warm as a result of the burning of fossil fuels (Climate Progress, 5/31/10).

I suppose none of this should be surprising coming from a reporter who attacked Germany’s “green technophobia” as a “sinister” and “disturbing” relic of the country’s “powerful back-to-nature movements” and its “extreme desire for stability” (Newsweek, 7/18/09; Extra!, 2/10).

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.