Aug
01
1998

Global Smokescreen

As evidence continues to emerge that global warming is already occurring (Nature, 4/23/98), the oil industry is gearing up to try to convince the public that science is still uncertain. Representatives from the American Petroleum Institute, Exxon, Chevron and from corporate-backed think tanks got together to produce a "Global Climate Science Communications Action Plan," a copy of which was obtained by the New York Times (4/28/98). Part of the plan includes the creation of a $5 million think tank set up specifically to spread the word that we just don’t know whether global warming is happening or not, or what […]

Aug
01
1998

CNN's 'Tailwind' and Selective Media Retractions

CNN's recent retraction of its "Valley of Death" story might suggest that American journalism maintains high standards for military or intelligence-related reporting--and sets the record straight when those standards aren't met. In July, CNN (and corporate sibling Time) retracted reports that U.S. special forces operating illegally in Laos in 1970 had used nerve gas as part of "Operation Tailwind," which targeted American defectors. Based on months of research and interviews conducted primarily by CNN producer April Oliver, along with senior producer Jack Smith (with correspondent Peter Arnett used mainly for star power and "marketing purposes"), the reports contained on-air, on-the-record […]