Arianna Huffington, a pioneer of and cheerleader for the new media has abandoned traditional media standards.
Huffington, editor-in-chief and co-founder of The HuffingtonPost Web site, said that listening to both sides for a story isn’t the way to report the news. According to Huffington, it should be the role of the media to be the arbiter of truth, even if there is a dissenting view.
“What happens is that the media have the position to presenting two sides to every story, even if the truth is only on one side or the other,” Huffington said. “And then, the idea is if you split the difference, you get to the truth. You know, that’s not how it works. You know, the truth is not always on one side or the other. Sometimes – the truth is not always in the middle – sometimes it lurks in the shadows, so that’s why it’s critically important that we look at how the media has played this game.”
Huffington was promoting her book, “Right Is Wrong: How the Lunatic Fringe Hijacked America, Shredded the Constitution, and Made Us All Less Safe.” She used global warming as an example of her theory and had disparaging words for the media for presenting two sides of the global warming debate.
“Take global warming – for years now, we’ve been debating the reality of global warming instead of debating what can we do about the climate crisis,” Huffington said. “So we have – let’s say – Al Gore on one hand or the equivalent telling us about the dangers and Sen. James Inhofe or the equivalent telling us that global warming is a fraud. And the moderator, the anchor, the journalist is basically washing his hands of responsibility for the truth like Pontius Pilate.”
Huffington’s criticism of the media’s coverage of global warming in particular is curious because the media are documented to frequently take the side of “Al Gore or the equivalent” in their coverage. A recent Business & Media Institute study that surveyed global warming media coverage from July 1, 2007 to Dec. 31, 2007 showed that on average for every skeptic there were nearly 13 proponents featured.
Huffington alleged that the “right” is waging a war on science during her talk to an audience at the Politics & Prose Bookstore in Washington, D.C. on May 5. However, a report released by the U.S. Senate Environment and Public Works (EPW) Committee on Dec. 20, 2007, revealed more than 400 prominent scientists questioning the premise that global warming is as serious as the alarmists often portrayed in the media would have you believe.