Slanting media coverage toward promoting the “fight global warming” cause wasn’t enough for Newsweek editor Sharon Begley. Now she has brazenly dismissed global warming skeptics as unreasonable lunatics.
Begley, a senior editor for the magazine, recently defended its August 13 issue that focused on the climate change “denial machine.” On the new The Yale Forum on Climate Change & The Media Web site, Begley compared global-warming skepticism to moon-landing denial.
When asked if journalists should be more interpretive or analytical in their climate change reporting Begley said, “It depends …When you cover the history of the space program, you don't quote the percentage of Americans who think the moon landings took place on a stage in Arizona.”
The August 13 report written by Begley described global-warming skepticism as a “well-coordinated, well-funded campaign by contrarian scientists, free-market think tanks and industry [that] has created a paralyzing fog of doubt around climate change.”
Begley reiterated her blatant bias in an online chat hosted by Newsweek. She dismissed skepticism in a question that asked how “responsible media [can] best meet their ‘fairness/accuracy/'balance’ responsibilities in dealing with climate change deniers.”
“[M]e, I don't do he said/she said, but delve into the arguments and see which has empirical merit,” Begley wrote. “It's not that hard.”
The idea of using outlandish analogies to defend biased global-warming reporting is not an original concept. CBS’s Scott Pelley compared global-warming skepticism to Holocaust denial on March 23 when he posed the question: “If I do an interview with Elie Wiesel, am I required as a journalist to find a Holocaust denier?”