Pick up a copy of Newsweek, The New York Times or turn on any of the three broadcast networks and it isn't difficult to see how biased U.S. media outlets are on climate issues.
But, according to some in academia and the U.S. and European news media, climate coverage isn't biased enough toward warming alarmism. An article by Tom Vandyck of Midwest Energy News, which was republished online at Reuters.com, aired European grievances about U.S. climate coverage.
"Europeans accuse the U.S. media of giving climate skeptics a disproportionate voice and perpetuating a debate that has been settled among scientists," the story claimed. This flies in the face of Business & Media Institute research that found that the three broadcast networks' reporting on climate change is skewed dramatically in the direction of alarmism.
In a 2008 Special Report, BMI pointed out that 80 percent of stories on climate change didn't mention skepticism or anyone who dissented from the so-called "consensus" on global warming. Voices of alarmism outnumbered skeptics (who were often maligned as "deniers" or "cynics") by 13-to-1 on average. CBS's ratio was an abysmal 38-to-1.
But according to the article, the U.S. media is still far too balanced on such issues, although Vandyck quoted some news editors who see that "changing now."
Peter Vandermeersch, a Columbia University journalism school graduate, who is now editor-in-chief at a Netherlands daily, declared that "The conviction has grown that climate change does exist, and that humans play a major role in how it evolves."
Another Columbia grad and the editor-in-chief of a progressive daily in Belgium, Wouter Verscheldon, echoed that view saying, "nonbelievers have been marginalized, and they aren't taken seriously anymore."
Both of them told Vandyck that U.S. media outlets "make the mistake of giving climate skeptics a disproportionate voice and perpetuating a debate that has long been settled among scientists."
Despite the fact that non-scientist Al Gore has declared the science to be settled and the news media act like that is true, the actual scientists who gathered in Washington, D.C. on June 30 and July 1 expressed a variance of opinion. Presenters at the Sixth International Conference on Climate Change acknowledged that climate changes (it gets warmer and cooler), but there were differences of opinion as to how much of those changes are natural, how much are human caused and whether or not it is dangerous.
More than 1,000 scientists have dissented from the man-made global warming claims of the UN's IPCC and Gore, according to Climate Depot.
The story reproduced on Reuters noted that European newspapers often have a specific point of view, whereas U.S. papers (and broadcasters) "try to retain that objectivity."
But Vandyck found a University of Colorado professor who preferred the European way.
"Within the top U.S. daily print media there has been this reliance on the journalistic norm of balanced reporting that worked to the detriment of accurately reporting whether or not humans contribute to climate change," Max Boykoff of the University of Colorado said.
Boykoff's argument is remarkably similar to CBS's Scott Pelley's, who said in 2006 that he shouldn't have to include climate skeptics anymore than he is "required as a journalist" to interview a Holocaust denier when talking to Elie Wiesel. An activist journalist on climate issues, Pelley was recently promoted by CBS to anchor of the "Evening News."