Dead Tree Media and Climategate

Yesterday I sent this e-mail to James Rainey of the L.A. Times.
I enjoyed your column this morning.

One angle missing from the story, I think, is what has caused the rise of right-wing pseudo-journalists. I believe the answer is that traditional journalists have left a huge void by failing to cover stories that don't align with their institutional biases. Stories like ACORN, Van Jones, NEA propaganda all were largely or completely ignored by traditional media until entertainers, commentators, or bloggers exposed and spread them. I'd add the belated and minimal coverage of ClimateGate.

If the MSM did its job and "spoke truth to power" even when those in power are Democrats, there wouldn't be such a vacuum for right-wing partisans to fill.

Rainey didn't bother to reply. Today Mark Steyn has similar thoughts:
If you rely on the lavishly remunerated "climate correspondents" of the big newspapers and networks, you'll know nothing about the Climate Research Unit scandals - just the business-as-usual drivel about Boston being underwater by 2011. Indeed, even when a prominent media warm-monger addresses the issue, the newspaper prefers to reprint a month-old column predating the scandal. If you follow online analysis from obscure websites on the fringes of the map, you'll know what's going on. If you go to the convenience store and buy today's newspaper, you won't. That's the problem.

If anyone needs newspapers, it ought to be for stories like this. If there were no impending epocalypse, then "climate science" would be a relatively obscure field, as it was up to a generation ago. Now it produces celebrity scientists living high off the hog of billions in grants. They thus have a vested interest in maintaining the planet's-gonna-fry line. So what do the media do? Instead of exposing the thesis to rigorous journalistic examination, they stage fluffy green stunts, run soft-focus "living green" features with Hollywood "activists", and at a time of massive staff cutbacks in every other department create the positions of specialist "climate correspondent" and "environmental reporter" and fill them with sycophantic promoters of the Big Scare to the point that, as Dr Mann coos approvingly to The New York Times, "you've taken the words out of my mouth".

No comments:

Happy Super Tuesday!