Warming Skeptics Call for Balanced Media Coverage

By Nathan Burchfiel | July 7, 2008 | 8:06 PM EDT

(CNSNews.com) - Those who doubt predictions that "global warming" will have catastrophic consequences are urging the mainstream news media to foster more balanced debate on the subject.

Dan Gainor, director of the Business and Media Institute, told conservatives gathered at the annual Conservative Political Action Conference in Washington, D.C., on Friday that journalists have abandoned principles of fair reporting and are instead pushing global warming alarmists' agenda.

He criticized news anchors like CBS's Harry Smith, who in February repeated predictions that major U.S. cities would be under water -- as a result of melted polar ice caps -- within decades.

Hosts of NBC's Today Show in January questioned if they should be enjoying unseasonably warm weather, which they viewed as a sign of global warming.

"So I'm running in the park on Saturday in shorts thinking this is great," Meredith Viera said, "but are we going to die?"

"It's not the end of the world," Gainor said, "but it's certainly the end of good journalism." The Business and Media Institute is operated by the Media Research Center, the parent organization of Cybercast News Service.

"Journalists are supposed to support the open exchange of views, even views they find repugnant," Gainor said, quoting the Society of Professional Journalists' Code of Ethics. When it comes to covering climate change issues, he added, "they almost never do."

The SPJ code also calls on journalists to "distinguish between advocacy and news reporting" and to "give voice to the voiceless."

Gainor accused the media of mistreating skeptics of global warming. "They will either gnore you, embarrass or attack you." He said the debate among journalists about how to cover the environment "is about how to be more one-sided."

Gainor's criticism came in the same week former Vice President Al Gore accused the media of being too balanced on the issue of global warming.

"[M]ore than half of the mainstream media have rejected the scientific consensus," Gore said Tuesday. "They have failed to report that it is the consensus and instead have chosen ... balance as bias."

Gore, a leading climate change campaigner, was also quoted as calling global warming "the most important moral, ethical, spiritual and political issue humankind has ever faced."

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