Can the major networks be trusted to report news honestly? In June 2006, all three of them reported on a global warming study by a 12-member committee of the National Academy of Sciences. The issue here is not global warming (we'll deal with that another time) but whether the networks accurately reported the content of the study. Did they instead slant their reports with a false picture of the study in order to reflect their own beliefs in global warming, evidenced many times in previous newscasts and special programs on the subject?
New anchors at CBS, ABC and NBC emphatically proclaimed that the new study definitively settled the issue, that there was no longer any basis for skepticism about global warming, and that human activities were largely responsible. Absolutely no doubt about it, said the networks' news. But the Wall Street Journal reported on the same study—under a headline titled: “Panel Study Fails to Settle Debate on Past Climates.” It noted that the study was “far from resolving the debate” and that “skeptics of global warming embraced the panel's findings.” And even the liberal Washington Post reported that the study “provides ammunition” to both sides of the argument, to those who say industrial activity is causing global warming “as well as those who see it as confirmation that significant uncertainty still exists in climate change science.”
When it comes to the truth, you can't trust CBS, ABC or NBC.
[ If you wish to make a comment on this essay go to the Blog entry ]