The World’s Biggest Story, Everywhere but Here

Wednesday's Example of Media Bias   —   Posted on February 24, 2010

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-Read the excerpt below from an article first published by Charlie Martin at pajamasmedia.com on February 21st.
-Read "Types of Media Bias" in the right column. Then answer the questions.

It’s been called the “biggest scientific scandal in history.” … It’s big news … as long as you read the Telegraph, the Guardian, the London Times, or even major Indian papers.

It’s no news at all if you read the U.S. mainstream media.

In the ninety days – three months exactly at the time of this writing – since the Climategate files story broke, there has been an amazing amount of breakout in the climate science story, with major error after major error being uncovered in the [United Nations’] Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Assessment Report IV (AR4). There has been:

  • the discovery of suspicious conflicts of interest on the part of the chair of the IPCC, Dr. Rajendra Pachauri
  • the expanding story of the financial connections between the carbon trading cabal and the scientific climate clique in the U.S., Europe, and Asia
  • Dr. Phil Jones of the University of East Anglia Climate Research Unit has “stepped aside” while under investigation, after which the UK government said it appeared there may have been criminality in CRU’s refusal to fulfill Freedom of Information requests.
  • Scientist members of the IPCC have resigned, not wishing to continue to be associated with the poor quality of work being revealed.
  • And the UN chief diplomat in charge of climate change matters, Yvo de Boer, resigned in a sudden move that shocked UN climate watchers.

But search the major U.S. papers. There is a story in the Washington Post that at least mentioned some of the recent problems, prompted by Senator James Inhofe’s recent floor speech. …

The Los Angeles Times? The most recent piece ran on January 10:

So, is the massive dumping of snow from the Mid-Atlantic to New England proof positive that climate change is untrue, as doubters such as Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okla.) have taken the opportunity to trumpet? (His family built an igloo, declared it Al Gore’s new home and put up signs asking people to honk if they liked global warming).  …

To be sure, the IPCC has been forced to acknowledge errors and unsubstantiated statements in one of its landmark 2007 reports. The irregularities had to do with predictions of the expected effects of warming. None of them, however, undermined the report’s consensus that the planet has warmed and that man’s activities have contributed to the warming.

Inhofe’s igloo? Yes. Biggest scientific scandal? Not so much.

The New York Times … hasn’t covered the recent developments at all.

After the London papers covered the collapsing credibility of the IPCC, after the LA Times made fun of Inhofe’s igloo, after the Washington Post ran a story reassuring its readers that the climate science was still sound even if there were some procedural errors, the New York Times has run, apparently, nothing.

……

Are there any mentions of Professor Phil Jones’ [of the prestigious University of East Anglia Climate Research Unit] admission in a BBC interview that … there had indeed been no statistically significant warming since 1995, and that there was still significant uncertainty about the Medieval Warm Period and even about climate science in general?

Not that I can find.

I contacted all three papers – the LA Times, the Washington Post, and the New York Times – asking for comment, or for a pointer to the stories I had missed. Only one of the three replied, and they wouldn’t speak for attribution or on the record.

It’s truly a puzzle. This is a story that affects the future of human civilization, if some of the believers are right. It ties financially to people right up to the top of American politics, as well as major industries throughout the U.S. and the world. What’s more, the story would seem to be all wrapped up, ready for aggressive investigative reporters with the resources of the Times to expose. Some of the perpetrators have even begun to confess. Why wouldn’t the Times cover it at all?

……………………………………………

Read more at the original post at pajamasmedia.com/blog/climategate-the-worlds-biggest-story-everywhere-but-here.

Questions

What types of bias is the excerpt below an example of?


Scroll down to the bottom of the page for the answers.
























Answer(s)

The excerpt is an example of bias by story selection and omission.