Newsbusters Outraged that ABC is Exercising News Judgment

Wed, 2006-09-27 07:07Richard Littlemore
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Newsbusters Outraged that ABC is Exercising News Judgment

In the tireless (and tiresome) pursuit of “Exposing and Combating Liberal Media Bias, NewBusters touts Oklahoma Senator Jim Inhofe's speech on the Senate floor Monday (Sept. 25), and then savages ABC's recent coverage of the topic of climate change.

In celebrating the Inhofe speech, NewsBusters picks up this quote:

“The year 2006 saw many major organs of the media dismiss any pretense of balance and objectivity on climate change coverage and instead crossed squarely into global warming advocacy.”

Aside from the Senator's confusion about the meaning of advocacy, his plea for “balance” is typical: as other spinmeisters on this issue insist, Inhofe is arguing that the mainstream media should always put up one voice from one “side” of an argument and one voice from the other, to demonstrate impartiality.

(Bless Bill Blakemore at ABC for being one of the too-few North American journalists who understands his responsibility to pick the highest quality information available, not some random smattering that always includes unsubstantiated and extremist views from every self-interested voice in the crowd.)

But Inhofe clearly doesn't believe that the responsibility to provide a balanced view applies to him. For example, he celebrates the 60 “prominent scientists” who wrote a letter to Prime Minister Stephen Harper in April, denying that climate change is a concern, but he neglects to mention the letter from 90 legitimate leaders in the field that immediately followed.

This isn't about balance, Senator Inhofe, and you strain what's left of your credibility when you suggest that it is.
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In the space of six days, Rupert Murdoch's The Australian newspaper has published five news stories and an opinion piece attacking the credibility of the Australian government's weather and climate agency, the Bureau of Meteorology.

I've covered the guts of the early stories over on my Planet Oz blog for The Guardian.

But the core of it is that Dr Jennifer Marohasy, a former Institute of Public Affairs free market...

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