Monday, August 13, 2007

Viewsweek Magazine

Viewsweek Magazine

Too many times the news media publishes views and news. Maybe they should rename it Viewsweek.


From the Staff
For the story behind the story...
Monday, Aug. 13, 2007 11:28 a.m. EDT

Newsweek Editor: Our Warming Story Contrived

A contributing editor at Newsweek magazine, Robert J. Samuelson, has sharply criticized his own publication for what he calls a "highly contrived" cover story about the global warming threat and the "denial machine" that seeks to debunk it.

In this week's issue of Newsweek, Samuelson writes: "As we debate it, journalists should resist the temptation to portray global warming as a morality tale – as Newsweek did – in which anyone who questions its gravity or proposed solutions may be ridiculed as a fool, a crank or an industry stooge."

He also writes: "Unfortunately, self-righteous indignation can undermine good journalism. Last week's Newsweek cover story on global warming is a sobering reminder. It's an object lesson of how viewing the world as ‘good guys vs. bad guys' can lead to a vast oversimplification of a messy story."

Samuelson summarizes the Newsweek cover story this way: "A well-coordinated, well-funded campaign by contrarian scientists, free-market think tanks and industry has created a paralyzing fog of doubt around climate chance. This ‘denial machine' has obstructed action against global warming ... The story's thrust: discredit the ‘denial machine,' and the country can start the serious business of fighting global warming."

He called the cover article "a peripheral and highly contrived story." For one thing, it implied that ExxonMobil, through a think tank, funded academics to criticize global warming science. But this charge "was long ago discredited, and Newsweek shouldn't have lent it respectability," Samuelson opined.

Marc Morano, communications director for the U.S. Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, also slammed the Newsweek cover story, as reported last week.

Following the publication of Samuelson's piece, he noted:

"Newsweek's management must have realized that their global warming ‘denial' cover story was so woeful that they were forced to run a complete rebuttal in the very next issue from one of their very own editors ... This kind of reversal does not happen very often in journalism."

Morano said a Senate report is scheduled to be released in the fall that will feature hundreds of scientists "who have spoken out recently against [Al] Gore, the U.N., and the media-driven climate ‘consensus.'"

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