Accuracy in Media


When it comes to Iraq, our media have been preoccupied with the issue of whether there was adequate intelligence to justify the invasion and if policy-makers made up evidence before the war. But on the matter of global intervention to stop global warming, there seems to be no need for scientific evidence to justify what is shaping up as a global carbon tax of 35 cents a gallon of gas on the American people.

Our media want the public to believe that the same organization that gave us the oil-for-food scandal can be trusted on its dire predictions of calamity from alleged man-made global warming.

The media’s conflict of interest can be seen in the fact that Jeffrey Immelt, the chairman and CEO of General Electric, which owns MSNBC and NBC News, has joined with environmental pressure groups in the United States Climate Action Partnership in promoting an international U.N.-style bureaucracy to reduce the emissions blamed for the warming.

They claim evidence for their view in the recent much-publicized United Nations climate change report. But this document, which blames global warming on people, had no published science to back it up.

A front-page Washington Post story about the report waited until the 20th paragraph of a 21-paragraph story to mention that the “detailed scientific documentation” for the claim is not yet available and won’t be released “for a few months.” A New York Times account waited until the 40th paragraph of a 44-paragraph story to disclose that “thousands of pages of technical background,” supposedly the basis for the alarming conclusions, would be released later in the year.

Faith-Based Science

Now how many people read until almost the end of these articles to discover that the scientific evidence is not yet available?

The odds are that many people didn’t get past the sensational New York Times headline, “Science Panel Calls Global Warming ‘Unequivocal.'”

Clearly, we are supposed to accept all of this on faith.

In fact, the U.N.’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is officially sponsored by the U.N. Environmental Program, which once organized an Environmental Sabbath project so people could pay homage to the planet. The program included an exercise for children to sit around a tree, hold hands, and meditate.

The coverage of the IPCC report demonstrates how mainstream journalists have abandoned even a pretense of objectivity.

This reflects the influence of such figures as Socialist Senator Bernie Sanders, who, at the recent so-called National Conference on Media Reform, said that the media should not cover both sides of the global warming debate.


However, some scientists are raising the alarm.

The IPCC’s decidedly unscientific approach has come under attack from Harvard University physicist Lubos Motl, who declared, “In the past, scientists had to do their research before the implications for policymaking could have been derived from this research.”  Mocking the U.N. process, he commented, “Today, the vastly superior postmodern scientific method of the IPCC members allows them to publish the summary for policymakers first.”

A Google search of current news, however, turned up only two places where Motl’s criticism of the IPCC was mentioned?a story carried by Fox News and attributed to Brit Hume and a story. Hume cited the report, which also quoted Richard Lindzen, professor of atmospheric science at MIT, as saying that issuing a conclusion before producing the evidence for that conclusion is completely improper and that a business which issued a report in such a fashion would be investigated by the government for fraud.

Senator James Inhofe, ranking Member of the Senate Environment & Public Works Committee, called the IPCC report “the corruption of science for political gain” and said the process is completely lacking in scientific integrity. He noted that page 4 of “Appendix A to the Principles Governing IPCC World” includes the following: “Changes (other than grammatical or minor editorial changes) made after acceptance by the Working Group or the Panel shall be those necessary to ensure consistency with the Summary for Policymakers or the Overview Chapter.”

This means that the scientific data may be altered to conform with what has already been published.

Instead of highlighting the lack of scientific data to support the man-made global warming assertions, our media are trying to discredit critics of the report by trying to tie them to oil companies. Such stories never mention the billions of federal dollars being showered on advocates of the man-made global warming theory.

Pandering to the alarmists, Samuel Bodman, the Secretary of Energy in the Bush Administration, accepted the IPCC report and urged “global solutions” to the alleged problem.

One such “global solution” is a global carbon tax, in order to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, administered and even collected by the U.N. One U.N.-sponsored report suggests a global tax amounting to 35-cents a gallon.

An international conference to promote global taxes, dubbed “solidarity levies,” was held in Oslo, Norway, from February 6-7. An international tax on airline travel is already being implemented. One of the biggest state delegations to the conference came from South Korea, whose foreign minister, Ban Ki-moon, took over in January as U.N. Secretary-General.

A Global Carbon Tax

A supporter of “solidarity levies” to fund global causes before he became U.N. chief, Ban thinks the IPCC report requires an immediate response from the international community.  A special climate change summit, where President Bush could be pressured to endorse a global carbon tax, may be held later this year.

The mass hysteria that passes for coverage of global warming infected Anne Applebaum, who used to be a moderate voice on the Washington Post’s editorial page. She wrote a column endorsing a “simple” carbon tax to hike energy prices and added that “If a future American president wants to rally the nation around a patriotic and noble cause, then he or she has the perfect opportunity.” Is this a plug for Al Gore?

She wrote that a carbon tax “should be applied across the board to every industry that uses fossil fuels, every home or building with a heating system, every motorist, and every public transportation system. Immediately, it would produce a wealth of innovations to save fuel, as well as new incentives to conserve. More to the point, it would produce a big chunk of money that could be used for other things,” such as balancing the budget or fixing Social Security.

Did it ever occur to her that taking a “big chunk of money” out of the economy would slow economic growth and throw people out of work? That it would hurt the poor?

Her column included such gems as, “If the Chinese see that such a tax has produced unexpected benefits in America and Europe, they’ll follow.” But Applebaum, being a scholar and writer on the evils of communism, has to know that the communist Chinese government is pursuing its own national self-interest economically and militarily and that the regime’s increasing production of greenhouse gasses is among the least of its worries.

This kind of analysis goes beyond silly. It reflects emotion, not reason, and wishful thinking, not serious argument. But that is what is driving much of the coverage of this issue.

She tips her hand when mentioning the “apocalyptic climate change rhetoric” that she accepts and believes should spur action at the national and global levels. These people really believe that we are on the verge of the apocalypse. For the acolytes of Al Gore, the apocalypse will come not because an Islamic terrorist or nation will use a nuclear bomb on the U.S. or the world, it will occur because Americans and Chinese are driving too many cars. They believe that a carbon tax, preferably at a global level, has the potential to save the world.

Media Support Carbon Tax

A new website, from an organization devoted to promoting a carbon tax, the Carbon Tax Center, points out that the New York Times and Washington Post are among the leading news organizations in the country in promoting higher energy prices through carbon taxes. “The Times has six regular editorial columnists, four of whom have supported a carbon tax,” it says. At the Post, the paper has editorialized in favor of a carbon tax, and columnist Sebastian Mallaby has endorsed it. Applebaum can now be added to the list.

One of the co-founders of the Carbon Tax Center is a leader of a “bike-advocacy” organization.

We will be anxiously waiting for Applebaum, Mallaby, Washington Post editorial writers and those New York Times columnists to announce that they are personally combating global warming by riding bikes to and from work. But like Al Gore, whose “big fat carbon footprint” and frequent airplane travels have been thoroughly documented by the Competitive Enterprise Institute, we doubt that we’ll see the global warming alarmists cutting back on their luxurious lifestyles.

Exposing their hypocrisy won’t stop them because while this is a political movement that wants to control our lifestyles through government taxes, it is also religious in nature. Though presented to the public as a Southern Baptist, Gore wrote a book entitled Earth in the Balance, in which he wrote sympathetically about the Gaia hypothesis of an earth spirit. One chapter is entitled, “Environmentalism of the Spirit.” Gore believes the Gaia concept is able to “evoke a spiritual response in many of those who hear it.” In this context, he adds that “…the simple fact of the living world and our place on it evokes awe, wonder, a sense of mystery?a spiritual response?when one reflects on its deeper meaning.”

The Earth Spirit

Some of the leading global warming “scientists” involved with the U.N. also believe in this approach. Gore endorsed a book by Dr. Stephen H. Schneider, a climatologist who cited the Gaia theory in his own book on global warming. Schneider asked, “…is there a Goddess of the Earth?” He is one of several scientists who contributed to the 2004 book, Scientists Debate Gaia. A description of the book declares, “Despite initial dismissal of the Gaian approach as New Age philosophy, it has today been incorporated into mainstream interdisciplinary scientific theory, as seen in its strong influence on the field of Earth System Science.”

This “Gaian approach” demonstrates why the “science” behind the man-made global warming theory, if it exists, has to be considered extremely questionable. What is driving the acceptance of the theory is not science but a mystical or “New Age” view of the world. It is their religion.



General Electric’s slogan used to be that it “brings good things to life.” But under GE chairman and CEO Jeffrey Immelt, that has changed. GE owns a low-rated cable network, MSNBC, which features a wise guy former sportscaster, Keith Olbermann, who has made a spectacle of himself by insulting people, acting like a clown, and consciously imitating famous journalist Edward R. Murrow.

Last October, taking on President Bush as an unprecedented threat for the umpteenth time, Olbermann mimicked one of Senator Joe McCarthy’s critics by saying, “Have You No Sense of Decency, Sir?” Olbermann was upset that Bush had given a speech identifying the enemy and its apologists as defenders of a form of fascism, and had mentioned an Osama bin Laden letter in which he talked of “a media campaign to create a wedge between the American people and their government.”

Olbermann was outraged, having convinced himself that Bush was impugning the patriotism of the news media. And who would entertain such a thought? It’s just that the New York Times has done its best to undermine the U.S. Government’s most effective counter-terrorism programs. What’s more, an NBC military analyst, William Arkin, wrote a column for the Washington Post web site attacking U.S. soldiers in Iraq as mercenaries. He eventually apologized for the smear.

On February 6, Olbermann used his show to identify Accuracy in Media editor Cliff Kincaid as “The Worst Person in the World” for drawing attention to the racist comments of Democratic Senator Joseph Biden, who has been leading the opposition to the Bush Administration’s troop surge in Iraq, and the media’s failure to hold him up to the same standard they apply to Republicans.

Olbermann Attacks AIM

It is tempting to dismiss Keith Olbermann’s labeling of various people as “The Worst Person in the World” as a harmless and infantile prank. But AIM discovered that some people watch his show because they think they are getting legitimate news and information on current events. Olbermann has authored a book, cut-and-pasted from his show, on this topic. Most of his high-profile targets are conservatives.

From the point of view of the far-left, this clownish routine might somehow serve a purpose if there was some truth behind the charge. But the attack on Kincaid was based on a deliberate deception.

Kincaid was attacked because he had co-authored a column drawing attention to the media double-standard on Senator Joseph Biden’s racist comments about Senator Barack Obama. Biden had said that “you got the first mainstream African-American who is articulate and bright and clean and a nice-looking guy.” The AIM column said that “If a Republican had condescendingly referred to a black person as ‘clean,’ ‘bright’ and ‘articulate,’ he or she would have been branded as a racist and banished from public life.”

Olbermann claimed to have uncovered a double-standard on AIM’s part, commenting that, “Same day as Biden’s comments came out, President Bush said about Senator Obama, ‘He’s an attractive guy.  He’s articulate.’  So Mr. Kinkaid [sic], you’re saying the president should be branded as a racist and banished from public life? Yikes!”

Olbermann concluded, “Cliff Kinkaid [sic] of Accuracy in Media, it’s a brand name, not a description. Today’s Worst Person in the World.”

The Facts

Here’s the background to Olbermann’s false claim: On Fox News, Bush was asked by Neil Cavuto, “How do you think the troops would feel about a President Obama?” His response was, “Oh, I don’t know. He hasn’t gotten elected yet. He hasn’t even gotten the party’s nomination. He’s an attractive guy. He’s articulate. I’ve been impressed with him when I’ve seen him in person, but he’s got a long way to go to be president.”

Anybody familiar with the facts knew that Bush had not referred to Obama being the “first” mainstream black candidate to be articulate, attractive and “clean.” That is how Biden described him, and that is why Biden, not Bush, had to apologize. Bush had not made the comments in a condescending manner, drawing a contrast with other blacks.

Nevertheless, several people had fallen for Olbermann’s misleading attack, thinking that AIM was somehow guilty of failing to hold Bush to the same standard that it had applied to Biden.

One blogger, insisting that Olbermann had made a profound observation, said that “Olbermann pointed out that George Bush made similar comments about Obama the same day as Biden and wondered if Kincaide [sic] meant Bush should be labeled a racist.” Another told me in an email that Olbermann was “promoting true accuracy in the media when he showed that Bush said the same thing as Biden.”

It turns out that Olbermann was not the first to raise this phony comparison. New York Times blogger Kate Phillips had done a story about the Bush comments, saying that Bush “obviously had not been told about the controversy surrounding Senator Joseph R Biden Jr.’s take on Mr. Obama?”

This was an attempt to falsely suggest that Bush’s remarks about Obama were similar to those of Biden, and that Bush, therefore, should be subject to the same kind of criticism leveled at Biden.

Biden’s comments were significant not only because he singled out Obama, comparing him favorably to other black candidates, but because his comments were not the first racist remarks he had had made. Last year he made a disparaging comment about Indian-Americans, saying, “you cannot go to a 7-Eleven or a Dunkin’ Donuts unless you have a slight Indian accent.”

As AIM noted in the commentary that provoked Olbermann’s ire and false attack, Biden’s rhetoric suggests that he pays close attention to how members of minority groups look, smell or sound. However, it is also important to note that Biden did not really suffer politically for what he said. He apologized for the remarks but retained his position as chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

By contrast, when then-Republican Senator and candidate George Allen called an Indian-American a “macaca” during a campaign rally, he was hounded by the media to the point where the controversy contributed to his eventual defeat. Republican Senator Trent Lott’s joking comments that one-time segregationist Strom Thurmond would have been a good president were covered so extensively by the media that Lott was forced to step down from his post as Senate majority leader.

This was really the main point of our column?that Biden was NOT going to suffer the same fate as Allen or Lott because Biden was organizing opposition to the Bush Administration’s policy in Iraq and his position had to be protected and maintained. For our media, destroying the Bush policy in Iraq takes precedence over making an issue of Biden’s racism.

In attacking Kincaid for drawing attention to this double-standard, Olbermann was practicing damage control for one of the leading lights of the national Democratic Party.

What You Can Do

Please send the enclosed cards or cards and letters of your own choosing to GE chairman Jeffrey Immelt, NBC chief Jeff Zucker, and Senator James Inhofe.

Ready to fight back against media bias?
Join us by donating to AIM today.


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