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Never give both sides when you know you're right

Posted By Russ Roberts On March 1, 2007 @ 12:30 pm In Environment | Comments Disabled

The Tennessean [1] (HT: Drudge [2]) reports on a speech where Gore attacks the media for being balanced in their reporting on global warming. Gore thinks it’s a mistake for the media to report on any dissension or skepticism in the scientific ranks. After all, Gore knows there’s a consensus. He does not seem to realize that his attitude toward scientific inquiry, the role of newspapers, and his assessment of the significance of global warming are not a source of positive energy for anyone who doesn’t already agree with him. The last sentence is just icing on the cake:

"I believe that is one of the principal reasons why
political leaders around the world have not yet taken action," Gore
said. "There are many reasons, but one of the principal reasons in my
view is more than half of the mainstream media have rejected the
scientific consensus implicitly — and I say ‘rejected,’ perhaps it’s
the wrong word. They have failed to report that it is the consensus and
instead have chosen … balance as bias.

"I don’t
think that any of the editors or reporters responsible for one of these
stories saying, ‘It may be real, it may not be real,’ is unethical. But
I think they made the wrong choice, and I think the consequences are
severe.

"I think if it is important to look at
the pressures that made it more likely than not that mainstream
journalists in the United States would convey a wholly inaccurate
conclusion about the most important moral, ethical, spiritual and
political issue humankind has ever faced."

Gore would not answer any questions from the media after the event.

This approach and behavior further increases the odds that we will do nothing politically [3].

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[1] The Tennessean: http://www.dicksonherald.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20070228/NEWS01/702280434/1297/MTCN02

[2] Drudge: http://www.drudgereport.com

[3] we will do nothing politically: http://cafehayek.com/2007/02/the_political_e.html

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