Why not use veteran science correspondent Miles O’Brien, who NewsHour brought in after he and the science staff had been let go by CNN to cover complex scientific issues? Climate change is an issue on which O’Brien has done substantial earlier coverage, and it’s a subject he says he is eager to continue reporting on.Flashback: Global Warming Update: CNN Drops Science Unit and Miles O'Brien | NewsBusters.org
There’s an answer to that question, actually. O’Brien said in a phone interview that he is a freelancer with a contract to do 15 science stories a year for NewsHour … specifically excluding climate science. “I’m not in the loop on climate stories,” O’Brien said, characterizing the recent NewsHour broadcast as “a horrible, horrible thing” that he fears reflects badly both on the program and, indirectly, on himself.)
Timeline of Blogs, Broadcast, More Blogs … Explanations and Apologies
It’s one thing for a PBS broadcast to take rhetorical hits from those flat-out dismissive of the enormous body of climate science evidence. That goes with the turn and is to be expected. It’s altogether something else when the barrage comes from those normally respective of PBS NewsHour reporting and in sync with the scientific community on climate science. The NewsHour’s journalistic shortcomings in this instance are far from the most serious committed in the name of broadcast journalism on climate science … they’re just the most surprising and, in some ways, the most disappointing.
After all, O'Brien represented one of that network's staunchest alarmists, and has been the subject of many NewsBusters articles. Some of my favorites include O'Brien:
- Claiming that scientists who dispute anthropogenic global warming "are bought and paid for by the fossil fuel industry"
- Sleeping during a senate hearing about how the media cover global warming
- Having some combative interviews with Sen. James Inhofe (R-Ok.) here and here
- Telling then Congressman J.C. Watts, "The scientific debate is over"
- Calling climate realists "dead-enders," a "tiny fraction of a minority," and a "very small fringe"
- Suggesting climate realists attending a global warming conference are flat earthers.
Needless to say, O'Brien has been the source of a lot of guffaws and chuckles for climate realists the world over.