Tuesday, September 18, 2012

DeSmogBlog: By airing parts of one interview with Anthony Watts, PBS is now absolved of more than 40 years of "liberal bias" charges?

Farron Cousins | PBS NewsHour Falls Into “Balance” Trap, Provides Megaphone For Anthony Watts
PBS – the network that conservatives have regularly attacked for “liberal bias” for more than 40 years – finally put that myth to rest tonight by airing a one-sided interview with climate change denier Anthony Watts.


Russell Cook said...

Hardly. As I reported back in July ("PBS NewsHour global warming coverage: IPCC/NOAA Scientists - 18; Skeptic Scientists - 0" http://junkscience.com/2012/07/13/pbs-newshour-global-warming-coverage-ipccnoaa-scientists-18-skeptic-scientists-0/ ):

" ... My ongoing count of NewsHour broadcasts/web pages where the idea of global warming is significantly conveyed (not simply two-word mentions of it) as a worrisome unprecedented phenomenon is now over 300, with just the Fred Palmer segment and two others, CEI’s Chris Horner and Texas Representative Joe Barton, counted as ones where viewers at least got a usable impression of what a few skeptic science points are. And the Barton one is a bit of a stretch at just three sentences in length. ..."

My count is now up to 317, and this Watts interview would be only the 4th time NewsHour readers have been given a reasonably clear idea that genuine skeptic opinion is out there.

Anonymous said...

It was such a mild interview.

If you visit Farron Cousins bio at DeSmog, you can see he is a lawyer through and through -- by his analysis unqualified to speak about science issues at all.

"There’s really only one way to take Watts’ statements, and that is to infer that he believes climate scientists are fools. For him to be allowed to go on the air and make an unchallenged statement that climate scientists are wrong because they didn’t factor in that buildings and asphalt surfaces retain heat is both infuriating and demeaning.


The urban heat island theory has been debunked repeatedly, including by the Koch-funded BEST analysis."

These two paragraphs contradict each other. It is insulting for Watts to say that UHI is an important effect or that scientists ignore it. To prove that, the BEST effort, at Watts instigation, investigated this effect, at Watts instigation because BEST felt scientists were overlooking it.

The DeSmog blog sure looks nice, but when I look into what it writes and their arguments it often seems to come up way way short.