Gore Rips Media: ‘Don’t Give Equal Time To Someone Who Believes The Earth Is Flat’

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"Gore Rips Media: ‘Don’t Give Equal Time To Someone Who Believes The Earth Is Flat’"

This morning, former vice president Al Gore appeared on NBC’s Today Show to talk about global warming. Host Meredith Vieira brought up a Nov. 1 Wall Street Journal op-ed by climate skeptic John Christy, a former member of the IPCC. In the op-ed, Christy wrote, “I see neither the developing catastrophe nor the smoking gun proving that human activity is to blame for most of the activity we see.”

When Vieira asked about the op-ed, Gore noted that Christy “no longer belongs to the IPCC” and is “way outside the scientific consensus.” He also sharply criticized the media for giving so much air time to such climate skeptics:

But, Meredith, part of the challenge the news media has had in covering this story is the old habit of taking the on the one hand, on the other hand approach. There are still people who believe that the Earth is flat, but when you’re reporting on a story like the one you’re covering today, where you have people all around the world, you don’t take — you don’t search out for someone who still believes the Earth is flat and give them equal time.

Watch it:

[flv http://video.thinkprogress.org/2007/11/goretodayvie.320.240.flv]

The IPCC is an international body made up of thousands of scientists from 113 countries who have been studying global warming since 1988. Its February consensus assessment said that global warming is “unequivocal” and “very likely” the result of human activity.

As Gore noted, scientists such as Christy are outliers, yet the media continue to give them an overblown amount of airtime. Last month, for example, Colorado State University professor Dr. William Gray sharply criticized Gore, saying that he is “brainwashing our children” on global warming. His comments were covered by multiple major cable networks and newspapers (with no mention that he also once compared Gore to Hilter).

Additionally, Media Matters documented that the Chicago Tribune, Los Angeles Times, New York Times, Washington Post, Boston Globe, CNN, and Fox News all recently reported that a British judge pointed out nine “errors” in Gore’s documentary An Inconvenient Truth, without “mentioning that he also stated in the ruling that the film is ‘substantially founded upon scientific research and fact.’”

UPDATE: MediaBloodhound also notes that when Gore won the Nobel Prize, The New York Times insisted on coupling the coverage with climate skeptics’ comments on its homepage.

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Transcript:

VIEIRA: You know, you share the prize with scientists from the U.N.’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. And one of those scientists, John Christy, wrote an op-ed last Thursday in the Wall Street Journal in which he criticized your dire predictions about the impact of global warming.

He wrote, I see neither the developing catastrophe nor the smoking gun proving that human activity is to blame for most of the warming we see.

So what do you make of his assessment?

GORE: Well, he’s an outlier. He no longer belongs to the IPCC, and he is way outside the scientific consensus.

But, Meredith, part of the challenge the news media has had in covering this story is the old habit of taking the on the one hand, on the other hand approach. There are still people who believe that the Earth is flat, but when you’re reporting on a story like the one you’re covering today, where you have people all around the world, you don’t take — you don’t search out for someone who still believes the Earth is flat and give them equal time.

And the reason the IPCC was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, the thousands of scientists who make up that group have, for almost 20 years now, created a very strong scientific consensus, that is as strong a consensus as you’ll ever see in science, that the climate crisis is real, human beings are responsible for it, the results would be very bad for the United States and for the entire world community, all human beings, unless we do something about it. And there is still time to solve it.

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