Corporate-controlled media outlets have figured out that debate, or more appropriately heated debate and confrontation, can generate larger audiences than a bunch of people sitting around a table agreeing with one another. And this can work for some topics, such as the best way to tackle immigration reform or how to reduce the federal budget deficit.
But when faced with an issue that clearly only has one side, the corporate media continues to parade anti-reality talking heads into their studios, hoping that they can help boost ratings. That is what has happened with the issue of climate change.
The American media have not been the only guilty parties. Media outlets in other parts of the world have been just as willing to put climate change deniers on television to spread misinformation about an issue that will effect the lives of all of earth’s inhabitants.
But unlike the American media, outlets in the rest of the world have realized that the issue of climate change is far too important to allow deniers on their networks to attack the scientific consensus with no actual evidence.
This month, the BBC instructed its reporters to stop giving credence to climate change deniers on the air. The network said that they do want to remain neutral on scientific issues, but that there is a very real distinction between neutrality and false balance. Think Progress explains the difference between the two: