Abandoning journalistic objectivity - perhaps even appropriate ethical evenhandedness - the Chicago Sun-Times Business Editor Dan Miller has cozied up to his old employer, the Heartland Institute, penning a cover letter that encourages journalists to accept a new Heartland climate change package as an objective look at climate change.
According to a story by Chicago Tribune media columnist Phil Rosenthal, Miller's requested that reporters at the Sun-Times (and presumably other papers as well) “keep an open mind” on the climate change issue.
But the Exxon-funded Heartland's idea of keeping an open mind means accepting that the world-wide consensus about the danger of climate change is somehow still in doubt. To push that agenda, Heartland - and Miller - recommend viewing the discredited work of UK “journalist” Sean Durkin, The Great Global Warming Swindle.
Heartland president Joseph Bast blasted back when he saw what he called Rosenthal's “potentially libelous”* criticism of Miller. Bast wrote:
“All Dan Miller did was send a DVD case containing two documentary films on global warming–one by Al Gore and one by respected British filmmaker Martin Durkin–to some of his journalist colleagues asking them to “keep an open mind on this important topic.” The dual DVD set fairly represents both sides of the debate and encourages viewers to make up their own minds.”
Both “sides” of this debate include one side that is in accord with the best science in the world and one that a British judge recently suggested was analogous to the theory that the moon is made of green cheese.
The international community of quibblers has enjoyed embarrassing success in North America, convincing media to report climate change as an on-the-one-hand/on-the-other-hand issue. We had thought that the reign of credulous fools was over, but it now seems clear that Bast is still willing to play us all for suckers - and Dan Miller is happy to help.
If Rosenthal's criticism wasn't clear enough for Joseph Bast's lawyers, how's this: Dan Miller is a journalistic hack who embarrasses himself and discredits his own (previously admirable) career by succumbing to the influence of a former employer. If he is truly knowledgeable about climate change, it is his right and duty to report what he knows in his own paper. He chose instead to peddle influence - such as he has - and deserves to be roundly condemned for having done so.
H/T to ClimateSpin.