ABC News reporter Bill Blakemore said he doesn’t “like the word ‘balance’ much at all” when it comes to global warming.
“After extensive searches, ABC News has found no (scientific) debate” on whether the planet is warming as a result of man’s activity, he said in his network report Aug. 30.
But just how extensive was that search?
A few months later, in an appearance before the Society of Environmental Journalists, Blakemore said there is no need for reporters to seek balance in stories about the topic of global warming.
“It was very lazy of us for 10 years when we were asked for balance from the spinners,” he said. “We just gave up and said, ‘OK, OK – I will put the other side on; OK, are you happy now?’ And it saves us from the trouble of having to check out the fact that these other sides were the proverbial flat earth society.”
Blakemore, says a new book by Joseph Farah, founder of WND and a former editor in chief of major-market daily newspapers, is an example the organized social and political activists who have invaded America’s newsrooms, subverting long-established guidelines and ethics codes calling for accuracy, fairness, balance and the avoidance of conflict of interest in journalism.
“If you really want to understand how America’s great and unique institution of a free press has been deliberately undermined by radical activists masquerading as journalists, backed by big business and encouraged by big government, you have to examine this phenomenon,” says Farah, author of “Stop the Presses: The Inside Story of the New Media Revolution,” hitting the nation’s bookstores for official release today.
The Society of Environmental Journalists is one of the “activist pressure groups” Farah cites as working within the press to promote a political agenda under the guise of reporting the news.
The agenda for the next national conference, to be held in Stanford, Calif., in September, doesn’t leave much doubt about where the organization stands on global warming. The topics include:
- Changing with Climate Change: Can Industries, Investors and Insurers Adapt?
- Nature Out of Sync: Why Are Trees Flowering in January?
- Feverish Temperatures: Human Health on a Warmer Planet
- Climate Change Policy: Spinning, Sinking or Swimming?
See what “Stop the Presses!” is all about
“Journalists are supposed to be skeptics,” Farah reminds. “They are supposed to ask tough questions. They are supposed to seek the truth, not accept what passes for conventional wisdom. We might as well just get our environmental news from the Sierra Club as get it from an official, controlled press operating under the watchful eyes and ears of the Society of Environmental Journalists. And this is just one of several activist groups, heavily funded by corporate America, that police what we read, hear and see about the great issues of our time.”
The Society of Environmental Journalists is supported by, among others, the Turner Foundation, the Ford Foundation, the Vira I. Heinz Endowment, the Rockefeller Family Fund, the Hearst Corp, HBO, Knight Ridder, the Los Angeles Times, McClatchy Newspapers and Turner Broadcasting Service.
Another example of an extremist pressure group controlling press coverage, according to Farah, is the National Lesbian and Gay Journalists Association.
“Not only is the organization successful at working inside the media to ensure favorable coverage of homosexuals and their political agenda, it even persuades the corporate press barons to pay their freight,” exclaims Farah.
Like the Society of Environmental Journalists, the NLGJA is well-funded, with support coming from the Hearst Corp., Chicago Tribune, National Public Radio, Bloomberg, Knight-Ridder, the New York Times, Newsweek, NBC News, Time, ABC, CBS News, CNN, Fox News Network, Washington Post, Newsweek, Newsday, the Ford Foundation, General Motors, Allstate, jetBlue, Toyota, Coca-Cola, Verizon and HBO.
Also, like speakers at the SEJ conference, some members of the NLGJA have suggested “getting the other side” on issues involving homosexuality is not necessary and probably not a good idea.
“At the group’s 2000 national conference in San Francisco, the big debate was over whether journalists should even bother getting other points of view on homosexuals’ issues and stories – whether such viewpoints should even be permitted,” says Farah.
CBS correspondent and NLJGA member Jeffrey Kofman made the point: “The argument (is): Why do we constantly see in coverage of gay and lesbian, bisexual and transgender issues the homophobes and the fag-haters quoted in stories when, of course, we don’t do that with Jews, blacks, et cetera?”
Paula Madison, vice president of diversity at NBC and news director for the NBC’s New York City affiliate WNBC, added: “I agree with him. I don’t see why we would seek out … the absurd, inane point of view just to get another point of view.”
Kofman rejoined: “All of us have seen and continue to see a lot of coverage that includes perspectives on gay issues that include people who just simply are intolerant and perhaps not qualified as well.”
Farah says this kind of observation is exactly why activists should be prohibited from the newsroom – not in control of it.
“I wrote ‘Stop the Presses!’ as a unique effort to explain the institutional problems we see in the establishment press today from the perspective of an insider – someone who witnessed this takeover of America’s newsrooms,” says Farah. “But I also witnessed and participated in the antidote – the New Media, with all of its increased competition and the many fresh voices it welcomes to the national debate.”
Many others have addressed issues of media bias before, says Farah. But few other insiders have blown the whistle on the problem. And no one else has exposed the tactics of pressure groups within the press.
Farah says the activists within the media, whether they realize it or not, are mapping a route to their own self-destruction and disfranchisement through the increasingly intolerant and close-minded way they practice their profession.
“Stop the Presses!” explores this issue and many others, including:
- Farah’s first-hand account of his efforts at launching WorldNetDaily.com, the largest independent news source on the Internet;
- His battle for survival during the Clinton administration, which audited his news agency and used taxpayer funds to maintain dossiers on him.
- A brief history of the free press that explains what a uniquely American concept it is;
- A look at the role of Google, a search engine company Farah deems to be “evil”;
- The impact of Matt Drudge and the way he and those who have followed him have changed the media forever;
- The key role WND played in defeating Al Gore’s presidential ambitions in 2000;
- The Middle East as a case study in international media distortion.
The book debuts today with major front-of-store promotional display in Barnes & Noble, as the selection of two major monthly book clubs and with the endorsement of Farah’s friends, Rush Limbaugh and Ann Coulter.
Limbaugh said: “Joseph Farah was not just ‘present at the creation’ of the new media revolution, he helped instigate it. ‘Stop the Presses!’ is a fascinating and freewheeling look at how a harmonic convergence of politics, personalities and technology has forever changed the way Americans interact with their government, their fellow citizens, and the world.”
Coulter weighed in: “WorldNetDaily’s Joseph Farah is uniquely qualified to tell the real story of the ‘new media revolution.’ After all, he helped start it. This Patrick Henry of the Internet will have you hoisting a Sam Adams in celebration.”
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