Fox News anchor Bret Baier has a beef with the Arizona Daily Sun. Baier called out the Sun's editor, Randy Wilson, for refusing to give equal coverage to climate-change deniers.Just like Fox is "fair and balanced" on their coverage of all things Obama. Yeah, sure. Baier criticized the Flagstaff paper for "refusing to give equal coverage to climate-change deniers." Equal, as in: If you print 5 column inches about the proven and devastating effects of industrialization, then you must print 5 column inches from deniers—corporate mouthpieces and creationists mostly. And while we're at it, let's give equal space to the flat-earthers, the 9/11 truthers, and cigarette company CEOs who deny their product's harmful effects.
"The editor of the Arizona Daily Sun in Flagstaff does not have room for balance in his newspaper," Baier said on the Monday, June 16, edition of Special Report with Bret Baier.
There simply is no "equal" or "balanced" debate about human-caused climate change, if by "equal" Baier means there's the same number of experts on both sides of the issue. Last year one study found that 97 percent of scientific papers agreed that humans are responsible for the ecological messes that soil our planet. That's 97/3, not 50/50 or anywhere close! In the editorial that got Bret Baier all hot and bothered, Randy Wilson said it's time to put the "balanced" BS behind us and move on.
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When is a scientific question settled to the point that entertaining further debate becomes not only a waste of precious newsprint but also a diversion from finding a solution to the problems raised by the answer to the question?In other words, how 'bout we spend our time and energy debating solutions, instead of debating the debate? And if Baier thinks newspapers and other media outlets should reflect the views of the community, well, editor Wilson agrees.
A local newspaper, however, needs to reflect its community in the conversations it hosts. But in the case of Flagstaff, a university town with an environmental IQ far above average, there aren’t many climate change deniers willing to stick their heads up and take the inevitable flak.Flagstaff, unlike the huge metropolitan blob two hours south, is a liberal bubble in Arizona—a lovely little burg with a good college, nice downtown, four seasons (!), great camping and hiking, a strong Native American presence, and a commitment to the environment.
So, stick it, Baier. The paper does reflect its readers' values, and, more importantly, it reflects reality, an unfamiliar concept in your newsroom. Maybe editor Wilson will respond with an article about Fox "refusing to give equal coverage" to the voices who oppose John McCain, Lindsey Graham and Dick Cheney. You know, the voices who were and are right.