There are plenty of instances in the traditional media of honest mistakes or just plain sloppy journalism when it comes to science reporting. Then there are times when the only explanation is naked complicity in spreading disinformation. CBS has clearly crossed the line into the latter, by reporting the EPA suppressed information questioning the validity of anthropogenic global warming, to a degree that should leave any premium news organization embarrassed. We’re not going to award CBS traffic for this travesty (It’s linked with some additional info here) but some background on the report that was supposedly repressed can be found here:
It turns out that the report, written by Alan Carlin and John Davidson of the EPA’s National Center for Environmental Economics, is drawn heavily from the contrarian blogosphere, especially Ken Gregory of the Calgary-based "astroturf" group Friends of Science. And in one case, a lengthy "analysis" of a recent peer-reviewed paper has been lifted, without attribution, straight out of World Climate Report, the climate "news" blog run by uber-contrarian Pat Michaels.
Just for starters, the contrarian report that CBS accuses the EPA of 'suppressing' revives the old zombie lie that a warming sun is to blame for global warming, except when it's not, then the earth is actually cooling. There’s no need to point out that the sun, the most studied object in the universe after earth itself, shows no signs of doing anything of the sort, nor is there any point in presenting data showing unequivocally that the earth is not cooling unless one conveniently cherry picks an interval right after the hottest year on record. Because -- now follow along Republican boys and girls -- the sun can’t be the cause of global warming on a cooling earth. The rest of the so-called suppressed report is just as bad if not worse. Excluding nonsense heavily plagiarized from energy industry front groups is not an example of suppression. It’s an example of rightful rejection.
CBS could have chosen to do a great article about the inner workings of industry front groups putting out laughable propaganda during a contentious debate over a climate and energy bill. Instead they chose Declan McCullagh, a man whose past work includes the ‘Al Gore says he invented the internet’ spiel and whose current material reads like a set of anti administration talking points straight out of a teabagger’s daytimer.
The EPA wouldn’t be doing the job they're paid to do if they included that kind of ludicrous reasoning and ideological prejudice in an official document based on science. Between the well documented pseudoscientific dishonesty and clear bias of its reporter, CBS News is obviously not doing their job -- assuming their job involves accurate, objective reporting. For that, CBS owes its readers a genuine, unqualified apology, not to mention a promise to use better judgment in the future.