Journalism in Jeopardy

The greatest gift the United States has given the world is freedom of speech and of the press. It is a guaranteed right sanctioned by government found in our Constitution.

An unbiased media presenting all the facts openly and fairly is the linchpin of democracy. It is the oil lubricating a citizenry to make fair evaluation of facts presented them.

Inject political prejudice into public discourse and America’s most sacred contribution is at peril. That is especially true in an election year.

Here is a sad example of the amazing effort to which a biased media sometimes sinks to push their own political agenda…

The Oregon Petition

Two nights ago PBS Frontline did a special by John Hockenberry on the global warming debate called Climate of Doubt. It wasn’t about global warming so much as it was about the politics behind global warming skeptics. It was generally very well done. The politics was examined in intimate detail.

One of those intimate details is The Oregon Petition.

Hockenberry was questioning global warming skeptic, Dr. Fred Singer. During questioning Singer said a report by the NAS attributing global warming to human activity was false.

Recalling a study claiming that a consensus 97% of all scientists believe global warming is human-caused, Hockenberry said:

So its 97% of them and one of you.
– John Hockenberry, PBS Frontline, 10/13/2012

Singer responded saying there were 31,000 scientists and engineers that signed a petition – the Oregon Petition – agreeing with him and urging the U.S. government not sign the Kyoto Accord.

The Subtle Deception

Hockenberry went on to denigrate the Oregon Petition. During a voice over showing the above graphic on-screen Hockenberry said:

The 14 year old petition is not exactly an exclusive club, a bachelor of science degree is all it takes to get you on the list. This document skeptics claim counters the scientific consensus on global warming.
– John Hockenberry, Climate of Doubt, 10/13/2012

By that standard I could have signed it. Hockenberry said just about anyone, including celebrities, signed it. He implied it was rubbish.

The on-screen graphic he used above contains a blurred signature I highlighted in yellow. That is done with Photoshop. I know, I’ve applied artistic blurring to countless photographs.

Here is the undoctored version of that document showing a very clear, if not particularly legible signature. It shows how the above image was obviously manipulated.

It could have and should have been shown exactly as is. It would have made no difference. Few, probably including everyone reading this now, would have recognized the signatory.

But Hockenberry knew who it was and that is why he had it obscured.

The signatory is one of the greatest physicists of modern times – Edward Teller. Teller is known as “the father of the atomic bomb”. He was even featured in a PBS special titled, Race for the Superbomb.

Hockenberry has went above and beyond the call of duty to hawk a political belief he shares with most liberals and the President of the United States. They believe human-caused global warming is a threat to the planet.

A contrary fact, like many luminary scientists including Edward Teller and Freeman Dyson don’t subscribe to that belief is actively and purposely suppressed by a biased reporter.

You have to wonder what else Hockenberry did to support his narrative.


Its a tiny, tiny little thing… “What is the big deal?”… you may ask.

That is the point. In and of itself, it isn’t. But it goes to show the incredible lengths that a biased press will resort to push a political agenda.

That cannot and should not ever be tolerated in a free and open society.

In the “about” section of Inform the Pundits! I clearly state:

The news media has institutionalized their left/right biases.

The media contributes greatly to the growing polarization strangling the United States today.

I believe that very strongly. Things like Hockenberry’s premeditated and blatant violation of journalistic ethics is why I started writing in the first place.

With keyboard and clear mind, I’ll correct media distortion wherever found until my last breath.
Update: 10/13/2012 4:30PM PDT

As fate would have it, today there was a live, interactive online discussion sponsored by PBS about their program “Climate of Doubt”:
Inside the Climate Wars

Here is one of the questions:

Comment From Tom Barney

Why did you obscure the signature of a very prominent scientist on the Oregon petition while at the same time implying few credentials were necessary?

Here is the program producer’s official response:

Catherine Upin:

Tom, this was a late stage production decision that was not made on the basis of any one individual signature or to make an editorial point. Our focus was on the requirements for signing the petition. In retrospect however we believe that obscuring the signature was a mistake.


About azleader

Learning to see life more clearly... one image at a time!

Posted on Oct 25, 2012, in climate change, culture, Freedom of Speech, Global Warming, Life, news, Opinion, Politics, science, Thoughts. Bookmark the permalink. 5 Comments.

  1. Excellent, AZ! Too few people today understand what the role of a free press was. The press is no longer free. They are owned by agendas and that is sad.

  2. The evolution of Communism under Stalin before WWII, that George Orwell described in Animal Farm [1], apparently continued uninterrupted under the UN after WWII, exactly as George Orwell had predicted it would in a futuristic novel he wrote in 1948, Nineteen Eighty-Four [2]:

    The UN’s Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD) and Agenda 21 reported this in 1992:

    Here’s the rest of the story:

    I deeply regret that I could not decipher what was happening until I observed the strange response of world leaders and leaders of the scientific community to Climategate emails.

    [1] George Orwell (Eric Arthur Blair), Animal Farm: A Fairy Story (Original title when published in England on 17 Aug 1945; This title was shortened to Animal Farm when published in the United States in 1946)

    [2] George Owrell (Eric Arthur Blair), Ninteen Eighty-Four (“1984”) (Secker and Warburg, London, 8 June 1949):

  3. Jay Lehr, senior fellow and science director of The Heartland, now says Climatism is driven by money.

    It is true that greed drives “The Mad, Mad, Mad World of Climatism, but a reincarnated Stalin was created from the ruins of the Second World War on 24 Oct 1945 and is now the real captain of our tyrannical one-world government.

    Thomas Jefferson believed we are endowed by our Creator certain inalienable rights, but bureaucrats, utilities, big banks, major corporations, etc. now treat US citizens with utter contempt and make generous contributions to the politicians who keep this corrupt system going.

    We will all be losers if the upcoming election succeeds in perpetuation this corrupt system, instead of giving US citizens a chance to vote for a return of constitutional government.

  4. I think Hockenberry has a keen intellect and a good delivery. However, his incessant injection of his own agenda into virtually EVERY story would be maddening anywhere and simply intolerable on a media outlet that the taxpayers are forced to help support. Jut t his morning he editorialized without acknowledging that was what he was doing, and on a related issue, President-elect Trump’s selection of Scott Pruitt to lead the EPA. A gentleman who had helped Pruitt campaign (to be AG of Oklahoma), including by transporting him in his private plane. Immediately after that snippet, Hockenberry commented (and I can’t find the transcript so this is as close as I can recall to an exact quote: When he wasn’t increasing his carbon footprint by flying in a private plane … Now as I recall, President Obama traveled to campaign for Hillary Clinton. This is not part of his constitutional duties as president. And the plane in which he flies burns a LOT more fuel and emits a LOT more pollution than the one in which Pruitt flew. Not to mention all the fuel burned for the ground transport of the immense entourage a US President needs. Yet I don’t recall Hockenberry taking Obama to task. This was in the same broadcast in which Hockenberry referred to the late-night passage of a state law restricting abortion as “sneaky,” It may have been “sneaky.” I don’t know because other than his characterization of it as such and the mention it happened “late night” Hockenberry didn’t provide any FACTS that would let me assess for myself whether it was “sneaky.”

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