“For those of you who are confused [about global warming], you’re forgiven. It’s my fault.”
So hysterically said retired Minneapolis anchorman Don Shelby during a speech at the University of Minnesota, Duluth, Tuesday:
After spending 32 years in front of the camera as an anchorman and investigative reporter for WCCO-TV in Minneapolis, Don Shelby wanted to apologize to people about climate change. [...]
Shelby was speaking at the University of Minnesota Duluth on Tuesday on what he called “The most important story since journalism began — global climate change.” His speech served as the kick-off for a two-day sustainability fair sponsored by UMD’s Office of Sustainability.
The TV newsman’s mea culpa about having misreported climate change came after of years of treating the story the same as he would any other, requiring the views of two opposing parties, Shelby told the packed lecture hall of the chemistry building.
But, he said, climate change is not a pro or con issue; it’s a scientific fact. And journalists who work to “balance” a story present an inaccurate picture when they give equal weight to sources promulgating inaccurate facts.
“If I report a story on abuse of children, I don’t go out and interview an abuser on the up-side of child abuse,” he said as an example of how an effort to balance can go too far.
Yes, global temperatures rising by about one degree Celsius in the past 160 years as we came out of a solar minimum, radically increased the population, and replaced grasslands and forests with cities, skyscrapers, concrete and asphalt is akin to abusing a child.
There's therefore only one side to the story as to why the planet got hotter, and reporting the other far more logical one is like letting a child-abuser explain why beating kids is okay.
This is what passes as critical thinking in journalism today. And this man was speaking to a group of college students filling their minds with the same lack of objectivity.
Scarier still, for 32 years Shelby reported to the citizens of Minneapolis and St. Paul on television and radio. Makes you wonder what other biases the Emmy Award-winning "newsman" has been sharing all those years if he's willing to stand up in front of an audience and claim he was misrepresenting this issue.
Having never lived in Minnesota and therefore not the slightest bit familiar with Shelby, I have no idea what his political leanings are beyond this bizarre mea culpa concerning global warming.
For a clue, at his My Space page, Shelby lists one of his heroes as the perilously liberal Charles Kuralt, and claims the person he'd most like to interview is Osama bin Laden. This is a picture of him prominently displayed:
Remind you of anything?
(H/T NB reader Scott Taylor)