On Sunday’s radio show “Star Talk,” host Neil degrasse Tyson brought on former CNN science journalist Miles O’Brien to discuss some of the problems of current journalism. The one thing they agreed upon; the networks are covering climate change all wrong, the Huffington Post reported.
O’Brien criticized his old network’s handling of specific news, joking they fired him and his unit for “not knowing enough about the Kardashians.”
“CNN is on 24 hours, 365 (days), and yet, they would say, when I came in with a 2 minute and 30 second piece, ‘We don’t have enough time,'” he said. “I’m sorry, you have all the time.”
Studies have been done that show as many as 97 percent of scientists worldwide believe that global warming is happening, O’Brien wondered why CNN still gives so much time to climate change deniers.
“Is it fair in a story about climate change, which I’m obviously talking about, to do this classic journalistic convention of equal time for both sides?” he asked. “This is a huge mistake, I think, for journalists.”
Tyson agreed that it’s not balanced to take “a person from that 5 percent” of scientists and give them “50 percent of your time.”
“There is no scientific debate” O’Brien said. “Is that serving the truth? As a matter of fact, that is feeding obfuscation — perpetuating a myth, dare I say, a lie.”
As previously reported in The Inquisitr, Tyson, host of the science show “Cosmos,” has spoken about climate change before. Speaking to (ironically) CNN in March about the media giving “equal time,” Tyson said, “I think the media has sort of come out of the ethos that I think was in principle a good one, but doesn’t really apply in science. The ethos was, whatever story you give, you have to give the opposing view, and then you can be viewed as balanced. You don’t talk about the spherical earth with NASA and then say ‘let’s give equal time to the flat-earthers.'”
Salon reported Tyson theorized that this need for balance comes from journalists who cover issues like politics, which have many sides to the debate, to which O’Brien replied, “We’re in the boutique age of journalism. CNN is just the department store–the Wal-Mart of journalism, and think about what that does to quality. There is room for a Madison Avenue boutique, then, for people who care about things that are specific to them, and they will seek you out.”
Tyson is also the director of the Hayden Planetarium in New York City.
[Image via contemporarycritique.com]