(video) NPR officers compare deniers of climate change to birthers and flat earth believers

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Senior Vice President of NPR Ron Schiller met with individuals he believed to be potential donors. However, undercover video was running during this meeting. In the following clip, Mr. Schiller and his co-worker Betsy Liley describe how NPR covers those who deny climate change is happening.

Ms. Liley talks about a donor who would only give to NPR if the outlet did not talk to those who believe climate change is not happening:

“This funder said to us, ‘ you know you would like us to support your environmental coverage, but we really don’t want to give you money if you’re going to talk to the people who think climate change is not happening,’” Ms. Liley recounted.

She continues to say, “It is a complicated thing, though. There’s a political question and there is a scientific question and we were talking to him about supporting the science desk. And so we’ve gone back to the science editor and asked how have you planned to cover this thing? Our coverage, if you look at our coverage, you would say that science coverage has accepted that climate change is happening and we’re covering it. But in politics, our Washington desk, might actually cover it should it resurface as a political issue…this debate.”

“So it’s more complicated than saying, ‘Where was Obama born?’ In Hawaii or not? Is he an American citizen or not?” she asks. Ms. Liley then describes the birthers as conservatives.  

“We’re not covering the birthers. We are not covering them. There’s a whole movement within the conservative group about questioning something that Obama has said as fact, ‘I was born in Hawaii, when it was the United States.’ The group that questions this, some of whom are commentators…I don’t know any who are Democrats, but they are primarily conservative commentators and people who follow them question if Obama is [a citizen],” she further explains.

“I think the challenge in our society now is that we are questioning facts. It’s not opinions we are debating. I mean, what are the facts? Is the world flat? Is that the next question we’re going to debate?” Ms. Liley wonders.

Mr. Schiller chimes in later saying, “The main point here is that it is not our responsibility to present the opinion of a non-scientist through our science desk. All educated scientists accept that climate change as fact. On the political side, however, where it is not accepted as fact, and the fact that debate is happening is news and it’s really important news. And our point of view requires that we cover that debate, if for no other reason than to have Americans understand there are still people who believe that it is not fact.”

 

 

MORE NPR Video excerpts from The Washington Times:

Update: NPR responds to undercover video sting


First excerpt – on the firing of Juan Williams – is here.

Second excerpt — on America’s nasty uneducated masses — is here.

Third excerpt — on how the GOP has been hijacked by White gun-toting Middle America — is here.

Fourth excerptNPR CEO dodges questions on NPR willingness to accept donations from supporters of Muslim Brotherhood

 

Follow me on twitter: @KerryPicket

 

 

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About the Author
Kerry Picket

Kerry Picket

Kerry Picket, a former Opinion Blogger/Editor of The Watercooler, was associate producer for the Media Research Center, a content producer for Robin Quivers of "The Howard Stern Show" on Sirius satellite radio and a production assistant and copy writer at MTV.

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