- The Washington Times - Wednesday, January 23, 2019

NBC’s “Meet the Press” has been accused of engaging in denial — for denying the debate over climate change.

The Competitive Enterprise Institute launched a media campaign this week blasting the long-running news program in response to host Chuck Todd’s announcement Dec. 30 that he would refuse to “give time to climate deniers,” insisting that “the science is settled.”

“They devoted an entire show to promoting the views of climate change alarmists,” the CEI post said. “He says, ‘the science is settled even if political opinion is not.’ Todd expressly banned dissenting views, which are rooted in real-world scientific data. That’s not how science or scientists work.”

The free-market think-tank took out ads Tuesday in the Wall Street Journal and The Washington Post, and began airing a 30-second ad on websites and social media.

The CEI also said it attempted to run the ad during Sunday’s edition of “Meet the Press,” but that NBC rejected the spot.

“NBC has made it perfectly clear they have no interest in hosting an open debate on climate change or policy alternatives for the environment, as evidenced by their decision to reject both guests on-air and paid ads during the program to give expert views shared by millions of Americans,” CEI President Kent Lassman said in a statement.

At the start of the Dec. 30 show, Mr. Todd promised an “in-depth look … at a literally Earth-changing subject that doesn’t get talked about this thoroughly on television news, at least, climate change.”

“But just as important as what we are going to do this hour is what we’re not going to do,” Mr. Todd said. “We’re not going to debate climate change, the existence of it. The Earth is getting hotter. And human activity is a major cause, period. We’re not going to give time to climate deniers. The science is settled, even if political opinion is not.”

Still unsettled is the “extent of warming and its effects,” as well as the policy discussion, CEI said.

“Although the computer models predict rapid warming, the actual temperature data show only a modest rate of warming,” the CEI post said. “Real-world data demonstrate that the policies supported by climate alarmists are unwarranted.”

The one-sided show was praised by the climate change movement for devoting attention to an often-overlooked topic, but the network also came under criticism for squelching debate.

“Even people who agree that climate change is a serious problem should acknowledge there’s a debate about how to mitigate it,” said the Media Research Center’s Tim Graham.

The program aired with Democrats increasingly pushing the Green New Deal, a program to “transform our economy and society at the scale needed to stop the climate crisis,” as the Sunrise Movement put it, while opponents have blasted the plan as a government takeover and wealth transfer.

“Huge tax hikes and energy rationing will cripple our economy, especially hurting those who can least afford it,” the CEI said. “Millions of Americans agree that global warming is not a crisis that requires turning the economy and our lives upside-down — but you’d never know that from watching Chuck Todd and ‘Meet the Press.’ “

NBC Universal did not return immediately a request for comment.

In 2013, the Los Angeles Times said it would no longer accept letters to the editor from “climate change deniers,” while the BBC issued a memo to reporters last year saying “you do not need a ‘denier’ to balance the debate,” as reported by CarbonBrief.

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