The Conservative Bias of Our Not-Liberal Media: The Environmental Beat Edition

Recently, I noted that certain policies, even those are quite popular, never get discussed (forget about being enacted into law). One reason is that large scale media outlets have a bias–and it’s definitely not liberal (boldface mine):

Peter Dykstra, who oversaw the CNN environmental beat from 1995 to 2008, recalled top CNN executives describing environmental stories as “elite issues or liberal issues” that would not draw a Fox News crowd.

“For the last 10 years, CNN has been battered by competition, primarily by Fox. They have incurred huge losses in ratings to Fox and like just about anyone in cable television, they have altered their programming far more in the direction of entertainment and amusement as opposed to information with redeeming value. That of course does not bode well for covering science,” Dykstra said in a recent interview. “CNN has looked obsessively at how many viewers they’ve lost to Fox.”

…”The biggest issue is that what we covered were perceived to be either elite issues or liberal issues that were of little value if your goal in life is to compete head to head with Fox News,” Dykstra recalled about his CNN days. “You do not need science and technology to compete with Fox.”

…Dykstra said that former CNN President Jonathan Klein, who served in that role from 2004 to 2010, was one of several executives who called for a reduction in environmental coverage in order to compete with Fox, even though he believed climate change existed.

“I will give him credit for looking me in the eye and telling me to my face, and he was not the only CNN boss who did this, that he did not consider science and environment coverage to be a high priority,” Dykstra said of Klein, later adding, “It never was hostility, it was more an attitude of ‘that doesn’t work for us, that doesn’t help us beat Fox.’ There was very little if any political push back. In fact, Jon Klein, I recall him saying in editorial meetings on more than one occasion ‘it’s obvious that this is for real, it just didn’t necessarily have a place in CNN’s coverage.’

Good to know that “the most trusted name in news” wasn’t ideologically biased, they were just greedy and grasping. Which led them to the exact same place.

This is yet another reason why we can’t have nice things.

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1 Response to The Conservative Bias of Our Not-Liberal Media: The Environmental Beat Edition

  1. dr2chase says:

    They failed to realize that unlike political candidates, consumers really can choose “none of the above”. If a quality source of news is unavailable, I will not just suck it up and watch the slightly better crap, I will instead just not watch news.

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