At NBC, David Gregory was already counting the liberals (they weren't called that, of course) as winners: "The flap over this new report gives new ammunition to administration critics, both here and abroad, who contend the president has ignored the threat of global warming to appease corporate polluters opposed to more environmental regulation."
In case you thought those stories were a little too tame, there was CNN's "NewsNight" at 10. Anchor Aaron Brown began: "Once upon a time, a scientist named Galileo said the Earth was round, and the political leaders of the time said, 'no, no, Galileo, it's flat.' And Galileo got life under house arrest for his little theory." Today, he proclaimed, the "vast majority" of scientists say global warming is real, and "if the charges leveled against the White House are true, an important environmental question is being twisted or ignored for the sake of politics."
If newscasts were cars, CNN would be facing a recall. Galileo did not argue the world was round, not flat. He was condemned for suggesting the earth revolved around the sun, not the other way around.
Liberals love casting themselves as Galileo, as they have also done repeatedly in the arguments over cloning and stem cell research. They are Science; conservatives, Unreason. But reporters are supposed to project objectivity, not endorsements of one scientific/political cause and denunciations of the other as an industry-funded fraud. Nearly every news story touts the "scientific consensus" behind the need for big energy taxes and regulations, as if assembling a numerical majority, not the testing of hypotheses, was the basis of sound science.
It is possible that the scientists that will be proven correct -- the Galileo stand-ins for the 21st century -- are the scientists skeptical of the doom-and-gloom assessment. More than 17,000 scientists have signed a petition against the proposed Kyoto Accord. Don't forget that the Senate voted 95 to 0 during the Clinton years to reject the treaty's onerous burdens on the United States while "developing" nations faced no energy limitations.
That's an entirely different consensus. But the media are too warm and comfy in the green lobby's pocket to consider a more objective, less demonizing portrait of competing environmental visions. They would like to pretend it's only President Bush and his conservative pollution-loving friends that ever need to face the harsh winds of controversy over the prospect of global warming. They aren't making news stories. They're making political cartoons.