Topic: Accuracy in Media
We've previously noted that NewsBusters' Noel Sheppard bought into Marc Morano's bogus statistics about funding of the various sides of the global warming issue. Now, Accuracy in Media's Roger Aronoff joins the fun in an Aug. 10 article attacking the Newsweek article on global warming skeptics:
The Newsweek story is misleading, even false, in another key aspect. Senate staffer Marc Morano, a long-time conservative journalist and activist, points out that while those skeptical of the man-made global warming theory have received some $19 million, the forces favored by Newsweek have taken in closer to $50 billion, much of it from American taxpayers and channeled through federal and global agencies. This figure, of course, doesn't include the dollar value of all of the media coverage in support of the theory.
Aronoff gets a little credit for admitting that Morano is "a long-time conservative journalist and activist" (but doesn't being an activist preclude one from being a real journalist?), but he still swallowed Morano's bogus stats without question.
What is wrong with Morano's numbers? Let's recap and expand:
-- Morano's $19 million is not an analysis of all expenditures by "hose skeptical of the man-made global warming theory" but, rather, is just a single statistic: the amount ExxonMobil has given to conservative organizations over the past two decades.
-- Given that Morano is citing only a single statistic, he's clearly lowballing the money spent by "skeptics." As we've noted, a single conservative activist organization spent a half-million bucks on newspaper ads alone -- more than 5 percent of Morano's claimed total.
-- Morano offered an alternate link to a similar claim -- an article by denier Steven Milloy, a maker of dubious claims who asserts that "The Bush administration, after all, is by far the largest funder of global warming alarmism, pouring about $30 billion of federal dollars into climate- and alternative energy-related research over the last six years." But like Carter, Milloy offers no evidence to substantiate his claim; further, Milloy lumps "alternative energy-related research" into the category of "global warming alarmism" without any explanation or justification for doing so.
-- Morano seems to be playing the same game as Milloy. As part of the "money ... the climate alarmists have at their disposal," Morano cites "a $3 billion donation to the global warming cause from Virgin Air’s Richard Branson." In fact, Branson said that money is going toward developing clean technologies, such as wind turbines and cleaner-burning aviation fuel, with a heavy emphasis on developing "cellulosic" ethanol. Morano, like Milloy, offered no support for his contention that development of alternative fuels equals a donation to "climate alarmists."
-- Morano states that "The Sierra Club Foundation 2004 budget was $91 million and the Natural Resources Defense Council had a $57 million budget for the same year," but he offers no evidence to support his assumption that all $148 million -- let alone any of it -- went toward fighting global warming.
Is such deceit the best Morano can do? It appears so.