Media Digs their own Grave

Wonder why Canwest Global stock is trading at about 32 cents?

Have a look at the rant today from Lorne Gunter - former editor of the now defunct Alberta Report. It seems the market for erroneous and irresponsible tripe is not as large as the editors of the National Post might think.

Last week, CanWest (owner of the National Post) had a cap-in-hand meeting with their creditors and managed to grovel out a two-week reprieve on ponying up $88 million of their mountain of debt. They are now looking for things to heave over the side to stay afloat.

Why not start with Mr. Gunter?

His latest tirade against those knucklehead climate scientists is an excellent example of why the National Post has been bleeding red ink for years.

Gunter explains how he has figured out that climate change is all a big mistake. The Earth isn’t warming – it’s cooling. Who knew?? If you are reading this Mr. Gunter, I urge you to phone the IPCC right away. I can’t believe the entire scientific community never thought of that.Global Temperature Graph

For the record, here is the latest global temperature graph just released by NASA. You be the judge of whether the world is getting any chillier.

Perhaps the reason the National Post is going broke is because, like Gunter, they don’t respect the basic tenet of journalism: accuracy matters more than ideology. The Post has always erred towards the latter, an indulgence pioneered by its founder Lord Black, now cooling his heels in a Florida Jail after being convicted of fraud.

Writers like Gunter are a good fit for this world-view and their editors seem to let them print anything they want no matter how inaccurate. George Will of the Washington Post demonstrated this principle in spades recently with his hilariously backward claim that sea ice data showed that climate change was some kind of hoax.

The Washington Post took a huge hit on their credibility due to this debacle.

Interestingly, they seem to be in same morass as Canwest. The Wasington Post lost almost $200 million in 2008 and had to eliminate 231 staff. Too bad one of them wasn’t Mr. Will.

While the scientific community has been trying in their own pedantic way to warn the world about the apocalyptic consequences of burning fossil fuels, well-positioned pundits like Gunter and Will spill buckets of media ink trying to convince the voting public exactly the opposite.

It is the moral equivalent of standing in front a burning orphanage and telling the arriving fire fighters to go home because they are only shooting a movie.

This well funded PR campaign has left the developed world, particularly North America, dangerously ill informed to deal with a crisis that may leave large parts of United States uninhabitable. Many areas of the world are already there.

The delivery vehicle of this cynical of PR campaign are media outlets themselves such as the National Post and the Washington Post (as well as collaborators like Lorne Gunter). They will have much to answer for as climate change proceeds apace.

Then again, they'll probably go broke first.

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