Here is an extract from a letter a Whale Oil blog reader wrote to the Stuff editor:
Yesterday Stuff published an article on Climate Change.
I could not believe my eyes when I read this!!! – that any journalist would be so one sided as to only print one side of an argument that is not settled. What happened to free speech? What happened to questioning? If you do not understand why this argument is not settled, then you obviously did not read the IPCC report in detail and do not understand the scientific method and scientific approach. My husband attempted to draw relevant facts from the IPCC report which he quoted in response to your columnist, but this was conveniently ignored and not published in the comments. So, you not only censor your journalistic approach, but you also censor your responses – this is a new low in journalism.
Journalism in NZ used to stand for questioning and scepticism of everything, no matter what your political persuasion was. Journalism used to stand for printing both sides of an argument whether you agreed with it or not because as a journalist you were not afraid to print all views, you knew your readers had the intelligence to make up their own minds. end quote.
The letter was reasonable and civil and it came from a considered and well-researched view. Many people with a background in science are rightly concerned at the way in which the media sensationalises the whole issue, often causing alarm and panic. No one actually knows what is going to happen in the future and anyone who did would make a very large fortune. No media outlet should be inciting panic like this.
Well, guess what! After the editor, Patrick Crewdson replied with a response which basically said: ‘Stuff off!’, our reader now finds that their profile and all their comments on Stuff have been deleted.
We have commented before about the global warming / rising sea levels hoax. Yes, there is climate change, but there has been for thousands of years: arguing that it is suddenly now caused by solely human activity is highly contentious and disputed.
A few nights ago TV One News decided to go further than Al Gore, who we mentioned in our 23 November post was claiming the sea levels are going to rise 20 feet — they claimed it might be 70 feet! Wow.
TV One News is one thing, no-one expects any more than sensationalism from them, but Stuff, that’s another. This is an organisation that owns most of the country’s newspapers and its website is the most searched news in NZ, according to Google anyway.
So does this substantial organisation not have a responsibility to be open, fair and balanced? Clearly, it doesn’t think so: “We don’t care about distortion, misrepresentation, inaccuracies and omission of important facts! We decide what your beliefs are going to be!”