Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Spencer Michels, the bald tire of PBS climate change coverage

Who does not know some person who re-treads his or her outdated information base, trying to move around on bald tires, and worse yet, without admitting to the dangerous limitation?  

In contrast,  I have a good friend who went through hard economic times with a worn-out pair of shoes and worn tires on his car, but gosh, he knew! No kidding. 

I'm calling for the retirement of a journalist who doesn't seem to know he's become the bald tire himself, slipping up on news stories. It's too late for him to put the brakes himself.

As an aging person myself, I am on the alert for "What am I missing" pieces, and I hope someone diplomatically pulls me aside if my data base is worn out, before an accident could happen. 

 P.S. Reminder to self: El Niño is coming in, so I expect a slushy winter ahead and it is literally time to shop for snow tires!

Posted to Climate Progress:

Spencer Michels is a journalist's version of bald tire, running on old information, slipping up, and apparently unwilling to brake himself. 

PBS didn't persuade him to retire (pun intended) before he slid off the road and brought embarrassment to PBS. 

Posted to the PBS Ombudsman, Michael Getler:

I protest the openly biased Spencer Michels' piece on climate change shown 9-17-2012 on The News Hour.
Spencer Michels himself used the term, “climate change believers,” not one of his interviewees. Given the common meaning of the word believer, as faith-based rather than fact-based, Michels has revealed a bias of his own. He stepped beyond the ‘balance’ convention of counterpoint interviews.

Michels gave a lot of airtime to a blogger, Watts, whose assertions have been disproved, without Michels bringing forward the facts that discredit Watts.

Michels routinely reports from San Francisco, and claims to “hooked on California’s water” (“California Water: Old Song, New Lyrics” PBS News Hour, August 2, 2012). He neglected and still neglects to mention that the California Department of Water Resources predicts that the snow pack that supplies San Francisco is expected to decline by 25% by 2050.

He is failing to keep up with the information base on the most influential news story of our time. Climate change affects food and water, affects economies, and affects governments.  The Pentagon has already identified climate change as a security threat.

It is overdue for Michels to retire from PBS. 

Also, for your own sakes, get a better researcher on climate change on the News Hour staff, one who can understand scientific abstracts as well as policy statements.

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