2006 Annual Conference: And Now, A Word From Our Critics

Evening Plenary: "And Now a Word from Our Critics..."

Our evening plenary addressed the questions: Are environmental journalists getting the climate change story wrong? Are we overly receptive to spin? Are we playing up the fear factor and skirting inconvenient uncertainties? Marc Morano, a staffer for Senator James Inhofe (R-OK), thinks liberal groups are funding scientists to exaggerate the dangers of climate change. An audience of ~250 packed the room to listen to his critique of SEJ members' reporting, the response from some of his targets, and the ensuing questions and comments from audience members — including NASA's James Hansen.

Moderator Christy George, Oregon Public Broadcasting producer, introduced panelists Bill Blakemore, senior correspondent with ABC News; Dan Fagin, associate professor of journalism and associate director of the Science, Health and Environmental Reporting Program (SHERP) at New York University; Senator Inhofe's representative Marc Morano, who is director of communications for the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee; and Andrew Revkin, environment reporter for The New York Times.

Listen to our audio recording (MP3/67.9MB) of this exciting 70-minute session, which begins with Mr. Morano's opening comments.

Video (55 min; posted by Competitive Enterprise Institute)

The panel (l-r): Blakemore, Fagin, Morano, and Revkin.
NY Times' Andrew Revkin uses a chart to demonstrate the "he said/she said" of reporting on climate change.
NASA's James Hansen, during the audience Q&A, responds to Mr. Morano's comments. Photo by Dale Willman.