Saturday, August 20, 2011

MRC Demands Disclosure, Doesn't Offer Any

Over at Newsbusters earlier this week, Scott Whitlock, the MRC's "senior news analyst," slammed ABC News' World News Tonight for having "hid[den] the identity of a global warming activist." The gripe was that the network had shown a clip of climatologist Heidi Cullen talking about climate change without noting Cullen's connection to Climate Central, an advocacy group. Whitlock apparently couldn't be bothered to actually watch the broadcast he was purportedly critiquing--in the broadcast that occurred in the real world, the name of Cullen's group appeared in huge letters beside her face as she spoke. Zachary Pleat, over at Media Matters, appropriately scolded Whitlock for this embarrassing error and Whitlock subsequently issued a semi-correction.

What no one appears to have noted about the incident (except, of course, this writer, in a comment on Pleat's article) is that, while the MRC "senior news analyst" was bashing a network for quoting a climatologist on climate change without noting her "advocacy" on the issue--very dubious as a sin, even if it actually had happened--he, himself, had declined to disclose the fact that his own organization has taken hundreds of thousands of dollars from Big Oil, in an article in which he's writing about one of Big Oil's pet causes. As I wrote last month, Big Oil finances the climate change denial industry, of which the MRC is a part. Whitlock's behavior in concealing this isn't aberrant; it's standard operating procedure at the MRC. The Center's gang of regulars constantly churn out articles that parrot Big Oil propaganda on issues like climate change, gas prices, and domestic drilling, yet, as far as I've been able to determine, not one of these articles has ever disclosed these contributions.