“I believe that is one of the principal reasons why political leaders around the world have not yet taken action,” Gore said. “There are many reasons, but one of the principal reasons in my view is more than half of the mainstream media have rejected the scientific consensus implicitly – and I say ‘rejected,’ perhaps it’s the wrong word. They have failed to report that it is the consensus and instead have chosen … balance as bias.” [emphasis added]Gore’s not totally off-base here. It’s true that journalists often try to create balance – and the appearance of conflict – by finding someone, anyone to take an opposing point of view. As a result, it can appear that a crackpot opposition has much greater support from the relevant experts than it really has. Consider, for instance, articles that make creationist critiques of evolutionary theory sound like serious arguments when most of them are regarded by scientists as pure hokum.
No, the problem with Gore’s statement is its hypocrisy, given that Gore’s position on global warming is inconsistent with the scientific consensus. If the media took Gore’s admonition seriously, they would pay much less attention to Al Gore.