cientists from the University of East Anglia spawned what has hitherto become known as "Climategate – a mini media tempest that briefly provided climate change deniers with what they believed to be grist for their favorite mill: that climate change is some sort of worldwide conspiratorial scam. There was never a whole lot to hang a scandal on, but that didn’t stop the frenzy that pushed “Climategate” onto front pages and network news shows.
Of course, since then, the grownups have stepped back to the fore, and five independent investigations have, as Steve Benen points out, “concluded that the integrity of the science is entirely sound” and that the “deniers’ arguments were debunked.” Where’s the coverage, though? Last week, CJR’s Curtis Brainard put out a call:
Each of these [independent investigations] has, in turn, drawn significant coverage in mainstream media and independent blogs of all varieties and points of view (see round-ups here, here, and here for instance). But only a few brief articles have appeared in newspapers and magazines, and they were usually buried deep inside. It is not surprising that editors have been reluctant to highlight each and every report as it came along (lamentably, documents and letters of this sort are commonly dismissed as having little news value). However, journalists love a good trend, and, as the BBC’s Richard Black noted on this blog, these reports are “beginning to look like a pattern.” As such, the press (especially the American press) needs to give this story more comprehensive, high profile treatment.