January 22, 2008
MEDIA LENS: Correcting for the distorted vision of the corporate media
Last year, we described how mainstream climate sceptics had queued up to praise film-maker Martin Durkin’s now infamous documentary, The Great Global Warming Swindle. The Daily Mail, the Daily Telegraph, and their counterparts in the United States, used the film to heap scorn on the scientific consensus that climate change is a grave and rapidly evolving threat. In the event, the film itself turned out to be a swindle, one denounced by climate scientists far and wide – its media supporters quietly moved on.
A similar propaganda wave has been generated by a January 4 article in the US-based National Journal smearing the 2004 and 2006 Lancet studies on mortality in Iraq, which estimated 98,000 and 655,000 war-related deaths, respectively. Once again, distortions have been boosted through high-profile media, and through the blogosphere, to create the impression of a rational consensus. Once again, the targets are leading scientists working for some of the world’s most respected research organisations.