New York Times defends hiring extreme climate denier: ‘millions agree with him’

New York Times defends hiring extreme climate denier: ‘millions agree with him’
The Times replaces search for truth with search for popular ideas that are false. But would they hire a Holocaust denier?
By Joe Romm
Apr 15 2017
https://thinkprogress.org/new-york-times-defends-hiring-extreme-climate-denier-millions-agree-with-him-1655c23a524c

Amidst backlash and subscription cancellations for hiring extreme climate science denier, Bret Stephens, the New York Times offered a stunning defense: There are “millions of people who agree with him.”

With that ‘logic’, the Times could hire as a columnist former Imperial Wizard of the Ku Klux Klan David Duke — or a flat earther or someone who thinks vaccines pose a health hazard. After all, millions agree with them.

This defense is especially absurd since, as I detailed Friday, the Times has been running a major ad campaign claiming there is no alternative to the truth — and former Wall Street Journal deputy editorial page editor Stephens has repeatedly dismissed as “imaginary” the climate reality reported on every week by the Times’ own journalists.

But apparently the Times editorial page is not engaged in a search for the truth. Instead, it is engaged in the search for popular ideas to spread even if they are known to be false “alternative” facts.

Indeed, James Bennet, the Times’ editorial page editor, told The Huffington Post on Friday that “to pretend like the views of a thinker like Bret, and the millions of people who agree with him on a range of issues, should simply be ignored, that they’re outside the bounds of reasonable debate, is a really dangerous form of delusion.”

No one is saying climate science denial should be ignored. Yet rather than embracing denial, as the Times editors are now doing, they should be debunking it, something that the news section of the paper does on a routine basis.

Now here’s where the Times defense gets especially Orwellian:

The charge that Stephens is a “climate denialist” is “terribly unfair,” Bennet said. “There’s more than one kind of denial,” he continued.
But just two weeks ago, in a story on the deniers in the Trump administration, the Times itself labeled those who deny the established science of human-caused climate change “climate change denialists”!

[snip]

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