CNN’s Amanpour: Being ‘truthful, not neutral’ means pushing back on climate skeptics

CNN’s Amanpour: Being ‘truthful, not neutral’ means pushing back on climate skeptics
Christiane Amanpour (YouTube/Committee to Protect Journalists)

Christiane Amanpour, CNN’s chief international correspondent, may have just won an award for championing press freedom, but she doesn’t seem too keen on freedom of ideas — at least when it comes to global warming.

Amanpour addressed the issue while delivering her acceptance speech for the Committee to Protect Journalists’ 2016 Burton Benjamin Memorial Award at a gala in New York on Nov. 22.

“It also appeared that much of the press, much of the media was tying itself in knots trying to differentiate between balance, between objectivity, neutrality and — crucially — the truth,” she said of her fellow journalists’ coverage of the election.

She then compared current qualms about the truthfulness of some of President-elect Donald Trump’s claims to the debate over global warming, which she apparently believes is settled.

“We cannot continue the old paradigm,” Amanpour, who hosts a nightly program on CNN International, said. “We cannot, for instance, keep saying, like it was with global warming when 99.9 percent of the science, the empirical facts, the evidence is given equal play with the tiny minority of deniers.”

The correspondent shared how her experience reporting in the 1990s on the genocide in Bosnia taught her not to create a false “factual equivalence”:

I learned a long, long time ago, when I was covering the genocide and ethnic cleansing in Bosnia, never to equate victim and aggressor, never to create a false moral or factual equivalence because then, if you do, particularly in situations like that, you are party and accomplice to the most unspeakable crimes and consequences.

To be fair, much of her speech focused on issues not pertaining to global warming, but rather appeared to be an indirect missive aimed at Trump and the “fake news” many have suggested played a role in sending him to the White House.

“I believe in being truthful, not neutral. And I believe we must stop banalizing the truth,” she instructed.

However, Amanpour is not the first journalist to suggest the suppression of global warming skeptics. According to the Daily Caller, BBC News trained 200 staffers on how to exclude marginalized views from their coverage, specifically when it came to global warming.

“Science coverage does not simply lie in reflecting a wide range of views but depends on the varying degree of prominence such views should be given,” the European outlet’s governing body reported in 2014.

During the same speech, Amanpour joined the collective media outrage over Trump’s comments about the press, arguing journalists face an “existential crisis” under a Trump presidency.

“Ladies and gentlemen, I added the bits from candidate Trump as a reminder of the peril we face,” she said. “I actually hoped that once president-elect, all that that would change, and I still do. But I was chilled when the first tweet after the election was about ‘professional protesters incited by the media.'”

Amanpour, who has long been criticized by conservatives who claim she has an apparent liberal bias, was referring to this tweet:

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