If you think public television exists to offer challenging, independent news and public affairs shows that bring us stories the stories the commercial media too often ignore, free of the influence of big sponsors and corporate owners… well, this hasn't been a good week.
PBS's Nova is taking money from one of the biggest bankrollers of climate change denial–and, surprise surprise, the resulting programming tells viewers not to worry about climate change. But PBS's ombud doesn't see this as a conflict of interest–because Nova is a "consistently first-rate program," and he trusts it. Nova's conflict of interest was highlighted out by Climate Progress blogger Joe Romm (9/7/10), who had previously caught the Smithsonian promoting strange climate science after getting a grant from oil billionaire David Koch (Climate Progress, 4/1/10). Koch, who's a major funder of propaganda rejecting the science of climate change, is also [...]
Deeming "the battle against baseless, worthless grants of anonymity by journalists" to be "at this point, probably futile," Salon's Glenn Greenwald (6/15/09, ad-viewing required) is exasperated to see how "even many of the nation's best and most valuable reporters–such as the New Yorker's Jane Mayer–seem helplessly addicted to it." Greenwald points to "an otherwise solid and at times enlightening article on CIA Director Leon Panetta and his resistance to investigating past CIA abuses" in which Mayer includes this passage at the beginning of her article to explain how Panetta was chosen only after Obama's first choice, John Brennan, was rejected: [...]