Newspapers shouldn't publish lies about climate change

The email below is from Brian Young, a CREDO activist in Silver Spring, Maryland, who is the managing director of Corporate Action Network. Brian started a petition on CREDO Mobilize, where activists can launch their own campaigns for progressive change. Will you help Brian pressure the New York Times and Washington Post to take a stand against climate change denial by signing his petition and sharing it with your friends and family?


CREDO Mobilize
Major newspapers need to explicitly reject climate change denial.

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Dear 5849376,

The Los Angeles Times recently announced a common-sense policy of refusing to publish letters to the editor that promote factually incorrect climate change denial conspiracy theories. But unfortunately, among major newspapers, the L.A. Times stands out as an exception.

The New York Times and Washington Post have tremendous influence on the discourse in our country, and I've been an avid reader of both for years. But neither paper has an explicit policy against publishing letters-to-the-editor that include factually inaccurate statements about climate change.

That's why I started my own campaign on CREDOMobilize.com, which allows activists to start their own petitions. My petition, which is to the editors of the New York Times and the Washington Post, says the following:

It is the job of newspapers to inform readersx of factual information, not promote lies about climate change. Please join with the Los Angeles Times in implementing a formal policy of refusing to publish any letters to the editor or other content that denies climate change. This common-sense policy will enhance the discussion and debate on your pages.

Tell the New York Times and Washington Post: Don't publish lies about climate change.

I've seen firsthand the corrosive effects of the well-funded climate change denial effort. I worked in the Senate for John Kerry, and I spoke to many climate scientists who were physically threatened, harassed, and slandered just for doing their jobs. I've seen our nation's political machinery brought to a halt and our discourse poisoned by cynical efforts to hide the scientific facts behind a smokescreen of spin.

Newspapers and other media outlets can play a critical role in our political process by acting as a check against unscrupulous politicians, corporations and others who intentionally lie to the public. But by "reporting both sides" and giving climate change deniers equal space to promote their lies, large swaths of the news media have failed to do their job of informing the public.

With the science on climate change becoming increasingly grim and time running out to prevent catastrophic extreme weather events from becoming near-constant occurrences, we can't afford to let major American newspapers mislead the public by printing errors of fact about climate change.

Earlier this month, the L.A. Times letters editor wrote:

"Simply put, I do my best to keep errors of fact off the letters page; when one does run, a correction is published. Saying "there's no sign humans have caused climate change" is not stating an opinion, it's asserting a factual inaccuracy."

While the L.A. Times' announcement is a welcome step in the right direction, we need to put pressure on the New York Times and Washington Post to follow suit, given the influence they have on decision makers in our political and financial power centers.

Will you join me and add your name to my petition telling the New York Times and Washington Post to explicitly reject letters to the editor that deny climate change?

Thank you for your support.

Brian Young

Sign the petition ►

CREDO Mobilize helps activists like you make progressive change and fight regressive policies by creating online petitions. Click here to start a petition today.

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