CNN posted a video on Monday evening urging people not to listen to climate change deniers, and instead pay attention to experts, like the channel’s meteorologists.
The video begins with brief clips of four prominent Republicans — President Donald Trump, Rick Santorum, Tom DeLay, and Kimberly Guilfoyle — each casting doubt upon climate change during TV appearances. It then transitions to a debunking of myths frequently pushed by people like them.
“A lot of these scientists are driven by the money they receive,” Santorum says. “It’s not because of climate change,” DeLay adds.
Don't believe these climate change lies.@CNNweather's team of meteorologists debunk common climate change myths spread by some politicians and pundits: https://t.co/JjhYwkPTjU pic.twitter.com/x2LbnnbGOJ— CNN (@CNN) December 10, 2018
But there’s an irony to CNN’s video: Two of the four clips CNN is urging people to ignore — the comments from Santorum, who is a paid CNN commentator, and DeLay — are from interviews on CNN. The network has come under fire in recent weeks for giving a platform to climate change deniers instead of scientists.
Santorum’s evidence-free comment about climate scientists being motivated by money took place late last month, when the network had him on to discuss the latest National Climate Assessment in an interview that was widely criticized.
Days after Santorum made that comment, Katharine Hayhoe, a climate scientist who co-authored the National Climate Assessment, said in a Twitter thread that an interview she recorded with CNN’s Anderson Cooper never aired. Instead, CNN gave Santorum more airtime.
I get my hair and make up done, we drive across the city, I do the interview, Anderson is lovely, the whole thing takes three hours .... and they don’t air the interview. Instead, they give more airtime to Santorum, so he can to continue to spread disinformation.— Katharine Hayhoe (@KHayhoe) November 28, 2018
The other CNN clip in the network’s “climate change lies” video comes from an interview former Republican House Majority Leader Tom DeLay did on the network late last month. During it, DeLay ignored the consensus of 97 percent of climate scientists and claimed it’s “not proven” that climate change “is caused by man.”
The problem is bigger than CNN. As Emily Atkin of the New Republic detailed, NBC also tried to “both sides” climate science by having deniers on TV to talk about the National Climate Assessment. Hayhoe said in her Twitter thread that MSNBC has repeatedly canceled interviews with her.
But if CNN really wants to do something to stop people from listening to climate change deniers, there’s a simple step they can take: Stop having them on TV.