The debates and differing perspectives on the trajectory of the Earth’s climate (that is, man-made global warming) has long reached the point where much of the climate alarmist side refuses to acknowledge the existence of an opposite viewpoint.

To the extent some alarmists notice a different take, they want them ignored or silenced.

This is dangerous, and it goes beyond climate issues.

It’s bad enough for global warming activists and groups to attempt to silence opposition. A more problematic trend is when it comes from the media itself.

A free press is one of the pillars of the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, along with freedom of speech. Yet some in the media want to deny First Amendment freedom to others with whom they disagree regarding global warming.

One prominent media example is Chuck Todd, host of the NBC program Meet the Press. He announced last January he will never have as a guest anyone who questions or challenges inexorable global warming.

Mr. Todd, a former Democratic congressional staff member, seemed not to notice or care about the irony of being a professed journalist who declares one side of a prominent issue that affects peoples’ lives be deemed off-limits.

The Los Angeles Times and the magazine Popular Science announced several years ago they would no longer publish opposing opinions to global warming orthodoxy.

During CNN’s “Town Hall” on climate change with Democratic presidential hopefuls last August, the media figures were in full agreement with the alarmist dogma. Moderators walked in lockstep with the claims of an overheating planet and the doomsday scenario espoused by the candidates. Rarely did a CNN host, for the sake of practicing basic journalism, utter a challenging question.

This is tantamount to silencing contrary findings.

There are larger extremes. Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., self-proclaimed environmentalist, went so far as to advocate that climate “deniers” be jailed for exercising their free speech rights that oppose his extreme view of climate change. He’s not alone in believing such lunacy.

One would think if you were so convinced of a point of view, why would you care about someone disagreeing? If you are on solid, certain ground, why not debate to demonstrate it and humble the other side? If Chuck Todd, for example, is so certain the climate is heating up, why not seize an interview opportunity to refute a skeptic?

Squelching opposing views is not limited to the climate change debate. It is surfacing in other areas.

Former Vice President Joe Biden and U.S. Sen. Kamala Harris—both presidential aspirants and climate alarmists—are the latest examples of attempting to squash the speech of people with whom they oppose.

Vice President Biden’s campaign recently sent a letter to media news executives that demanded they refuse airtime to Rudy Giuliani, who is serving as President Trump’s personal lawyer, defending him against the charges involving Ukraine. Giuliani also has been attacking Biden’s own questionable role with Ukraine. Personally, I don’t think Giuliani is effective, but Biden must think so because he wants him off the air, free speech be damned. If Biden were elected president, would we see more such requests of media moguls to silence others with whom he disagrees or dislikes?

Sen. Harris, whose once promising campaign has been foundering, recently requested that Twitter “should consider suspending” President Trump’s account.

Strange. One of the criticisms I hear about the president, including from some of his supporters, is that his tweets are often counterproductive. Sen. Harris’ request indicates otherwise.

Debating issues like climate change is vital, despite its frequently contentious nature.

Polarization and verbal fights over issues or candidates enabled by the First Amendment can be unpleasant and ugly. The alternative is worse: the silencing of an opposing side, if allowed to continue, is one giant step toward tyranny.


  • CFACT Ed

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  • Peter Murphy

    Peter Murphy is Senior Fellow at CFACT. He has researched and advocated for a variety of policy issues, including education reform and fiscal policy, both in the non-profit sector and in government in the administration of former New York Governor George Pataki. He previously wrote and edited The Chalkboard weblog for the NY Charter Schools Association, and has been published in numerous media outlets, including The Hill, New York Post, Washington Times and the Wall Street Journal. Twitter: @PeterMurphy26 Website: