Chris Mooney, in his excellent CJR piece on media coverage of political/science controversies, quotes from a study by Maxwell T. Boykoff and Jules M. Boykoff of the coverage of climate controversies in major newspapers:
The Boykoffs analyzed a random sample of 636 articles. They found that a majority ? 52.7 percent ? gave ?roughly equal attention? to the scientific consensus view that humans contribute to climate change and to the energy-industry-supported view that natural fluctuations suffice to explain the observed warming. By comparison, just 35.3 percent of articles emphasized the scientific consensus view while still presenting the other side in a subordinate fashion. Finally, 6.2 percent emphasized the industry-supported view, and a mere 5.9 percent focused on the consensus view without bothering to provide the industry/skeptic counterpoint.
Not to be outdone, the Media Research Center?s Free Market Project has done a study of its own:
No Science Debate Allowed: Broadcast news programs presented the claims of liberal environmentalists that global warming is a given, that mankind is to blame for it, or both, 55 percent of the time (77 stories). That?s six times more often than they showed valid scientific objection to global warming theories.
“Claims of liberal environmentalists?” That’s a bit of a giveway.