CNN’s Christiane Amanpour believes that journalists should be “truthful, not neutral.” As a result, she says it’s time to stop giving climate change skeptics “equal play,” because allowing climate “deniers” the ability to voice their opinions is like giving airtime to those carrying out “ethnic cleansing and genocide.”
Amanpour, who is CNN’s Chief International Correspondent and the host of CNN International’s nightly interview program, made the comments during her acceptance speech for the Burton Benjamin Memorial Award given by the Committee to Protect Journalists for her efforts to promote freedom of the press.
While bemoaning the media supposedly “tying itself into knots” in attempts to cover things like the U.S. election with “balance” an “objectivity,” Amanpour turned the conversation to global warming and “the tiny minority of deniers,” to whom, she said, the press should no longer give “equal play.” In fact, to do so as a journalist, she suggested, makes you “an accomplice to the most unspeakable crimes and consequences.”
In the same section of the speech, Amanpour ironically decried creating “false moral or factual equivalence.” Transcript and video below (comments begin around 4:00):
AMANPOUR: It also appeared much of the press, much of the media was tying itself into knots trying to differentiate between balance, between objectivity, neutrality, and, crucially, truth. We cannot continue the old paradigm. We cannot, for instance, let’s say like it was over global warming, where 99.9 percent of the science of the empirical scientific evidence is given equal play with the tiny minority of deniers.
I learned a long, long time ago, covering the genocide and ethnic cleansing in Bosnia, never to equate victim and aggressor, never to create a false moral or factual equivalence, because then if you do – particularly in situations like that – you are party and an accomplice to the most unspeakable crimes and consequences.
So I believe in being truthful, not neutral.