Last month, we told you about Newsweek’s plan to team up with an oil-industry lobby group to host a panel discussion on global warming.
Several observers — including Greenpeace, and a prominent professor of journalism ethics, expressed concern about the plan, in which Newsweek appeared to be giving a platform, for a price, to a key opponent of action on global warming. The panel will feature Jack Gerard, CEO of the American Petroleum Institute, one of Newsweek’s major advertisers. A spokesman for the magazine defended the arrangement as appropriate.
Well, the event is to be held tonight. And Newsweek columnist Howard Fineman, who is scheduled to moderate the discussion, has weighed in on the controversy. In a statement to the Enviroknow website, Fineman noted that Rep. Ed Markey, the leader of efforts to tackle climate-change in the House, has signed on to participate, as has Sen. Byron Dorgan (D). Fineman added that he saw nothing wrong with the plan.
Here’s his full statement:
Rep. Ed Markey, the chief sponsor of the House cap-and-trade bill and a leading environmental advocate, is a full participant in the open, on-the-record discussion with no control by API over the questions or flow. Dem Sen Byron Dorgan is also participating and will reflect various views in Dem caucus. Rep Fred Upton, who opposed the House bill, will also participate. I see nothing wrong with an open, on-the-record balanced discussion like this. Newsweek has a long tradition of enviro reporting, including our annual green issue.
We’ll bring you more details from the event once it’s happened.