The AP announced last year that it was putting new energy behind its environmental coverage – dedicating more than two dozen reporters to the beat – and it's all thanks to what the news service calls an $8 million "philanthropic grant" from a coalition of five climate alarmist organizations. Comprising that coalition are the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Quadrivium, the Rockefeller Foundation and the Walton Family Foundation.
American Family News contacted Dr. Calvin Beisner, founder of the Cornwall Alliance, for an update on the impact such financial gifts can have on what the public is told. The nationally known expert on environmental stewardship says the multimillion-dollar grant answers a lot of questions for him about AP's coverage.
"It's been very clear for over a decade that the media coverage [on climate issues] has been quite unbalanced," he tells AFN. "It hasn't been so clear why – but this recent revelation by the AP helps explain why this bias has persisted."
Beisner finds it telling that AP would make this admission – apparently without even realizing it is an admission – and argues that it reflects a failure in judgment that shows up in every article the AP publishes.
"What it does is blind them to the fact that their own motive to try to 'make the world a better place' is going to make them biased in how they cover news [and] in how they tell the stories," he explains.
And according to Beisner, that mindset isn't at all uncommon among journalists. "So many people in the last 40 or 50 years have entered journalism as a career, thinking I want to make the world a better place as a journalist," he describes. "But the truth will out. You can't bury it forever."
AP's former news vice president, Brian Carovillano, supervised partnerships and grants for The Associated Press when the announcement was made. He explained then that AP accepts money to cover certain areas but without strings attached; and the funders, he adds, have no influence on the stories that are done. He is now head of standards for NBCUniversal News Group.