LeftExposed Profile: Seth Borenstein

Seth BorensteinBelow is one of a series of profiles on LeftExposed.org, which is an investigative journalism project designed to seek out the foundations, organizations, key players, and individuals who spend their time, energy, and money trying to change the way you live your life. This so-called “dark money” is flowing to your elected officials, to government regulators, and to community organizations ‚Äì and it’s limiting your choices in everything, from how you get your energy to how much you pay for goods and services to what you choose to serve your family for dinner.

In each profile, you’ll find an explanation of who these people are, why they do what they do, and how much money they spend doing it. We’ll document their contributions, tell you where their money goes, and explain how it affects you and those around you, so you can fight back against their special interests.

Seth Borenstein has worked with the Associated Press (AP) as a science writer since 2006. In 2012, he was appointed adjunct professor of journalism and society at New York University’s Washington, DC campus. Borenstein is said to cover national and international stories on science and climate news.

Background & History

Borenstein was born and raised in Ohio, graduated from Bexley (Ohio) High School in 1979, and received a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Boston University in 1983, according to his LinkedIn profile. Prior to joining AP, he was editor of the Belmont Citizen (Massachusetts) from 1983 to 1985, a reporter for the Newburyport Daily News (Massachusetts) from 1985 to 1988, a specialty writer for the South Florida Sun-Sentinel from 1988 to 1994, a space writer for the Orlando Sentinel from 1994 to 1998, and a national correspondent for Knight-Ridder from 1998 to 2006. He has been an active member of the Society of Environmental Journalists since 1998.


Accusations of bias

In December 2005, Borenstein revealed what appeared to be a bias in favor of the theory of manmade global warming in an article published in Nieman Reports titled “Global Warming: What’s Known vs. What’s Told.” He is quoted talking about the method in which he reports after a “consensus” is reached on a subject: “Most of the people you talk to are legitimate, mainstream scientists. You put a paragraph in saying, ‘There are a minority of scientists skeptical, they say this, but the vast, overwhelming majority of scientists disregard them.'”

In May of 2008, Borenstein went a step further, completely disregarding the ongoing debate in an article published by Miller-McCune. “The nature of reporting is to get two sides to an issue,” wrote Borenstein. “But the nature of science reporting is to get what’s really happening.”

Borenstein, who claims to be an unbiased journalist, believes there are not two sides to every debate, especially when it comes to climate change. According to Borenstein himself, his own views “start and end with Ross Gelbspan’s The Heat Is On,” which condemns scientists who disagree with the theory of man-caused global warming, painting all those who disagree as being biased by pro-industry and conservative groups and businesses. Gelbspan implies that those who “dissent” should have limited rights to speech and should be excluded from the global warming debate.

A May 15, 2007, posting in the Society of Environmental Journalists (SEJ) website featured an article titled, “Help Keep SEJ And The environment In The Spotlight,” lionizing Borenstein for his loyal service to the ideology espoused by Al Gore, Bill McKibben, and Ross Gelbspan: “Sensational, sordid or even silly stories always seem to crowd out serious coverage of important issues like climate change, environmental health and sustainability. But at least on climate, perhaps, the scale has tipped a bit in the past year. SEJ stalwarts like Seth Borenstein of the AP and Andy Revkin of The New York Times have helped keep the issue in the news. There’s a new documentary, “Everything’s Cool,” taking up where Al Gore left off and featuring SEJers Heidi Cullen of The Weather Channel, Ross Gelbspan and Bill McKibben, among others.”

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