Take a moment to consider the phrase “Joe Biden’s hard-hat environmentalism” that appeared in a recent Associated Press article. Examining Biden’s controversial energy policy and assigning it the positive spin of “hard-hat environmentalism” is something that makes sense as a White House press release or something from the Biden campaign, but not the AP, a purported objective carrier of the news.
Unfortunately, this is not an isolated incident.
One recent analysis found AP stories mentioned the phrases “climate change,” “global warming,” and “Climate disaster” hundreds of times since receiving grants totaling $8 million in early 2022. The stated purpose of the money is to fund the AP’s “Climate Journalism Initiative,” which would employ 20 new reporters to “transform how the AP covers the climate story.”
Perhaps it also funded the story that gave us Biden’s hard-hat environmentalism?
In another example from the story, former top Clinton adviser John Podesta is heavily quoted in his role as overseer of the $369 billion for green energy from Biden’s so-called Inflation Reduction Act. The story fails to mention Podesta’s political operative past, including his unofficial title of “White House clean-up chief” during the Clinton years. Also quoted are the extreme eco-groups the Natural Resources Defense Council and Center for Biological Diversity. They are all given a lot of space in a story with a lot of reach.
As a wire service, the hard-hat rebranding from the AP will appear in thousands of newspapers across the world as news. We don’t know if the millions the AP received for climate coverage played a role in helping Biden rebrand his energy policy, and that’s precisely the point.
It is no secret that across the country, particularly in rural areas, newspapers are struggling to survive. It’s not unusual to walk into a small-town newspaper and find one person covering what used to be two or even three different full-time positions. The environmental left recognized this struggle and is now providing money and reporter reeducation to fill the void with its own version of the news.
It’s an ethically questionable but smart strategy that is paying immediate dividends.
As just one of many examples, the nationally recognized Poynter Institute recently offered $15,000 grants to reporters or newsrooms willing to cover the Great Lakes area with some eco-strings attached. Any reporter wanting in on the money will have to tell Poynter “A brief description of what they will probe, why they believe there is a story to be told, and how they plan to report the story.” Put another way, reporters must disclose what they cover and how they will cover it before the money flows.
The program receives “funding support” from the Joyce Foundation, and it didn’t take long to see who provides their support. According to documents filed with the IRS, none other than Bloomberg Philanthropies provided millions to Joyce — yes, as in billionaire and climate darling Michael Bloomberg.
By following the bouncing ball of eco-money, there’s a troubling pattern of a frontline journalism association offering grants to reporters, provided they disclose how they will report their stories, by using money that can be traced back to a billionaire with a big green agenda. If it all seems confusing, that’s because it was designed that way.
Proponents of the green movement are putting millions into grants to sneak content supportive of their agenda under the umbrella of news outlets. Sure, the first story or two may include a small disclaimer at the end noting how the story is part of a project funded by an organization. However, green funders put many layers between themselves and the final project to ensure their fingerprints are nowhere to be found.
Even more insidious is that those stories are then offered to local newspapers under the guise of free content. Cash-strapped newsrooms welcome the money, the stories, or the new personnel with promises that journalistic integrity will be upheld, but also with an implied whisper that the content had better be what the funders want … or the funding will stop.
In the end, what we’re left with is only all the green news that’s fit to print.