This week, the once respected Columbia School of Journalism has solidified its role as a shill for anti-fossil fuel interests and bestowed its John B. Oakes Award for Distinguished Environmental Journalism, and $5,000, on the Rockefeller-funded InsideClimate News for its #ExxonKnew series. For anyone who hasn’t been following this story as closely, the Columbia School of Journalism’s Energy and Environment Reporting Fellowship – also funded by the Rockefellers – produced the #ExxonKnew pieces that appeared in the LA Times, which were notably similar to InsideClimate’s series and hit around the same time last year. No conflict of interest there.
InsideClimate News has been saying for months that its series on ExxonMobil, which claimed that the company “knew” about climate change back in the 1970s and kept those findings secret, was the reason that New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman launched his investigation. Of course, Schneiderman officially abandoned that rationale last week; he now says his investigation is no longer about what the company knew or didn’t know in the past, but about what it predicts might happen in the future. If you thought the case was of dubious legal merit before this U-turn was taken, well, now it’s just an absolute farce. But here’s the best part: these groups are still claiming that they were the catalyst for the Schneiderman investigation. From the press release announcing the award: