Network to air one-sided advocacy for nuclear power
October 25, 2013
On November 7, CNN will air the pro-nuclear power documentary Pandora’s Promise.
The film tells one side of the nuclear debate, profiling a few people who were once critical of the nuclear industry and are now boosters.
Pandora’s Promise argues that environmentalists should embrace nuclear power. The film is unbalanced by design–making it a curious pick for a news organization that markets itself as a more neutral alternative to its cable news competitors.
Pandora’s Promise “is as stacked as advocate movies get,” the New York Times (6/11/13) explained in its review. The film “leaves no room for dissent, much less a drop of doubt,” the Timesadds, calling it a “parade of like-minded nuclear-power advocates who assure us that everything will be all right.”
The review also noted that one of the financial backers of the film, Paul Allen, is invested in nuclear power–the kind of conflict of interest that journalistic outlets try to avoid.
Even a very sympathetic reviewer in Time magazine (6/21/13) admitted that he “would have liked to have seen a more meaningful debate on screen–the only opponents of nuclear power that appear come off as bonkers.”
Does the film at least get the facts right? Critics of nuclear power say absolutely not. As TheNation‘s Mark Hertsgaard (6/16/13) shows, the film misleads viewers about the health effects of the Chernobyl disaster.
It also has very little to say about the costs associated with building nuclear power plants in the first place–a critical question as humanity considers the best way to transition away from climate-wrecking fossil fuels.
So why is CNN giving viewers a one-sided brief in favor of nuclear power? Tell them you think nuclear power doesn’t need uncritical cheerleading–it needs a debate where all sides are heard.