We need to talk about Lorne

Now more than ever we need responsible journalists who will report the facts, clearly and accurately. So why is Postmedia letting Lorne Gunter get away with misinforming readers?

If Postmedia wants to remain a trusted source of news, they need to do some thinking about the platform they give to Lorne Gunter.

Gunter’s been a fixture in Alberta media for a long time and when you hire him, you know what you’re going to get.

You’re going to get something arguing that global warming is caused by cosmic rays [Edmonton Journal Friday 4 July 2003], or a thinkpiece about how “Dour feminism teams up with Marxist logic to demonize males everywhere.” [Edmonton Journal Wednesday 21 January 2004]

You’re getting a guy who appears regularly on The Rebel.

And while columnists are given wide latitude in their opinion pieces they don’t get their own version of reality. Consider this piece Gunter recently wrote for the Edmonton Sun. In it he claims that “new caps on emissions of methane and carbon dioxide, that come into effect on Jan. 1, will cost our oil and gas sector billions in lost investment and thousands of lost jobs.”

Except there are no new caps on emissions coming into effect on Jan. 1.

Gunter also invents $1.2 billion of "indirect costs," with no backup or attribution, and adds it to the carbon tax to fluff up the numbers.

With the stroke of a pen he’s just increased the carbon tax by 100% and got the Edmonton Sun to print that as fact.

Many folks including energy policy expert Andrew Leach have pointed these errors out to the Sun but by the time we posted this article, days later, they've tried making corrections but only made the piece even worse.

We’re already seeing a huge upswing in deceptive political messaging here in Alberta. It’s getting to the point where even the UCP leader Jason Kenney has to be constantly fact-checked.

This is a time when we need our media to be trustworthy -- when we ought to be able to turn to them for some clarity.

If Lorne’s sloppy propagandizing is bothering you as much as it bothers us, join us in calling out his editors and demanding this column be pulled. The truth matters and if Postmedia wants to be taken seriously in Edmonton they need to stop letting Gunter get away with misleading the public.