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By Michael Bastasch
A Boston-based news network fired a science reporter after colleagues raised concerns her views on vaccines and man-made global warming challenged the scientific consensus on those issues.
WGBH recently announced Misha Michaels “is not a good fit” and would not be working for the network. Michaels, a former meteorologist, was hired as a science reporter for the “Greater Boston” show.
Jim Braude, host of “Greater Boston,” and other employees went to management with concerns over Michaels being hired as a YouTube clip was circulated around the office of her testimony supporting a bill to allow parents to not have their kids vaccinated.
Colleagues were also concerned over Michaels’ stance on man-made global warming, according to The Boston Globe.
Michaels wrote on her personal website she feels “strongly that politics has warped the scientific process and natural variation has a much stronger hand than humans do” in changing the climate. She’s since deleted the sentence from her webpage.
WGBH station bosses hired Michals knowing she was skeptical of the safety of vaccines and human influence on the climate, but hired her anways. They reversed their decision in early February.
Michaels’ future colleagues were particularly concerned she would pitch stories linking vaccines to autism — almost all scientists agree there’s no link between autism and vaccinations. Many parents and celebrities, however, have embraced the claim.
Michaels told Massachusetts state lawmakers in 2011 she tried to “present scientific research that was current and recent and new to news management [at WBZ-TV] and also began to present them with stories of vaccine-damaged children.” They didn’t bite.
Michaels did not respond to The Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment. She did release a statement claiming her views on vaccines and global warming were “grossly misrepresented.”
“I am saddened by the sudden end of my position as science reporter at WGBH,” Michaels said in a statement. “I worked tirelessly for more than two decades as a broadcast meteorologist, storm chaser, and science reporter.”
“Scientific consensus does not equal complacency,” she said. “It is a challenge to scientists to verify the science or push it forward.”
Meteorologists are sharply divided on how much humans contribute to global warming. A 2015 survey by George Mason University researchers found just 46 percent of broadcast meteorologists believed recent warming was “primarily or entirely” by humans.
Michaels wouldn’t be the first reporter to be fired for her views on global warming.
A top French weatherman, Philippe Verdier, was fired in 2015 for challenging some claims made by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). Verdier claimed they “politicized” science and published false data.
Verdier was then hired by Kremlin-backed RT to cover the United Nations climate summit in Paris that year.
“In 2007, the Nobel Peace Prize was awarded to Al Gore and the IPCC climate change experts,” Verdier said on RT.
“They told us ‘if we don’t deal with climate change, there will be more risks to have wars.’ But for 20 years, we are experiencing the warmest years and we have a parallel decline in wars and declining numbers of victims from conflicts.”
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