In the closing days of the campaign, reporters here should strive to offer more of that, and to steer clear of the he-said/he-said trap, on environmental issues and beyond. That kind of coverage mirrors the problematic way Benishek dismissed climate change: a shoulder-shrugging way of asking, “Who knows?”

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Anna Clark is CJR's correspondent for Michigan, Wisconsin, Ohio, and Pennsylvania. A 2011 Fulbright fellow, Clark has written for The Guardian, Grantland, and Salon; blogs at Isak; and can be found on Twitter @annaleighclark. She lives in Detroit.