Accuracy in Media

HuffPost sets out to fact-check Tucker Carlson and delivers some mood affiliation without actually addressing any of the things he says. This is not the way it is done – to fact-check, it is necessary to tackle the specific things being said and to test them against reality. This is a test that HuffPost fails, dismally.

The problem is that HuffPost simply never does talk to the points being made. Carlson says that “the real threat to people is global cooling, otherwise known as winter” and uses Europe as an example. “Far more people freeze to death every year than die of heat.” Now those are true statements – Bjorn Lomborg has been pointing this out for decades.

The response from HuffPost is that “scientists have warned for years that human-caused climate change is fueling extreme heat….but also more dangerous winter events” and that might well be true too. But it’s not talking to the points that Carlson has made.

Even if everything that the IPCC, Al Gore and Greenpeace tell us about climate change is true it is still also true that winter cold – just the normal kind, what happens every year – kills far more people than extreme heat. This is something that we’re about to find out in Europe this winter.

The background to Carlson’s comments is that Northern Europe won’t have natural gas this winter as the Russians are strangling supplies. Europe generally doesn’t allow fracking so there are few alternatives. Even after Germany has spent at least one trillion euros (as if, given the size of the economy, the US had spent some $8 or $9 trillion dollars – trillion with a t) there isn’t going to be enough renewable energy to power the country. They are talking of opening libraries so the old folk can shelter from their homes without heat. Not for some extreme blizzard or event, but for months.

Carlson is entirely correct that cold kills more than heat. For HuffPost to go with the mood affiliation of “but climate change” is not refuting his statement. It’s just talking to the base by sidestepping what is actually being said.

HuffPost is one of the major media outlets these days. It ranks No. 26 for news and media and gains some 60 million visits a month as a result. Sure, it was deliberately set up to be a progressive site.

But being progressive and not talking to the points being made are different things. When someone – even someone on Fox News, like Carlson – says cold kills more than heat they’re right. Shouting “Buh, Buh, climate change!” is not a refutation, it’s not even a sufficient criticism, it’s merely mood affiliation for the audience.




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