Accuracy in Media

Media bias is one thing. But we have just witnessed one of the greatest scandals of modern science, and it barely made the front page of the New York Times.

Late last week we got the word: hackers broke into the University of East Anglia’s Climatic Research Unit server.  The stolen emails and documents were later made public–and while the University claims that some of the emails may not be authentic, the scientists whose emails were hacked admit that they were the authors.

These emails and documents are indeed shocking.  The blog Red State reports the highlights:

1. Prominent environmental scientists organize a boycott of scientific journals if those journals publish scholarly material from global warming dissidents.

   2. The scientists then orchestrate attacks on the dissidents because of their lack of scholarly material published in scientific journals.

   3. The scientists block from the UN’s report on global warming evidence that is harmful to the anthropogenic global warming consensus.

   4. The scientists, when faced with a freedom of information act request for their correspondence and data, delete the correspondence and data lest it be used against them.

   5. The scientists fabricate data when their data fails to prove the earth is warming. In fact, in more than one case, scientists engaged in lengthy emails on how to insert additional made up data that would in turn cause their claims to stand out as legitimate.

Again: we’re dealing with fabricated and deleted data, and an orchestrated effort to undermine global warming dissidents.  Faked data in particular is a big deal: many politicians are using eco-alarmism based on fear of global warming to assault American freedoms.  So what does this mean for America if it turns out that all that global warming was a sham all along?  What does it mean for America if it turns out that a few scientists at the top were actively involved in scientific fraud to promote their own agendas?

Perhaps it is premature to ask these questions.  Most news sources have barely reported on this appalling scandal.

MSNBC doesn’t have an article of its own on the site; instead, it links to the Washington Post.  Similarly, NPR links to RedState and Accuracy in Media, instead of assigning its own reporters to cover the scandal.  The Washington Post has a nice little blog entry in which the writer, Joel Achenbach, uses misplaced commas and hyphens to make the point that “global-warming-deniers” are exaggerating the significance of the emails.  The disregard for grammar continues in the print edition of the New York Times, where the only article involving the emails has the following mind-boggling pull-out quotation: “Denials that messages show warming is exaggerated.”  I still don’t know what that means.  The article did have a lead on the front page of the Times, but it was below the fold.  The headlines above the fold on Saturday 21 November were:

  • New Consensus Views Stimulus as Worthy Step
  • Hospital Falters as Refuge for Illegal Immigrants
  • Raids Expose Soccer Fixing Across Europe
  • U.S. Fears Iraqis Will Not Keep Up Rebuilt Projects

Leave it to the New York Times to put soccer fixing above revelations about faked global warming data.  As of Monday’s edition, there has been no follow up-instead, they carried a piece on the Sunday opinion page calling for the Senate to do more about climate change.

However, to be fair, many other papers mentioned it even less.

The Express, a condensed version of the Washington Post, had this headline on the front page: “Hot Topic: Warming worse than feared, scientists say.”  The article discusses how global warming “has exceeded worst fears,” and calls for more action to combat climate change.  There is an inset article two sentences long about the emails-mentioning that the emails exist and that the “researchers” involved “say the emails have been taken out of context.”  This is hardly giving the emails the press coverage or consideration they deserve.

ABC News and the Washington Times have chosen to run the same article from the Associated Press, apparently not finding the story worth investigating further on their own.  At least they’re running the story at all: CNN’s website has yet to mention the emails. 

It is not too surprising to find that many “scientists” have been strategically promoting false data when it comes to global warming; it is far more surprising that major news networks are completely ignoring one of the largest scandals the modern scientific world has ever seen.

The fact is, this information could completely destroy any credibility global warming alarmists once claimed.  And with the American economy hanging in the balance with cap and trade legislation, it is dismaying, though not terribly surprising, that major news organizations are not plastering this information on every front page.  It is shameful that “respectable” newspapers and networks are devoting more time to the Gosselins, Taylor Swift and Twilight than to covering the story that could make or break our constitutional republic.

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