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NY Times: ‘He Says, She Says’ … who are we to judge?

April 10th, 2009 · 4 Comments

The New York Times seems to exude, at times, jealousy for the Washington Post for The Will Affair. Why should The Post be singled out, some at the Gray Lady must be thinking think, for shoddy journalistic approaches when it comes to Global Warming issues?

Caught throughout his career at serial deception after serial deception, unabashedly serving as a rallying point for truthiness and disinformation on climate change from his Jim Inhofe (R-Exxon) provided sinecure position in the Senate Environmental and Public Works committee, Marc Morano recently left the Public Dole to a funded effort to set up a website to serve as a bastion for global denier lunacies. What is the New York Times reaction? To provide free advertising with a shoddy article that doesn’t go beyond “he says, she says”.

After the fold is the first shot at this sad excuse for an article from The New York Times. After scrubbing, hard, to wash off the filth, there might be another shot.

Leslie Kaufman’s Dissenter on Warming Expands His Campaign is about a shoddy a ‘he says, she says’ (actually, in this case, he says / he says) balancing act as one might see in journalism. On the one side, ALL CAPITAL screaming headline writer Marc Morano, who has never shamed from pandering deceit, vs internationally recognized scientists and Nobel Prize winners. From the article, two ‘he says, he says’ examples.

Mr. Morano said he once spotted former Vice President Al
Gore on an airplane returning from a climate conference in Bali. Mr.
Gore was posing for photos with well-wishers, and Mr. Morano said he
had asked if he, too, could have his picture taken with Mr. Gore.

He refused, Mr. Morano said.

“You attack me all the time.” Mr. Gore said, according to Mr. Morano.

“Yes, we do,” Mr. Morano said he had replied.

Mr. Gore’s office said Mr. Gore had no memory of the encounter. Mr.
Morano does not care. He tells the story anyway.

Huh. Okay. I read that as a great example of Morano willing to spin a tale to any who listen, whether or not there is any basis in fact. Morano, of course, loves this story to show his ‘balls’ and that he is somehow more gracious than the people he pillories and libels.

How about another one.

But some scientists and environmental advocates

We need to pause for a moment here. It is “some scientists and environmental advocates” who are advocating, not any question of actual facts and real information. Leslie Kaufman stood on the precipice of actually doing the research and finding truth but, evidently, that seemed beyond her and her editors. No, rather than digging to actual truth and being truthful, this remains in the ‘he says, he says’ domain.

who have made it their business to monitor Mr. Morano see his reports, the most recent was titled More than 700 International Scientists Dissent Over Man-Made Global Warming Claims, as far from balanced.

Again, “see his reports”. This is perception, we need to balance opinions, giving them equal weight. “As far from balanced”. I promise you, the issue with Morano’s work has nothing to do with whether his reports were somehow fairly “balanced”. The issue: they were false truthiness.

Kevin Grandia, who manages Desmogblog.com, which describes itself as dedicated to combating misinformation on climate change, says the
report is filled with so-called experts who are really weather
broadcasters and others without advanced degrees.

“Grandia … says”. How about writing that “Kevin Grandia, among others, has documented …” No, need to have Grandia and Gore and others “say” things to which Morano can “say” something. And, well, the truth must lay somewhere between these two conflicting “sides”. No? Do Leslie and the Times’ editors have any conscience clue how they play into Morano & the deniers’ designs? Present this all as ‘two sides’, raising doubt, inhibiting the ability to build support for moving forward sensibly.

Chris Allen, for example, the weather director for WBKO-TV in
Kentucky, is listed as a meteorologist on the report, even though he
has no degree in meteorology. On his Web site, Mr. Allen has written
that his major objection to the idea of human-influenced climate
change is that “it completely takes God out of the picture.” Mr. Allen
did not respond to phone calls.

Well, okay, two important points here. (1) Factual error inflating credentials. (2) Allen’s denialism/skepticism seems to have zero foundation in science and the scientific method.

What might have been useful, Leslie, is to see just how many of the “650″ have similiar questions around Morano’s false claims. The number is pretty high.

Mr. Grandia also said Mr. Morano?s report misrepresented the work of legitimate scientists.

Are we noticing a trend here. “Grandia also said …” Evidently it is too hard for her to actually use the “tubes” of the web to search out analyses and documentation of the deceit of that list. For example, why not Greenfyre on Morano, such as Inhofe’s “Mauvais Blague”.

Mr. Grandia pointed to Steve Rayner, a professor at Oxford, who was mentioned for articles criticizing the Kyoto Protocol, the 1997 international treaty on curbing carbon dioxide emissions.

Dr. Rayner, however, in no way disputes the existence of global warming or that human activity contributes to it, as the report implies. In e-mail messages, he said that he had asked to be removed from the Morano report and that a staff member in Mr. Inhofe’s office had promised that he would be. He called his inclusion on the list “quite outrageous.”

Asked about Dr. Rayner, Mr. Morano was unmoved. He said that he had no
record of Dr. Rayner’s asking to be removed from the list and that the
doctor must be “not to be remembering this clearly.”

Scientists say, Morano says. Who are we to judge the truth?

And, by the way, Kaufman & the Times’ editors, what is Raynor “not to be remembering this clearly”? Whether he was legitimately cited as a climate skeptic or whether he contacted Inhofe’s office or whether someone told him he would be taken from the list? The real point: it doesn’t matter. Morano created a “list”, much of it fabricated, and yet again a news outlet refers to the inflated 700 number, doesn’t do the work to show how it is deceit after deceit, and gives visibility to Morano.

Many scientists, Mr. Morano said, are afraid that appearing on the list will have political fallout.

“Morano said …”

And political fallout, for him, is the point.

And, thanks to The New York Times‘ shoddy journalism, achieving damaging fallout will be that much easier.

NOTE: See Joe Romm, In a stunning journalistic lapse, the NY Times gives credulous coverage to Swift Boat smearer Marc Morano, the Jayson Blair of global warming.

And, focusing on one specific element of the story, Chris Mooney, Marc Morano’s Salary > $134,000

Tags: Global Warming · climate change · climate delayers · energy efficiency · environmental · global warming deniers · government energy policy · journalism

4 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Lessons from a little-known crank? // Apr 12, 2009 at 9:17 am

    [...] all the insanities and “Faux and Balanced” in the major newspapers like the Washington Post and New York Times, voices of sanity slip [...]

  • 2 For Sanity in an Editorial: A tip of the hat to The Tennessan // Apr 12, 2009 at 9:36 pm

    [...] much energy has to be expended taking on “faux and balanced” material in the nation’s newspapers of record, striving to foster sanity and [...]

  • 3 Paying attention to “friends” // Apr 14, 2009 at 2:15 pm

    [...] denial, of deceitful astroturf “studies” distorting the situation, and of shoddy ‘faux and balanced’ reporting in the nation’s newspapers of record can eat up too much of our attention. We must pay [...]

  • 4 WashPost/NY Times: To Subscribe or Unsubscribe, that is the question. // Aug 2, 2010 at 8:22 am

    [...] warming denier or give credence to deception on things like “ClimateGate” or give undue attention (and credence) to serial deceivers like Marc Morano in faux/balanced reporting or  put out an item of unbelievable ignorance … as they did this weekend with the [...]

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