Tuesday, March 02, 2010

Another American Media Failure

Ed Morrissey compares the American media mea culpas over failing to investigate the Bush Administration claims of Iraqi WMDs to the lack of mea culpas over the MSM failure to do due diligence regarding the so-called "science" behind claims of global warming:
In the years after the the 2003 invasion of Iraq and the subsequent failure to find WMD, the American media flagellated itself publicly over its lack of skepticism of Bush administration cassus belli claims. We endured reams of essays about the supine nature of the corporate-owned media, the supposed disinformation campaign of the White House, the “lies” on WMD claims (that had also been made by Democrats in Congress from 1998 until the invasion), and so on. To this day, the American media still considers their self-described blind acceptance of claims about intelligence without sufficient investigation as an indictment on their industry — and a consequence of the Internet-driven changes to the media market.


Unfortunately, US journalists have missed a grand opportunity to demonstrate that it learned a lesson about swallowing a story from the government without question, if indeed that is what happened in 2002 on Iraq. We know this because their colleagues across the pond in the United Kingdom have not missed the chance to speak a little truth to power, both in their own government and to multilateral organizations that issued faulty analyses, false data, bad research, and hysterical demands for action.


The Australian and British press have eaten the American media’s lunch on the collapse of credibility at the IPCC and in the anthropogenic global-warming (AGW) movement. In the past four months, media outlets like the Times of London, the Telegraph, the Australian Herald-Sun, and even the Left-leaning paper The Guardian have broken important stories (along with bloggers) exposing the fraud, mismanagement, and unscientific behavior of the core group of AGW advocates, such as:

  • University of East Anglia e-mails that exposed data destruction, attempts to hide contradictory data, and conspiracies to sabotage the work of skeptical scientists
  • The East Anglia CRU threw out their raw data, undermining any effort to check their work
  • NOAA/GHCN “homogenization” falsified climate declines into increases
  • East Anglia CRU’s below-standard computer modeling
  • No rise in atmospheric carbon fraction over the last 150 years: University of Bristol
  • IPCC withdraws claim that AGW will wipe out Himalayan glaciers by 2035
  • IPCC chief Rajendra Pachauri knew Himalayan claim was bogus for months before exposure
  • Amazonian rainforest conclusions not based on scientific research but on advocacy group claims
  • Mountain glacier claims based on unsubstantiated student theses and anecdotes from climber magazine
  • Search of IPCC report footnotes exposes ten more student dissertations presented as peer-reviewed research
  • Medieval Warming Period temperatures may have been global, undermining entire AGW case
  • Measurements used for AGW case were influenced by urbanization, poor location, bad data sets
  • African-crop claims exposed as false
  • IPCC researchers excluded Southern Hemisphere data to exaggerate effects of warming on hurricanes
  • Hurricane claims further exposed as false by actual peer-reviewed research — including by some AGW researchers
  • Major scientific group concludes IPCC-linked researchers “complicit in the alleged scientific malpractices

  • None of these — none — were exposed by a major American media outlet. The efforts of the American press, with a couple of rare exceptions such as the Washington Times and the Wall Street Journal, have mainly been to play down the significance of every revelation and to emphasize their view of scientific AGW “consensus.” When the Washington Post finally got around to reporting on the East Anglia scandal, it provided only a straightforward but superficial recounting of the journalism done in the UK and Australia. The New York Times didn’t even bother to do that much, saying that the collapse of the basis of Obama administration policy didn’t amount to a “three-alarm story.”


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