Shame on the New York Times for running ExxonMobil’s greenwashing ad once again — they can’t plead ignorance this time, only greed

If I may paraphrase Sir Thomas More in the masterful A Man for All Seasons:

It profits a man nothing to give his soul for the world.  But for ExxonMobil?

The NYT apparently thinks that the way to preserve its declining fortunes is by selling (what’s left of) its soul to ExxonMobil.  As you can see here (clearer picture here, at least through today), the NYT is once again running an ad that its senior staff must know is false and misleading.

I debunked the ad here:  The New York Times sells its integrity to ExxonMobil with front-page ad that falsely asserts “Today’s car has 95% fewer emissions than a car from 1970.” I know some at the NYT read CP and that emails have been sent to top reporters.

Also, the story has since been picked up by Media Matters (“ExxonMobil Exaggerates Emissions Reductions In NYT Ad“) and Fast Company (“Exxon’s Brazen Greenwashing, on the Front Page of The New York Times“), among others.

Ironically — or perhaps intentionally — ExxonMobil seems to be running this ad on Tuesdays, which is when the NYT runs “Science Times.”

Paper of Record, R.I.P.

Maybe it’s a waste of time, but please email the public editor at to explain you are “concerned about the paper’s journalistic integrity.”

6 Responses to Shame on the New York Times for running ExxonMobil’s greenwashing ad once again — they can’t plead ignorance this time, only greed

  1. Anna Haynes says:

    Perhaps we could assemble a set of questions for Clark Hoyt? I suspect the pen would be mightier than the complaint.

    One question I asked, that didn’t get an answer, is what processes/procedures/safeguards the NYT has in place to protect against – or at least monitor/detect – attempts to influence its editors & journalists via coercion. When I looked at their ethics manual (admittedly some months ago) I saw lots of detail about how to avoid the lure of temptation, but nothing about what one should do if faced with a veiled or not-so-veiled threat.

    Maybe I’m being unreasonable in thinking it should be addressed, since nothing like that would ever happen, since real-world people are too ethical to make use of embarrassing private information if they should somehow stumble across it.

  2. This is why the lawsuit Kivalina v Exxon lists the news media as un-named co-defendants.

    And that is why it is not well known. No news media wants to call attention to it.

  3. Alex J says:

    Sent my two cents. Now, I’d still like to see an action group submit their own ad, even on page 2. Something pretty basic, like:

    Dear Exxon;

    Does today’s car really produce 95% fewer emissions than in 1970 (before the Clean Air Act took effect), or is that just fewer smog-forming emissions? Does Exxon not acknowledge that the release of fossil CO2 (a presently unregulated component of automotive exhaust) constitutes an emission? Or that this has actually increased significantly since 1970?

    Then maybe plug something like this in there for them:

  4. Dan says:

    I sent my two shekels too. Also, I found this Friedman article from awhile back…

    —“Let’s see, of all the gin joints. Of all the people the Bush team
    would let edit its climate reports, we have a guy who first worked for
    the oil lobby denying climate change, with no science background, then
    went back to work for Exxon. Does it get any more intellectually
    corrupt than that? Is there something lower that I’m missing?”

    Yes, the same NYT running their ads that are false and deceptive.

  5. Deep Climate says:

    Maybe this has already mentioned, but I’ve seen the exactly the same “95% emissions” statement in ExxonMobil ads on CNN in the past couple of days.

  6. Leland Palmer says:

    It’s less about the greed of individual newspapers, IMO, and more about a controlled corporate press that acts as the propaganda arm of an oligarchic form of government, IMO.

    Remember the role of the NYT in cheerleading our way into Iraq. According to Greg Palast, this was all part of two competing plans put together by the Neocons and by the James Baker Institute in Texas.

    Blaming the role of the NYT or the Washington Post in our Middle East invasion on incompetence misses the point, IMO. This is not deliberate incompetence, this is deliberately biased coverage promoting the financial interests of an oligarchy.