On Feb. 15, Washington Post columnist George Will published a factually inaccurate and misleading column on climate change. His claims were promptly eviscerated by Brad Johnson at the Wonk Room, along with ClimateProgress, The Loom, TPM Muckraker, The Vine, Island of Doubt, and New Mexico Science. Though the Washington Post’s editors repeatedly defended Will’s lies, columnist Eugene Robinson admitted on MSNBC last night that he believed Will had “cross[ed] the line”:
ROBINSON: What George Will did was cherry-pick a sentence in a report, you know, be very persnickety in the way he parsed his sentences, and end up making it sound as if the report had said the exact opposite of what it actually said. He was persnickety enough that his editors, who also happen to be my editors, felt he didn’t quite cross the line. I thought he did.
Robinson is the latest staffer at the Washington Post to take Will to task for his misleading column, and, as Matt Yglesias notes, “the first Postie to note the role played by Will’s editors in helping him attempt to deceive the Post’s readers.”
Earlier this week, two Washington Post writers reported on the rapid decline of Arctic sea ice, noting that the findings “contradicts data cited…by Washington Post columnist George F. Will.” Weeks after Will’s column was printed, the Washington Post ombudsman acknowledged that when he reviewed the data Will cited to supposedly back up his claim about ice levels, he “reached a different conclusion.” Even cartoonist Tom Toles got in on the action, mocking Will in a recent online sketch:
These Washington Post staffers notwithstanding, however, the Washington Post editorial board has yet to issue a correction for any of Will’s false and misleading claims.
Pennsylvanianne Says: “I once avidly read the WashPo on my online subscription. I unsubscribed more than a year ago and am glad I am not supporting this newspaper. Though I don’t want the Post to fail, neither do I want the editors to approve the kind of misleading parsing that supports the opposite of scientific study findings. George Will needs to be scrutinized much more carefully and his columns should not run if he’s going to pull these kinds of tricks.”