And the 2010 Citizen Kane award for non-excellence in climate journalism goes to ¦

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"And the 2010 Citizen Kane award for non-excellence in climate journalism goes to ¦"

James Delingpole, of all people, shows up with an ‘acceptance’ speech in the comments.

Citizen Kane

I think it’s pretty obvious who the winner will be this year.  I have tried to be responsive to those who felt last year’s Citizen Kane award didn’t give enough weighting to the unprincipled bad actors, as opposed to those who are merely doing a bad job.  As always, though, I welcome your thoughts on the “winners” and any omissions.

The award is named after Citizen Kane‘s “Declaration of Principles,” which publisher Charles Foster Kane idealistically enunciated early on in the film classic, but later on “Without reading it, Kane tears it up, throws it into the wastebasket at his side.”

I agree with Al Gore “Overall the media’s coverage of climate issues has been atrocious.”  In that sense, the entire media deserves a dishonorable mention for its generally poor coverage of climate science, politics, and economics this year:

Skipping the musical number I had prepared for the awards ceremony, let’s dive straight into the top ten list:

10.  The Boston Globe — For one of the worst news articles ever published on global warming.  It showcases the four horsemen of awful climate journalism:  Dreadful headline (“A cooling trend”), grotesque imbalance, a total lack of understanding or even interest in climate science, and a wholly unsubstantiated, near-libelous slur against a leading scientist:

9.  The Atlantic‘s Clive Crook — He made up stuff and printed it (without fact-checking) for the sole purpose of smearing Michael Mann (see “The Atlantic’s Clive Crook needs to retract his libelous misinformation and apologize to Michael Mann“).  And he did it again even after he and the editors were informed of the libelous errors in the first piece (see “Atlantic shocker: Senior editor Clive Crook fabricates another quote to smear Michael Mann“).  When he ultimately was forced by his editors to concede I was right, Crooked Timber described Crook’s response:

I don’t know exactly why Crook climbed down in this abject fashion. To use his own term, these posts are “mealy-mouthed apologies,” albeit “mealy-mouthed apologies” of the kind that clearly had some considerable difficulty making it past the craw….

But his memory seems to be malfunctioning. It wasn’t the climate scientists who got their arses handed back to them on a plate. It was Clive Crook. I trust he’ll be grateful for the reminder.

In fact, while Crook conceded, “Joe Romm’s criticism that I misquoted the Penn State report is correct” and “Joe Romm’s criticism that the phrase “the trick to hide the decline” does not appear in the Climategate emails is correct,” he never apologized to Mann.

Worse, his “correction” merely put in an ellipsis — “trick…to hide the decline” — a phrase promoted by Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli  that many, including the Union of Concerned Scientists, had explained was libelously misleading.

8.  Newsweek — The magazine continues to disappoint, appearing for the second straight year thanks to a few truly dreadful articles:

7.  George Will and the editors of the Washington Post — They have lost their top spot, mainly because Will, for whatever reason, isn’t writing as much disinformation on climate.  But the paper’s coverage on climate and energy — and their new ‘5 Myths’ section — leave much to be desired:

6.  The New York Times “” the so-called paper of record — has begun to improve its climate reporting (see Coastal studies experts: “For coastal management purposes, a [sea level] rise of 7 feet (2 meters) should be utilized for planning major infrastructure”).  But that just can’t overcome some of the worst climate journalism in American earlier in the year.  And they still run Andy Revkin, albeit as a blogger:

5.  BBC — The once-vaunted British media giant has perhaps had the biggest Kane-like fall from grace this year.  If I weren’t including those who have simply decided to intentionally spread disinformation, they might well have won the award out right this year:

4 & 3.  David Rose, Richard North, James Delingpole, The Daily Mail, Telegraph, and Sunday Times — I’m lumping the “journalists” into #4 and their shameless papers into #3.  British climate journalism has collapsed this year:

2.  WattsUpWithThat — Anthony Watts does more than any person in the blogosphere to spread anti-scientific disinformation.  Although he was a TV weatherman, he isn’t a ‘journalist’ — but then are any of those Brits in #4 above really journalists?  Watts certainly does more harm than each of them, and at least they don’t lecture others on journalism.  Watts spent most of the year twisting scientific data to persuade people that Arctic sea ice was going to recover sharply — and then he spent the couple of months absurdly asserting that he did no such thing (see Arctic Death Spiral 2010: Navy’s oceanographer tells Congress, “the volume of ice as of last September has never been lower”¦in the last several thousand years” Disinformers get it very wrong AND see Tamino eviscerate their laughable November revisionism here).   Watts has, perhaps more than any other leading anti-science blogger, viciously smeared climate scientists and others.  On Memorial Day, for instance, Watts directly questioned the patriotism of both Tamino and Rabett (see “Peak readership for anti-science blogs?“) leading Tamino to write, “This just might be the most loathsome thing Watts has yet done with his blog.”  But it wasn’t.

And that brings us to the winner:

1.  Fox News — They spread disinformation on climate and every other subject to more people than any other media outlet in the country (see Howell Raines: “Why has our profession “¦ helped Fox legitimize a style of journalism that is dishonest in its intellectual process, untrustworthy in its conclusions and biased in its gestalt?”).  Now we know that it is a matter of policy for them to dispute even the most unequivocal scientific facts (see  Leaked email reveals Fox News boss Bill Sammon ordered staff to cast doubt on climate science and here).  They will promote the words of anyone, no matter how heinous, to advance their anti-climate agenda (see “Fox News suckered by Bin Laden into repeating his disinformation and message of hatred.”  And they feature one of the most absurd disinformers on the planet nightly — see Video: Glenn Beck brings ExxonMobil-linked religious front group to tell Christians not to believe in “man-caused” climate change.

The net result is that they are regular viewers are the most misinformed people in the country:

WPO

Note:  As I indicated last year, you obviously can’t compare people who are actively trying to spread disinformation with people who are merely doing a poor job.  I am not comparing Clive Crook with David Rose, or the New York Times with Fox News.  That would be comparing apples and oranges or perhaps airplanes and oranges.  Individual rankings are based on an individual curve compared to where these outlets/journalists aspire.  It is precisely because the BBC and NYT aspire much higher than most everyone else, that their myriad failings “” despite much outstanding coverage and an excellent editorial/opinion page “” put them on the list.

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42 Responses to And the 2010 Citizen Kane award for non-excellence in climate journalism goes to ¦

  1. Daniel Ives says:

    I have no complaints with your list Joe, especially the winner. Due to their large audience, Fox News’ disinformation has the largest effect on shaping public opinion.

  2. Thanks Joe.

    It appears that these are not really news organizations – these are propaganda and opinion manipulation factories. Their goal, which they achieve smartly, is to deliver mindsets to an issue.

    A simple experiment is to remove mass media from one’s daily life – and then carefully evaluate personal persuasion from others who are strongly influenced.

    If we “follow the money” it is clear that true journalism is so rare in main stream media.

    CP is a superb resource, thanks for all that you do.

  3. Brad Johnson says:

    The interesting question, of course, is to understand *why* the journalism is so bad. For the explicit propaganda organs (FoxNews, Watts) it’s easy to understand — they have a partisan, pro-pollution agenda. But NYT and BBC don’t. They demonstrate the influence of the less visible efforts of the propaganda campaign against climate science — particularly the influence of economists, for whom global warming doesn’t exist, or even for ones like Stern and Krugman, the damages are entirely manageable even under catastrophic scenarios.

    There’s also the enviro-journalist cabal that have complicated reasons for muddying the science, that reflect decades of being manipulated by propagandists.

    And even climate scientists themselves, who have a terminal fear of saying anything clear and honest about their findings and getting the Michael Mann treatment.

    [JR: I don’t think there’s a cabal. And I think most day-to-day environmental reporters are pretty good. I think this is mostly the uninformed editors and the publishing management who have made decisions about what stories should run and who have fired many of the best environmental/science journalists.]

  4. Mike Roddy says:

    Good list, Joe. I recently experienced a horrifying extended personal email conversation with Anthony Watts, and am still depressed over it, in spite of two-a-day baths. This is in spite of the humor breaks, including Anthony’s pleading that he was not, [snip], which my coauthor had charged in a separate piece for his magazine.

    [JR: I don’t quite follow this, but it seems like you are joking here. Still, Watts asked it be removed and I have.]

    Bad media coverage of global warming is an enormous problem that we are going to have to figure out a way to solve. The average person in a politically neutral state such as South Dakota is going to hear hundreds of bad messages from the outlets on your Top Ten list, with no knowledge of Climate Progress or Realclimate, and that is going to be very hard to overcome.

    Maybe this message should be taken to media ownership and top management, excluding the hopeless ones such as Fox. Many of these owners, such as Sumner Redstone of Viacom, are politically Right, but not reflexively so. It’s possible that they can be reached through a focused and aggressive campaign, that would include fact sheets.

    Failing that, product boycotts of advertisers for Fox, Newsweek, and Atlantic should be instituted. That will get their attention. The Green NGO’s have been too timid lately to make these moves, and a separate organization may be required.

  5. dbmetzger says:

    Photographer Captures Climate Change in Motion
    In 2006, photographer James Balog founded the Extreme Ice Survey, a nonprofit designed to capture images of the world’s melting glaciers. The group mounted 39 cameras to snap about 4,500 photos a year. The startling results show climate change in motion. http://www.newslook.com/videos/276927-photographer-captures-climate-change-in-motion?autoplay=true

  6. Colorado Bob says:

    The storms are also pushing snow levels to abnormally high levels for mid-December.

    According to International Weather Expert Meteorologist Jim Andrews, “While most resorts will keep their snow, it is in the intermediate elevations where melting snow, combined with rain is where the greatest concern exists for flash flooding.”

    http://www.accuweather.com/blogs/news/story/43281/flooding-risk-for-interior-wes.asp

  7. Eric Normand says:

    Al Gore’s comment at the top of this article could be expanded to read “Overall the media’s coverage of climate issues has been atrocious, as has also been their coverage of extreme weather related disasters, both in the US, and abroad.” While no one extreme weather event can be directly linked to climate change, the staggering number of record smashing extreme weather events in 2010 has been epic.

    Earlier in the year, the media failed to report on “Nashville’s Katrina”. Apparently, that event just scratched the surface of the totality of flooding caused by extreme precipitation this year. To see a frightening list of these events, follow this link http://coloradobob1.newsvine.com/_news/2010/11/21/5504169-the-extreme-rain-events-of-2010?threadId=1138874&commentId=20217567#c20217567. the list jumps around a bit, but the statistics are truly amazing when you see them all in one place.

    Currently, California is experiencing record rain and snowfall. Huffington Post has reported on the storm system that began dumping rain and snow last Friday – the article can be viewed at -http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/12/21/california-rain-storms-co_n_799694.html.

    The article stated “More than 12 inches of rain have fallen in parts of the Santa Monica Mountains in the south, and 13 feet of snow has accumulated at Mammoth Mountain ski resort”. Downtown Los Angeles has already received 5 1/4 inches of rain with an even fiercer storm predicted to hit tonight. Forecasters are warning of possible rainfall rates of .75 to 1 inch of rain per hour.

    The article goes on to state “A swath of Los Angeles suburbs along the foothills below the steep San Gabriel Mountains are at risk of debris flows – potentially devastating flash floods carrying boulders, trees and soil”.

    Debris flows in Los Angeles?

    Surprisingly, CNN has covered this story, here is the link http://www.cnn.com/2010/US/12/21/winter.weather/index.html?hpt=T1.

    Although it is currently the lead story on the site, the reporting doesn’t really explain how unusual this weather pattern is, minimizing the seriousness of the situation by ending the story with “Still, many southern Californians were not deterred from holiday shopping by the rain, although the rain-slickened roads had led to thousands of accidents.” And “It’s a little scary to be driving with this much rain, but I’m going to deal with it,” Adriena Young told KABC. “It’s better than a drought.””

    Better than a drought? Because droughts are so great?

    I have lived through an extreme deluge when half of my state was flooded this past May. It’s horrifying. The fact that our media is not painting an accurate picture of what these storm systems can do is reckless and irresponsible. Most Americans are oblivious to the increase we are seeing with these kinds of events and are certainly not prepared for them. It’s time they step up to the plate and begin to start preparing the masses for what is obviously a rough road ahead.

  8. Nancy says:

    Another reason to give the Boston Globe the award: I emailed the editor of the Globe a few weeks ago and asked him to dedicate a regular section about climate change and energy in the paper. He responded that the Globe had already published a series on global warming and felt that publishing an occasional report from the wire services was sufficient for readers. The series he referenced was written in 2007.

    I don’t get it. Why isn’t there a section as big as the sports section dedicated to climate change? Are basketball scores more important than the melting Arctic?

  9. Ah! Good ol’ Auntie (aka the BBC) just doesn’t get US politics let alone balance on climate reporting as this article about

    ‘Tea Party not so mad’ illustrates.

  10. Steve Bloom says:

    Brad in #3: “(…) for ones like Stern and Krugman, the damages are entirely manageable even under catastrophic scenarios.”

    Really? I had quite a different impression. They do seem confident that sufficient mitigating action will be undertaken in time, which at this point would have to called optimistic, but that’s not the same thing.

  11. John Mashey says:

    For balance, how about a Top 10 of *good* reporting:

    I nominate Dan Vergano of USA Today:
    Wegman story:
    Oct 08,
    Nov 22, half-page print,
    Nov 23,
    Nov 23.

    Fox News, misinformation (about Jon Krosnick’s analysis. I’ve heard him talk several times, and he’s very good).
    Dec 17.

    If you like Dan’s work, please tell his editors so. I think he’s doing some great investigative journalism, although it may make editors and lawyers antsy.

  12. It may be worth noting that the lawsuit of Kivalina v Exxon is alive and wending its way to the Supreme Court. If plaintiff prevails then much of this media deception may be shut down because:

    * Kivalina is also asserting claims seeking monetary damages for civil conspiracy and concert of action against certain defendants (primarily ExxonMobil) for participation in conspiratorial and other actions intended to suppress the knowledge of the link between greenhouse gas emissions and global warming, thereby furthering the defendants’ abilities to contribute to global warming.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kivalina_v._ExxonMobil_Corp.,_Et_al.

    http://www.noenergytomorrow.org/2008/09/kivalina-lawsuit-links—many-videos.html

  13. Jack says:

    Congrats, Mr. Watts and Fox News for taking the #2 and #1 spots respectively. Wow, what an achievement. Please continue to spread the truth about global warming scam. People are waking up to the truth. Again, congrats.

  14. Steve UK says:

    Aw, I’ve got to “wrap myself in the flag” a bit and stand up for the BBC. As the public service broadcaster they are accused by all sides of being biased towards “the other”. Richard Black, who you castigate, is constantly heckled by the sceptical fraternity on his blog. The “dreadful story” you cite reads pretty reasonably to me and the reason that it doesn’t mention human-driven climate change is that that’s pretty much a given over here. You’ll find nay-sayers to be sure, but anyone reading that blog’s going to understand *why* he’s talking about the Arctic melting.

    If you watch a lot of the BBC’s output you would find that climate change is routinely referred to without any “balancing” comment. There was a Horizon documentary recently, for example, about the Marine Census (sorry, don’t know the technical term) which covered most of the bases about the parlous state of our oceans which included David Attenborough opining that “for me, ocean acidification is the most worrying aspect of climate change”.

    Perhaps we should stop expecting the media to deliver the correct story and hope for your President or my Prime Minister to go on TV and tell the truth about what a shambles we’re all in. And that rationing starts tomorrow.

    Keep up the good work,
    Steve

    P.S. Your inclusion of Mr Delingpole at the Telegraph, however, is entirely justified. I’ve stopped looking at his blog as it makes me physically ill. :)

  15. Rabid Doomsayer says:

    Not just Fox News, include the entire Murdoch empire. The Australian is just as bad.

  16. Mulga Mumblebrain says:

    May I nominate the entire FoxNews Ltd apparatus in Australia, particularly its denialist columnists Pearson, Albrechtsen, Burchell, Ackerman, and, below all, Andrew Bolt. There are quite a few elsewhere, and Sheehan of Fairfax deserves a dishonourable mention. And let’s not forget Fred Pearce and The Guardian, a special award for deviousness, disingenuousness and dissembling. The Guardian’s ‘Comment is Free’ blogs are now just as deranged and just as dominated by gibbering Dunning-Krugerites as any other. I put it all down to simple service to power. Fossil fuels are the greatest source of wealth for the global plutocrats, they own the mainstream media and they have plainly been leaning on their minions. It will only get worse because it is the nature of the beast.

  17. Keith Kloor says:

    #3:

    Could you elaborate on this statement:

    “There’s also the enviro-journalist cabal that have complicated reasons for muddying the science, that reflect decades of being manipulated by propagandists.”

    Who are some notable members of this cabal and what are those complicated reasons?

  18. catman306 says:

    The woman in the video said ‘mini-blizzard.’

    wind speeds of at least 35 miles per hour and temperatures of 20 degrees Fahrenheit or less over an extended period. A severe blizzard means winds of 45 miles per hour and temperatures of 10 degrees or less.
    http://www.kypost.com/content/weather/calculators/wxterms.aspx
    Don’t go outside during a severe blizzard.

    A blizzard is a severe storm condition characterized by low temperatures, strong winds, and can include heavy snow. By definition, the difference between blizzard and a snowstorm is the strength of the wind. To be a blizzard, a snow storm must have winds in excess of 56 km/h (35 mph).[1] Additionally, blizzards must reduce visibility to 400 metres (1,300 ft) or less and must last for a prolonged period of time — typically three hours or more.[2][3] Ground blizzards are a variation on the traditional blizzard, in that ground blizzards require high winds to stir up snow that has already fallen, rather than fresh snowfall. Regardless of the variety of blizzard, they can bring near-whiteout conditions, which restrict visibility to near zero. Blizzards have a negative impact on local economies and can paralyze regions for days at a time, particularly where snowfall is unusual or rare. The 1972 Iran blizzard, which caused approximately 4000 deaths, was the deadliest in recorded history.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blizzard

  19. Ben Lieberman says:

    @Nancy,

    I have had exactly the same response from the Globe editorial staff. They published a series of articles in 2007 and that’s good enough. By the same logic they won’t cover another election on the grounds that they have already run articles on past elections.

    Globe editors will also allow no criticism of Beth Daley–again because she wrote some articles on climate change in 2007 she is apparently above reproach and can get away with the article on Lindzen and Kerry Emmanuel.

  20. John Mason says:

    Steve #14,

    I gave up posting/reading that BBC blog you mention some time back – it is one of the weirdest of the lot!

    I did email Richard earlier this year, wondering why the policy had not been naturally extrapolated out so that each biodiversity/palaeontology/evolution story could also incorporate a creationist point of view, “in the interest of balance”. Hmm. I never did receive a detailed reply!

    Cheers – John

  21. Russell says:

    Surely there is room in the top ten for :

    “Was the 2010 Haiti Earthquake triggered by deforestation and the 2008 hurricanes?”

    vide supra

  22. Magnus w says:

    Well things like this is just awful… http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uh5PG8R2A4I It would never be acceptable in Sweden.

  23. Sou says:

    By coincidence, I’m now reading an excellent article by Justin Gillis in the New York Times. It’s better than most I’ve read recently (although it has the usual quote from Lindzen) The message is clear that the earth is getting hotter at an accelerating pace. And it’s given prominence – it’s right in the middle of the print version’s front page. In the online edition, the headline is on the home page and at the top of the US page.

    Here is the article itself:
    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/12/22/science/earth/22carbon.html?pagewanted=1&ref=us

  24. James Delingpole says:

    Can I just say *sob* how proud you’ve made me, Joe.

    [JR: Proud to lose to Watts and Fox News? Well, they say pride goeth before destruction….]

  25. Chris Winter says:

    Magnus,

    I think that newscast was not so bad. Slanted, of course, but they did show the state climatologist standing up for climate science. (Kudos to Gary McManus.) And they reported a recent poll that says the majority of people believe climate change is real.

    Did you notice how many empty seats there were in that auditorium in Perry where Inhofe spoke?

    I wonder what “News 9″ found from their own poll. Perhaps I can find out.

  26. Paulm says:

    Good to see James reads CP.

  27. Mike Roddy says:

    Well well, James Delingpole has shown up here. He reminds me of a
    quote from Werner Herzog:

    “Evil and stupidity are the same thing. If you don’t believe me, look
    into the eye of a chicken”.

  28. Paulm says:

    14 Steve. Have to disagree with you on the BBC. Your right that overall it is reasonably okish on reporting on global warming. Luke warm you could say.

    However, the environment section online is/has been awful, irresponsible and seems to be deliberately misleading and misinforming the public. There was a definite agenda there which also seems to be coming from the top.

  29. Some European says:

    @ James Delingpole
    Here’s the problem, my friend: you’re calling yourself a journalist.
    You’re entitled to your opinion, but wittingly spreading misinformation, thereby potentially causing harm to billions is NOT acceptable by ANY standard of journalistic deontology.
    Please stop confusing the public before the public starts wanting you dead. It’s a win-win.

    For an illustration of exactly how unbiased Mr. Delingpole is, have a look at the podcast of his talk at the Heartland Institute’s 4th ICCC.
    http://www.heartland.org/environmentandclimate-news.org/ClimateConference4
    I made a little video with some fragments of the talk.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WGREIWG7_-s
    If anyone wants to make a better video, feel free. I’m not very good at it…

    Here are a few quotes:
    – “You look at the entire history of the global warming movement and what you realize time and again: it is the work not of scientists pursuing truth, but of activists who have a very particular view of the world. That view is essentially a view of the world which hates humanity…”
    – “I calculated that the amount of money being spent by organizations like Greenpeeace, WWF and big government and so on, supporting the warmist cause is about 3500 times more than is being spent arguing our side of things.”
    Maybe you can disclose your numbers (under the FOI act), Jamesy? I think you’re more than just slightly awry…

  30. Chris Winter says:

    I found the Inhofe story online, but haven’t turned up the poll so far. The story is here: http://www.news9.com/Global/story.asp?S=12705805

    It dates from June 2010, by the way.

    In the course of my search I found another interesting story, about fly ash in a little eastern Oklahoma town.

    Bokoshe Residents Say Senator Inhofe, Congressman Boren Flip Flopping On Fly Ash Issue
    Video included
    http://www.news9.com/global/category.asp?c=174696

    I tried to watch the video, which looks like good reporting, but it didn’t play correctly. Perhaps I don’t have the right codec.

    I’m still trying to sort out the structure of news organizations in the Sooner State. Apparently this “Oklahoma Impact Team” is a statewide resource that’s used by all TV stations.

    More later.

  31. Laurie Dougherty says:

    Joe, I love your blog. I read it all the time. I depend on it to keep up with climate change policy and energy technology. I rarely comment because my comments would usually just be along the lines of wow, that’s interesting, that’s right, thanks for letting us know about that. But I have to defend Beth Daley of the Boston Globe (author of your # 10 worst pick). She has done a terrific job of reporting on global warming in New England, including a series a few years ago on warming at the 45th parallel – showing how global warming is already affecting life as we know it. She routinely gets trashed by the most snarky and juvenile deniers and trolls.
    http://www.boston.com/news/specials/climate_change/

    As for the article about Kerry Emanuel and Richard Lindzen, as you pointed out yourself, the “cooling trend” in the headline referred to their relationship. The MIT department they are both in, Earth and Planetary Sciences, is located in the tallest building in Cambridge (there is actually a city regulation that nothing can be built taller than it). It sits just off the Charles River and is visible from many places in Cambridge and Boston. Every time I see that building, I wonder what it’s like for these two men to be at such close quarters. So I read that article in the Globe with interest and something of a guilty pleasure to have my curiosity satisfied.

    You don’t have to like this article. I agree with some of your specific criticisms. But it saddens me to see you attack Beth Daley Beth so harshly. (I saw your original analysis of this article belatedly, when it would have been pointless to comment.) Beth Daley does understand global warming and is one of the few journalists to present a clear picture of what it is, what it means now, and what it portends for the future. She deserves credit for her body of work. She gets enough hostility already from the deniers and trolls.

    [JR: I understand what you are saying, but remember that a large fraction of people don’t get beyond the headline. For them, this’ll just be one more story in the background of their minds that suggests the planet isn’t actually warming. Good reporters can write bad stories, so I will take it from you that that’s what happened in this case.]

  32. Magnus w says:

    Chris,

    The problem is that they for example use Climate gate and other things so it looks like it is his word against others… That a person like Inhofe got any credibility on the issue or get large amount of time on tv to express his wive is just strange. Media should long ago have shown that he is not trustworthy on the issue. Not giving him more airtime to spread his propaganda…

  33. Leland Palmer says:

    We might not have much control over the internet, but the airwaves are public property, and we should at least be able to rein in Fox News.

    Bringing back the fairness doctrine would be a start.

    How do we deal with a public that would rather be lied to than told the truth, though?

    I think we have to go to the source of the problem, and start nationalizing fossil fuel corporations and banks that are “too big to fail”. The paid astroturf denier network did not arise from noting- it was founded by the traditionally Rockefeller controlled ExxonMobil, and supported by a network of conservative “charitable” foundations that, among other causes, financed the impeachment effort against Bill Clinton. I refer, of course, to the Scaife, Bradley, and Koch supported foundations.

    To nationalize these “too big to fail” corporations without seeing the flight of capital into numbered foreign accounts, we need worldwide financial transparency, IMO.

    So, to fight global warming and climate propaganda, support worldwide financial transparency and nationalization? Yes, I think so.

    If the governments of the world want to fight global warming, and if they want to survive this is probably a good idea, they should start by constructing a worldwide system of financial transparency, IMO.

    Once that system is in place, the President acting in concert with other global leaders could just seize ExxonMobil, and declare that all historical profits generated by ExxonMobil are forfeit. A massive civil suit could be prosecuted against ExxonMobil and Koch, and if successful this suit could be used as a justification for the nationalization of these entities. Since JPMorgan Chase was also constructed using oil profits, this would justify seizing JPMorgan Chase, as well.

    Only by getting at the source of the propaganda funding can we stop the propaganda, IMO.

  34. MarkF says:

    fantastic post, thanks.

  35. dhogaza says:

    Sou:

    By coincidence, I’m now reading an excellent article by Justin Gillis in the New York Times. It’s better than most I’ve read recently (although it has the usual quote from Lindzen)

    Yes, but the quote is put in context by including it in a section discussing “climates science contrarians”, in which it’s pointed out that some contrarians even dismiss the basic physics of CO2 infrared absorption “even though it’s demonstrated in high school science labs” (paraphrasing). It points out that there’s a small handful of contrarian scientists, and moves on somewhat dismissively (though I wish Gillis had pointed out that Lindzen also believes that cigarette smoke is largely harmless to humans).

    I enjoyed the fact that the article calls denialists “contrarians” rather than “skeptics”. Also refreshing was the lack of reference to any ‘Honest Broker”/RPJr crap.

  36. dhogaza says:

    I also enjoyed the fact that the article (at least in the edition I read here on the west coast) was on the front page, above the fold, and then ran to over a full page total (spread over two inside the front page section) in addition the the lead on the front page.

  37. dhogaza says:

    Hmmm, Joe, maybe that article deserves its own post, might as well give them their due when they get something right, as well as deservedly exposing their idiocy when they screw stuff up.

  38. Ben Lieberman says:

    @ Laurie,

    I am also a Boston Globe reader and subscriber and I have tried to give Beth Daley the benefit of the doubt, but as I mentioned the Globe editors seem to think that a publishing a series of articles in 2007 is reason enough to abandon up-to-date detailed climate reporting.

    The Globe over the last few years has published very few articles on global warming. Many have adopted an approach which suggests false balance or have stressed the costs of clean energy. In strong message I’ve received is that the Globe will print whatever it wants and no criticism of coverage of climate or of Beth Daley’s articles is permitted.

  39. Chris Winter says:

    The Oklahoma poll asks: “Do you believe that the earth is in a period of Global Warming?”

    FWIW, the results so far:

    News9 (KWTV, Oklahoma City): Yes: 38%; No: 57%; Not sure: 5%

    Newson6 (KOTV, Tulsa): Yes: 39%; No: 56%; Not sure: 5%

    I took the polls in the order shown. (They are on separate Web sites with identical content.) I wish they had posted the raw numbers of answers, because I think my one vote skewed the second set of results. Although there are 432 comments, it’s reasonable that far fewer visitors bothered with the poll. Also, there may be something like a miniature version of the blitz that hit the Sciam poll operating.

    Comments are still open, by the way. Some of them come from “MemeMine69.” Like Chicken Man. he/she’s everywhere. However, the debate seems to have sunk to arguments over how to spell “forty” correctly. The very last comment is “Inhofe needs 2 be head of the EPA then we will get somewhere.” It’s dated July 27 and comes from GEEWIZ in Ashland, KY. There’s probably nothing to be gained by participating at this point.

  40. John Mashey says:

    re: #31
    Quite often someone other than the reporter choses the headline.
    One like tha once my company about 15% of its market cap in an hour.
    Fortunately it only lasted a few days.

    In addition, editors don’t always OK stories reporters want to do.So, let us be very careful to distinguish among the various people.

  41. dhogaza says:

    Quite often someone other than the reporter choses the headline.

    At newspapers, it’s almost *always* the case. Headlines are the responsibility of the copy editor (in the US), not the author of the article.

    Same with the length.

    Journalists are taught to front-load their writing, because editors will chop from the end to fit available space.

    And headlines are driven by available space and the importance the story is given by the editorial staff.

    And copy editors write headlines accordingly.

  42. Think Big says:

    Mulga @16

    All good nominations but you forgot to mention our glorious Australian Broadcasting Corporation.

    Who could forget the endless stream of articles from the ABC’s favourite “think-tank” the IPA. Alan Moran and Tom Switzer deserve special mention as does Jo Nova who, staggeringly, was allowed to write one of her specials on The Drum.