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WaPost’s Continuing Contempt for Its Readers

By Matthew Yglesias  

"WaPost’s Continuing Contempt for Its Readers"

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George Will writes:

The “difficulty” — the “intricate challenge,” the Times says — is “building momentum” for carbon reduction “when global temperatures have been relatively stable for a decade and may even drop in the next few years.” That was in the Times’s first paragraph.

He manages, however, to not tell us what the third paragraph of the Times story says:

Scientists say the pattern of the last decade — after a precipitous rise in average global temperatures in the 1990s — is a result of cyclical variations in ocean conditions and has no bearing on the long-term warming effects of greenhouse gases building up in the atmosphere.

We’re long past the point at which it makes sense to complain about George Will. But one is once again left with the profound crisis facing the employees of the Washington Post. Simply put, they all work for an institution that seems utterly indifferent to whether the people who write for the paper are informing the readers or deliberately trying to mislead them. That hurts their credibility, each and every one of them. It also means that whenever any of them do good work, they raise the prestige and credibility of an organization that dedicates a substantial quality of valuable real estate to deliberate efforts to mislead the public about the single most important issue of our time. It’s a very serious problem.

The fourth graf of the Times story, also not mentioned by Will, says:

But trying to communicate such scientific nuances to the public — and to policy makers — can be frustrating, they say.

My guess is that it would be a lot less frustrating if major newspapers tried to convey accurate information rather than, Post-style, deliberately trying to portray the data in a misleading manner.

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