new york times

Tue, 2011-02-08 12:56Richard Littlemore
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Tim Ball Stands By His Slander

Facing a libel suit for an article slandering University of Victoria Professor Andrew Weaver as someone who “knew very little about climate change” and is therefore unfit to teach, Tim Ball has told the New York Times, “I stand by the story.”

The NYT also wrote: “The apology and retraction of the story by Canada Free Press ‘hung me out to dry,’ Dr. Ball added, saying he was in the process of hiring a lawyer to fight the lawsuit.”

Ball admits that he was incorrect in also saying that Weaver was “abandoning the sinking ship” of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (Weaver is, in fact, a lead author in the upcoming Fifth Assessment Report). But he dismisses this as “one small mistake.”

Ball’s “small mistake” may be in thinking that he can continue to say any darn thing he likes, about climate change or the people involved in legitimate research, and never have to account for its accuracy. Not for much longer ….

Tue, 2010-08-31 16:05Jim Hoggan
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On Factual Literacy and Media Responsibility In The Age Of Fox News and Rush Limbaugh

This New York Times online editorial last week by Tim Egan, “Building a Nation of Know-Nothings,” says a lot about the need for literacy, respect for facts and rational thought all being important building blocks for democracy.  

Egan notes the “astonishing level of willful ignorance” evident among the public, thanks to the lies and distortions put forward “largely by design” by Rush Limbaugh and Fox News, “aided by a press afraid to call out the primary architects of the lies.”

Egan correctly points out that this pattern is all too often seen on the subject of global warming:

“Climate-change denial is a special category all its own. Once on the fringe, dismissal of scientific consensus is now an article of faith among leading Republicans, again taking their cue from Limbaugh and Fox.” 

Read “Building a Nation of Know-Nothings” on The New York Times website. 

Wed, 2010-07-14 21:18Jim Hoggan
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IPCC Fumbles Media Relations Strategy, Must Review Basic Principles of Public Relations

Andy Revkin’s revelations over the weekend about the botched media relations strategy deployed by the head of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, Rajendra Pachauri, demonstrate that the IPCC has failed to learn from its recent missteps in managing public communications.

If you don’t have anything to hide, don’t act as if you do.

Being thrust into the media spotlight and subjected to sudden intense scrutiny can rattle any organization, and the IPCC is hardly the first institution to be accused of resorting to a “bunker mentality” and evading media inquiries. But, as Revkin points out correctly, sheltering yourself from the press is bound to backfire, creating more skepticism about your activities when you should really focus on explaining your work more clearly and operating with greater transparency.

For an organization like the IPCC - which has been accused of holding information too closely to its chest - to send an open letter advising its lead authors and editors to “keep a distance from the media” demonstrates PR mismanagement at its worst. It reinforces the perception that IPCC leadership doesn’t really know what it is doing.

That’s unfortunate because the IPCC has reportedly been spending a lot of time internally reviewing its operations to increase transparency. But this memo doesn’t help demonstrate that fact, by a long shot.

Mon, 2010-04-19 12:45Richard Littlemore
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Tea Party Supporters Wealthier, More Educated - Still Bitter

Tea Party supporters are wealthier and more educated than average Americans, and they are more likely than the average to declare that their personal financial situation is fairly good or very good, according to a new poll by the New York Times and CBS News. They also are inclined to approve of Medicare and Social Security. Yet they remain mad as hell and determined to blame President Barack Obama for all that irks them about America.

There is a creepy consistency to these polls that suggest the real problem with the political conversation in America is not rooted in economic malaise. Rather, it rests at the feet of a fractured and biased media.

That, at least, is the only way I can explain why people who are better off and, on balance, satisfied with the country’s most controversial forays into “socialism,” remain outraged at the performance of their government and determined to blame all of its failings on a guy who took office just weeks before Tea Party protests began - at which time when the wars were already started and the economy was already on its face.

Mon, 2009-09-28 16:29Richard Littlemore
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NYT's Krugman: Slamming the Fantasy World of Glenn Beck

For others who missed Paul Krugman column from last Thursday’s New York Times, it’s worth a look. Krugman nails the Fox fantasist Glenn Beck for quoting reports that he can’t produce. Krugman says:

“Thus, last week Glenn Beck — who seems to be challenging Rush Limbaugh for the role of de facto leader of the G.O.P. — informed his audience of a “buried” Obama administration study showing that Waxman-Markey would actually cost the average family $1,787 per year. Needless to say, no such study exists.”

You really have to wonder who’s inspiring Beck to make this stuff up.

Fri, 2009-09-04 11:26Jim Hoggan
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American Petroleum Institute Astroturf campaign: When Does "Spin" Become a Lie?

The New York Times added its voice today to those condemning the American Petroleum Institute’s Astroturf campaign to set up phony “citizen” protests that are actually populated by paid energy industry employees.

Beyond the fundamental duplicity of API’s actions, the NYT complains in its editorial that it finds some elements of the industry campaign “particularly annoying.” For example, API says the Waxman-Markey climate legislation will result in $4-a-gallon gasoline, while two very reputable analyses have said the bill will add, at most, 20 cents a gallon.

In a world polluted by some of the worst kind of public relations spin, people have grown too ready to accept this kind of dramatic overstatement as “part of the game.” Even the NYT finds this exaggeration merely “annoying,” even if particularly so.

We should be outraged. API is offering no rationale or justification for its overheated rhetoric. It has been challenged on this point and failed to come up with an explanation or analysis that support the $4 claim. And yet its campaigners keep saying that which is insupportable by evidence.

What do you call that - usually?

Tue, 2008-11-11 09:46Emily Murgatroyd
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Al Gore: Environmental Solutions Equal Economic Solutions

When economy and environment are pitted against each other (a la Stephen Harper) we are manipulated into thinking that we must sacrifice one in order to achieve success with the other. In fact, our economies depend on the environment – without the resources that this earth provides we wouldn’t have an economy to operate and when those resources start to run out, cause serious security issues and create major environmental damage, then we are in grave danger of losing more than just our pay cheques.

Thu, 2008-06-05 13:07Mitchell Anderson
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Whitehouse Slammed in New York Times Editorial

The Bush administration’s efforts to manipulate climate science took another hit this week. The New York Times ran a editorial highlighting the damning report just issued by The Inspector General of NASA showing that political appointees from the Whitehouse were apparently massaging the messaging around climate science.

The New York Times was not amused: “The Bush administration has worked overtime to manipulate or conceal scientific evidence — and muzzled at least one prominent scientist — to justify its failure to address climate change.”
Tue, 2008-05-06 11:43Kevin Grandia
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1956 New York Times Article Warned of Warmer Climate

Seems that the idea that human activity is causing climate isn't new at all. The headline in the October 28, 1956 edition of the New York Times warns:

Thu, 2008-04-10 09:47Bill Miller
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World Bank group loans India $450 million for massive coal-power project

A press release says funding the huge Tata Power project will help to expand electricity use across five states in western and northern India. This is in keeping with the “higher energy use” sought under “the development goals of the Bank Group and our client countries.”

While the release did say the bank group will try “to balance these energy needs with concerns about climate change,” it also cautioned that “fossil fuels are likely to remain a key contributor to the world’s electricity needs.”

Uh-oh!

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