Another American media failure
posted at 8:47 am on March 2, 2010 by Ed Morrissey
In the years after the the 2003 invasion of Iraq and the subsequent failure to find WMD, the American media flagellated itself publicly over its lack of skepticism of Bush administration cassus belli claims. We endured reams of essays about the supine nature of the corporate-owned media, the supposed disinformation campaign of the White House, the “lies” on WMD claims (that had also been made by Democrats in Congress from 1998 until the invasion), and so on. To this day, the American media still considers their self-described blind acceptance of claims about intelligence without sufficient investigation as an indictment on their industry — and a consequence of the Internet-driven changes to the media market.
After wearing sackcloth and ashes for so long, one might believe that the American national media would leap at the chance to show its newfound mission of skepticism and challenge to authority. Unfortunately, US journalists have missed a grand opportunity to demonstrate that it learned a lesson about swallowing a story from the government without question, if indeed that is what happened in 2002 on Iraq. We know this because their colleagues across the pond in the United Kingdom have not missed the chance to speak a little truth to power, both in their own government and to multilateral organizations that issued faulty analyses, false data, bad research, and hysterical demands for action.
Do I refer to our military efforts in Afghanistan? In Pakistan? Fiscal policy among the G-20? No. The Australian and British press have eaten the American media’s lunch on the collapse of credibility at the IPCC and in the anthropogenic global-warming (AGW) movement. In the past four months, media outlets like the Times of London, the Telegraph, the Australian Herald-Sun, and even the Left-leaning paper The Guardian have broken important stories (along with bloggers) exposing the fraud, mismanagement, and unscientific behavior of the core group of AGW advocates, such as:
- University of East Anglia e-mails that exposed data destruction, attempts to hide contradictory data, and conspiracies to sabotage the work of skeptical scientists
- The East Anglia CRU threw out their raw data, undermining any effort to check their work
- NOAA/GHCN “homogenization” falsified climate declines into increases
- East Anglia CRU’s below-standard computer modeling
- No rise in atmospheric carbon fraction over the last 150 years: University of Bristol
- IPCC withdraws claim that AGW will wipe out Himalayan glaciers by 2035
- IPCC chief Rajendra Pachauri knew Himalayan claim was bogus for months before exposure
- Amazonian rainforest conclusions not based on scientific research but on advocacy group claims
- Mountain glacier claims based on unsubstantiated student theses and anecdotes from climber magazine
- Search of IPCC report footnotes exposes ten more student dissertations presented as peer-reviewed research
- Medieval Warming Period temperatures may have been global, undermining entire AGW case
- Measurements used for AGW case were influenced by urbanization, poor location, bad data sets
- African-crop claims exposed as false
- IPCC researchers excluded Southern Hemisphere data to exaggerate effects of warming on hurricanes
- Hurricane claims further exposed as false by actual peer-reviewed research — including by some AGW researchers
- Major scientific group concludes IPCC-linked researchers “complicit in the alleged scientific malpractices“
None of these — none — were exposed by a major American media outlet. The efforts of the American press, with a couple of rare exceptions such as the Washington Times and the Wall Street Journal, have mainly been to play down the significance of every revelation and to emphasize their view of scientific AGW “consensus.” When the Washington Post finally got around to reporting on the East Anglia scandal, it provided only a straightforward but superficial recounting of the journalism done in the UK and Australia. The New York Times didn’t even bother to do that much, saying that the collapse of the basis of Obama administration policy didn’t amount to a “three-alarm story.”
To this day, the American media has had almost nothing to add to the growing list of exposés accomplished by their Anglospheric cousins. Bear in mind that our current government plans an unprecedented intrusion into the energy sector, entirely on the basis of the IPCC report that has been systematically dismantled by bastions of journalistic accomplishment like the Times of London, who got many of the above scoops. Such a policy would give the federal government vast power over the economy and allow it to accrue massive amounts of fees and taxes, while dictating the rationing of both retail energy use and the means of producing it.
With all of that at stake, shouldn’t the American media have deployed its storied skepticism to some use on the AGW movement and the IPCC? After all, it was only a few years ago — after the invasion over which the media wailed and self-criticized its credulousness — that we discovered that the UN had conducted the largest fraud in human history, the Oil-for-Food program that put billions of dollars into the pockets of Saddam Hussein while impoverishing the Iraqis the program was designed to protect. Shouldn’t the American media have been even more skeptical, given the track record of accountability at Turtle Bay over the last decade?
Indeed it should — and indeed it didn’t, and still hasn’t. Curiously, the American media has been almost entirely AWOL on the collapse of the IPCC and anthropogenic global-warming hysteria as its intelligence has been proven not just wrong, as the WMD intel from multiple Western nations was in Iraq, but blatantly fraudulent. It has been exposed as mainly comprised of bad anecdotal recording, biased manipulations of data, and collations of hysterical claims by environmental extremists.
Forget learning “the lessons of Iraq.” When will the American media take a cue from its colleagues in Britain and Australia and start learning the lessons of the IPCC and of Oil-for-Food?