Paul Chesser of the American Spectator writes about Andy Revkin’s lack of coverage at the NYT blog “Dot Earth”, in Andy Did Something Good Last Night, and gives him some points for posting a rebuttal.
That’s all well and good, but consider this:
Mr. Revkin stated in an earlier blog post that:
The documents appear to have been acquired illegally and contain all manner of private information and statements that were never intended for the public eye, so they won’t be posted here.
Having worked in TV and radio newsrooms myself for 25 years, I can understand and relate to Andy’s position, to a point, but I think that point is long past now.
- Like it or not, the files are now in the public domain, they aren’t ever going back to private. They can’t be put back in the bottle now.
- It appears, due to the content, that the people’s right to know outweighs the need for privacy.
- The FOIA process appears to have been purposely circumvented in this case.
- NYT has in the past had no compunction about publishing private, or even classified government information. For example NYT published information contained in classified documents related to surveillance in the now famous story Bush Lets U.S. Spy on Callers Without Courts.
- In that NYT story it was said that:
Nearly a dozen current and former officials, who were granted anonymity because of the classified nature of the program, discussed it with reporters for The New York Times because of their concerns about the operation’s legality and oversight.
- In the US surviellance issue, appears that NYT thought the public’s right to know outweighed the need for secrecy, but that action isn’t consistent with previous reporting at NYT with far more volatile information.
- In the Case of ClimateGate, the files are not classified, the players are known and public, and due to what seems to be public “concerns about the operation’s legality and oversight” of CRU it would seem to me that the public’s right to know outweighs the FOIA limited privacy concerns, especially since it appears there may have been FOIA laws broken.
- Revkin himself appears in those CRU emails, suggesting the need for NYT reporting of the issue would be even greater to avoid the appearance of “running cover” for the scientists with whom he collaborated. Yesterday’s piece from Dr. Ray Pierrehumbert gives the appearance of “running cover”.
- Other media outlets are kicking your butt.
Here’s Paul Chesser’s piece, saying many of the same things:
By Paul Chesser on 11.24.09 @ 9:47AM
The Amazing Revkin of the New York Times, that is, who at about 5:00 yesterday posted a reader response to the whining of University of Chicago climatologist Raymond Pierrehumbert, who also contributes to the alarmist RealClimate blog. The responder is Geoff Smith, who is mentioned a few times in the Climategate emails. Smith challenges Pierrehumbert to overlook the “cyberterrorism” (Waaah!) and instead question: the deletion of emails to avoid Freedom of Information requests; the exclusion of research that CRU scientists and their colleagues disagree with; the “tricks” of playing with data to fit the scientists’ assumptions; and the desire to oust scientific journal editor who published the works of their enemies.
So, good for Andy for posting those succinct thoughts by Mr. Smith. But here are points deducted for Mr. Amazing:
1. He provides “balance” in his blog post by repeating verbatim the latest defense attempt on the scandal by the University of East Anglia. The spin includes, besides “out of context,” blah, blah:
CRU’s published research is, and has always been, fully peer-reviewed by the relevant journals, and is one strand of research underpinning the strong consensus that human activity is affecting the world’s climate in ways that are potentially dangerous. CRU is one of a number of independent centers working in this important area and reaching similar conclusions. It will continue to engage fully in reasoned debate on its findings with individuals and groups that are willing to have their research and theories subjected to scrutiny by the international scientific community.
“Peer-review” and “reasoned debate” were two issues that were proven to be disregarded by Phil Jones and his henchmen. Why does CRU want to surge even deeper into laughingstock territory?
2. Still waiting for Andy to do some of his own original reporting, for actual stories in the newspaper rather than blog posts, after he said on Friday that repercussions “continue to unfold” and “there’s much more to explore.” Does his curiosity extend only to reader comments on his own blog posts?
3. He also posted yesterday a regurgitation of the Times’ position on global warming, which is the same as the old position (“consensus!”). Perfect timing Andy!