UPDATE: Andrew Revkin responds with an update on Dot Earth, which I repeat here. He now agrees that privacy expectations were not justified in the UEA Climategate emails. Perhaps now we’ll see some discussions of them, with publications of selected Climategate emails, on Dot Earth in the future.
From the NYT Dot Earth Blog, Monday, Nov 29th, 2010:
[Nov. 29, 3:41 p.m. | Updated In the last couple of days, some conservative commentators have compared the treatment of the East Anglia climate files in this post with the dissemination of Wikileaks files by The Times and charged that a gross double standard exists.
I'll note two things about my coverage of the unauthorized distribution of the climate files:
First, while I initially did not publish the contents of the climate files and e-mails (at the request of Times lawyers, considering the uncertain provenance and authenticity of the materials at the time), I did (from the start) provide links to the caches of material set up elsewhere on the Web.
Second, in the rush on the day the files were distributed across the Web, I called them "private" when, in fact, I should have said their senders had presumed they were private. As I've said off and on since then, given that much of the research discussed in the exchanges was done using taxpayers' money, any expectation of privacy wasn't justified.]
The NYT published details in 2005 about US efforts to eavesdrop on Al Qaeda, and is publishing info from the stolen Wikileaks Iraq messages, but they they wouldn’t publish the ClimateGate emails.
Mr. Revkin, your selective bias, and the bias of your newspaper (and your Dot Earth Blog) is screaming loudly for all to hear.
From Powerline blog:
The New York Times is participating in the dissemination of the stolen State Department cables that have been made available to it in one way or another via WikiLeaks. My friend Steve Hayward recalls that only last year the New York Times ostentatiously declined to publish or post any of the Climategate e-mails because they had been illegally obtained.
Surely readers will recall Times reporter Andrew Revkin’s inspiring statement of principle:
“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.”
Interested readers may want to compare and contrast Revkin’s statement of principle with the editorial note posted by the Times on the WikiLeaks documents this afternoon. Today the Times cites the availability of the documents elsewhere and the public interest in their revelations as supporting their publication by the Times. Both factors applied in roughly equal measure to the Climategate emails.
Without belaboring the point, let us note simply that the two statements are logically irreconcilable. Perhaps something other than principle and logic were at work then, or are at work now. Given the Times’s outrageous behavior during the Bush administration, the same observation applies to the Times’s protestations of good faith.
h/t to WUWT reader “rk”