Anthony Watts:

From Harold Ambler at Talking About the Weather

Originally posted on Talking About the Weather:

Damaging tornadoes? Yes. Overwrought headline? Absolutely.

I would say that The New York Times has jumped the shark, but you have to separate from the shark first in order to jump it. The Times has been grasping the shark in a death-embrace for years now, when it comes to both weather and climate journalism.

I can barely stand to report how bad it has gotten, but will do my best. Let’s start with the Times‘ headline: “Storm System Crushes Midwestern Towns.” This plays on the pervasive sense, for which the Times itself is largely responsible, that weather and climate have gone to Hell. What were headlines like for weather stories at the Times before the advent of “climate change”?

Here’s one: “TORNADO DEATH LOSS 350 IN EIGHT STATES.” The year was 1908. Today, which would normally be March 1 but this year happens to be February 29, tornadoes were spawned by early-spring storms cutting…

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32 thoughts on “

  1. I understand the New York TImes is $1 Billion in debt. That is the best measure of their “accuracy” in reporting I can think of.

  2. “Normal” does not sell newspapers. “Good” news does not sell newspapers. Dramatic headlines sell newspapers; always have, always will. Nothing remarkable here really.

  3. Interesting that the ‘likes’ on the comments are about 90% in favour of the anti-AGW comments.

  4. Readers must be leaving in droves if the reporting is as bad as that headline. Alarmism must be based on some sort of truth to be read, impossible stories get laughs and reader loss. I am surprised that the debt is only $1B.

  5. NYT is not alone in this regard – here’s two of their headlines on monsoonal weather:

    Monsoon Rains Continue in Flood-Ravaged Pakistan
    India: Monsoon Causes Deaths and Destruction

    meanwhile, the people living in the Asian monsoonal region are very happily celebrating at Monsoon Festivals.

    it’s like weathermen and women on TV channels that promote CAGW, talking about rainy days as if they are somehow a bad thing which will soon be over and the sun will shine and the world will be fine.

  6. RockyRoad says:
    February 29, 2012 at 10:59 pm
    “I understand the New York TImes is $1 Billion in debt. That is the best measure of their “accuracy” in reporting I can think of.”

    But they also own assets that they can still sell.

    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-01-27/new-york-times-co-faces-leadership-vacuum.html

    I’d just go with the stock market cap of about a billion. They’re not underwater yet. Estimated date of extinction: 2036, Christmas, at current sinking rate.

  7. Oh, and every time I absolutely want to say this but I always forget.

    Children won’t know what the New York Times is.

  8. I read in “Unheralded Victory” by Mark Woodruff that , during the Vietnam War , the New York Times was so blatantly biased and pro-Hanoi that it was refered to by servicemen as “The New Hanoi Times” , so it seems they continue in Their self appointed role as part of the “Dich Van” program against the West , but having run out of communist and socialist countries to support , they`ve had to settle for pandering to the watermelons instead .

  9. As I was thinking about reasons that make so many people stick to the “party line” despite all the facts to the contrary staring them in the face, I noticed the following paragraph from The Wall Street Journal (February 25-26, 2012). It is from the review by Olivia Judson of the new book, Wired for Culture, by Mark Pagel. This book is about how cultural influences changed our genetic makeup during the last few thousand years. Olivia Judson writes:

    The obvious conclusions from Mr. Pagel’s book are not altogether flattering. Being good at living in culture does not, first and foremost, mean having a brain that creates and invents; it means having a brain that is good at copying what others do. It does not mean having a brain that sees the world clearly or that makes you an upstanding individual; it means having a brain that allows you to look out for your own interests while ingratiating yourself with the people around you. In sum, it seems that humans have evolved into a when-in-Rome-do-as-the-Romans-do kind of animal that is exquisitely sensitive to peer pressure and social norms — whether consciously or not — and tends to conform to what it sees.

    This would explain the behavior of not-so-upstanding journalists out there who disregard all the facts and arguments contradicting what the perceived “authority” (their bosses, people around them, their social milieu) tells them about “global warming” and “climate change.”

    This would explain, why scientists behave, as Fred Hoyle used to say, like a pack of geese following a leader when it comes to the Big Bang theory — despite the fact that there are dozens of pairs of galaxies connected by spiral arms and gas clouds, which show absolutely different “red shifts.”

    This would explain, why even here, on WUWT, many people calling themselves “skeptics” readily dismiss unacceptable behavior of Willis Eschenbach, who would be put out of doors if he would dare to say such things in their homes. They sincerely follow their weather-vane instinct that is telling them: WUWT is a successful blog; Willis is allowed to do here whatever he wants = therefore, Willis is a favorite with the local authority = therefore, we must ingratiate ourselves with Willis, even if he says most outrageous things (for example, that quotation marks can be used only for exact quotes — irony and sarcasm don’t apply) = we must persecute and ridicule whoever dares to criticize Willis.

    In an upstanding man who sees the world clearly, this illogical adulation and ingratiation invokes a sad feeling of slight nausea. Are we so different that a non-conformist must be persecuted — always, everywhere?

  10. Human tragedy sells papers, whether due to tornadeos, hurricanes, civil wars, plain old wars, famine, drought etc, etc. It was a pretty impressive system, as long as it didn’t read “Global Warming induced tornados kill dozens” I don’t see any harm. I mean, it DID Tear Across the Midwest.

  11. @Pull: When the overarching narrative cathedral is so immense, and so ornate, each new brick makes it that much more so.

  12. Alexander Feht says:
    March 1, 2012 at 4:23 am

    This would explain, why even here, on WUWT, many people calling themselves “skeptics” readily dismiss unacceptable behavior of Willis Eschenbach, who would be put out of doors if he would dare to say such things in their homes. . .

    For heavens sake, Alexander Feht, give your argument with Willis a rest! Anthony likes Willis, and so do many of us readers, because he’s a stimulating thinker and writer, whatever his rhetorical excesses. It has nothing to do with the human tendency to group-think that you describe. And it is totally off-topic in this thread.

    I was happy to see you plug Halton Arp’s heretical observations about galactic redshifts, and like you, I adore Jack Vance (as you have mentioned on other threads), another writer who travels his own road and doesn’t suffer fools gladly. So stop playing one, stick to the subject, and forget about Willis. You and he have one thing in common, for sure: a stubborn refusal to let go.

    /Mr Lynn

  13. Point of order – Mr. Ambler’s blog is called Talking about the Weather, not Thinking about the Weather.

  14. Andy Revkin has sorely disappointed me, groveling for the status of ‘opinionator’ rather than that of a mere reporter of facts.
    ===================

  15. Mr Lynn says:
    March 1, 2012 at 5:38 am

    For heavens sake, Alexander Feht, give your argument with Willis a rest! Anthony likes Willis, and so do many of us readers, because he’s a stimulating thinker and writer, whatever his rhetorical excesses.

    Willis Eschenbach will have to give up his “rhetorical excesses.” “Anthony likes Willis” is exactly a group-think argument, kowtowing to the authority.

    You can like Willis to your heart’s content. I don’t like Willis, and there is no way his personal attacks would remain unpunished.

    Please, don’t waste your time trying to convince me otherwise.

    [REPLY: Alexander, the public brawling with Willis will stop. If you have an issue, contact Anthony directly using the contact option in the about tab under the banner. Enough is enough. -REP]

  16. FWIW, the reporter on that story, AG Sulzberger, is the son of the paper’s publisher, Arthur Sulzberger, who was primarily responsible for taking the once respectable NYT and sending it into the ditch (on the left side of the road of course).

  17. Print news media has been dead for a number of years now. just that the likes of the Times and their ilk have not noticed or are blindly ignoring the stink.

    I love to sit down with a newspaper in the morning as many of my generation and those before me did but the fact remains that there simply is no need for a paper on paper any more as technology has left it behind.
    Nobody wants to read yesterdays news today now that they have a choice not to.

    This is regardless of whatever partisan nonsense it prints ( and I include all of the political spectrum in that )

  18. Putting T&A on page 3 of the NYT would make it a less boring and more serious paper than it is now. It would delay the day it goes tango uniform.

  19. I’ve never understood why so many people trust and follow the NYTimes. Completely aside from questions of ideology, it’s just badly written and badly edited. More typos, more clumsy writing, and more bad logic than any small-city newspaper I’ve ever read.

  20. Will someone who still reads the NYT please let me know when they attack the environmental record of CarlosSlim’s companies in Mexico.

  21. Negative PDO means more twisters, this is a long established fact. La Nina has the same effect but less pervasively. When there is a La Nina during negative phase PDO, Katie bar the door. 1974 is the year to beat. So far …

  22. Future NYT headline:

    BANKRUPT! NYT CLOSING TOMORROW!
    Women and minorities hit hardest

  23. Desperation with a capital ‘D’! That will teach them to aid and abet in the genocide goyim. I am blogger, her me roar.

  24. Why pay MSM for their lies and deception when you can find facts and the truth on the Web for free?

  25. Slabadang says: March 1, 2012 at 6:28 pm

    Why pay MSM for their lies and deception when you can find facts and the truth on the Web for free?

    One must be very discerning at all times! I can find just as many lies and deceptions on the internet than I can find in the MSM (and maybe more). It takes diligence to find truth anywhere, particularly in forums where all speech is allowed and tolerated.

    Also, the time and effort I must invest to evaluate the validity of internet “truths” certainly makes the net anything but free. Not that I didn’t have the same issue with the MSM.

  26. There was a report of a study of newspaper story accuracy, that I heard just today while driving to LA. Most likely it was on KFI-640 AM

    The study reported that last year, the New York Times issued corrections to errors in stories they had printed, a grand total of 14,000 times for the year. That is what the NYT would admit to.

    A longer term study showed that they printed errors in at least 30% of ALL of the stories they printed. Corrections were printed for only 2% of all errors.

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