Here’s a recent story from the Associated Press:
“E-mails stolen from climate scientists show they stonewalled skeptics and discussed hiding data — but the messages don’t support claims that the science of global warming was faked, according to an exhaustive review by The Associated Press.”
Look in the mirror, fools. It’s right there in the CRU emails:
Kevin, Gavin, Mike,
It’s Seth again. Attached is a paper in JGR today that
Marc Morano is hyping wildly. It’s in a legit journal. Whatchya think?
Associated Press Science Writer
The Associated Press, 1100 13th St. NW, Suite 700,
Now, I’m going to bring to your attention, this entry from THE ASSOCIATED PRESS STATEMENT OF NEWS VALUES AND PRINCIPLES
For more than a century and a half, men and women of The Associated Press have had the privilege of bringing truth to the world. They have gone to great lengths, overcome great obstacles – and, too often, made great and horrific sacrifices – to ensure that the news was reported quickly, accurately and honestly. Our efforts have been rewarded with trust: More people in more places get their news from the AP than from any other source.In the 21st century, that news is transmitted in more ways than ever before – in print, on the air and on the Web, with words, images, graphics, sounds and video. But always and in all media, we insist on the highest standards of integrity and ethical behavior when we gather and deliver the news.
That means we abhor inaccuracies, carelessness, bias or distortions. It means we will not knowingly introduce false information into material intended for publication or broadcast; nor will we alter photo or image content. Quotations must be accurate, and precise.
It means we always strive to identify all the sources of our information, shielding them with anonymity only when they insist upon it and when they provide vital information – not opinion or speculation; when there is no other way to obtain that information; and when we know the source is knowledgeable and reliable.
It means we don’t plagiarize.
It means we avoid behavior or activities that create a conflict of interest and compromise our ability to report the news fairly and accurately, uninfluenced by any person or action.
It means we don’t misidentify or misrepresent ourselves to get a story. When we seek an interview, we identify ourselves as AP journalists.
It means we don’t pay newsmakers for interviews, to take their photographs or to film or record them.
It means we must be fair. Whenever we portray someone in a negative light, we must make a real effort to obtain a response from that person. When mistakes are made, they must be corrected – fully, quickly and ungrudgingly.
And ultimately, it means it is the responsibility of every one of us to ensure that these standards are upheld. Any time a question is raised about any aspect of our work, it should be taken seriously.
“I have no thought of saying The Associated Press is perfect. The frailties of human nature attach to it,” wrote Melville Stone, the great general manager of the AP. But he went on to say that “the thing it is striving for is a truthful, unbiased report of the world’s happenings … ethical in the highest degree.”
He wrote those words in 1914. They are true today.
CONFLICTS OF INTEREST
The AP respects and encourages the rights of its employees to participate actively in civic, charitable, religious, public, social or residential organizations.
However, AP employees must avoid behavior or activities – political, social or financial – that create a conflict of interest or compromise our ability to report the news fairly and accurately, uninfluenced by any person or action. Nothing in this policy is intended to abridge any rights provided by the National Labor Relations Act.
Here is a sampler of AP practices on questions involving possible conflict of interest. It is not all-inclusive; if you are unsure whether an activity may constitute a conflict or the appearance of a conflict, consult your manager at the onset.
EXPRESSIONS OF OPINION:
Anyone who works for the AP must be mindful that opinions they express may damage the AP’s reputation as an unbiased source of news. They must refrain from declaring their views on contentious public issues in any public forum, whether in Web logs, chat rooms, letters to the editor, petitions, bumper stickers or lapel buttons, and must not take part in demonstrations in support of causes or movements.
When a reporter get’s too cozy with sources, calling them by their first names, with no hint of professional formality, it raises questions of integrity.
When a reporter is part of an email thread where one of the respondents says:
On Jul 23, 2009, at 9:05 PM, Jim Salinger wrote:
Thanks for the pro-activeness. Is there an opportunity to write a
letter to JGR pointing out the junk science in this??….if
it is not rebutted, then all sceptics will use this to justify their
It gives the appearance that he is not interested in reporting the other side of the story, especially when he is the instigator of the email thread by saying:
Marc Morano is hyping wildly. It’s in a legit journal. Whatchya think?
So, how then would the AP trust Seth Borenstein to do an “exhaustive inquiry” when he is part of the issue?
Perhaps further FOIA documents will tell us just how cozy Mr. Borenstein is with the people he reports on.
Now consider what other members of the media people write about him. From the Tacoma News-Tribune
Associated Press reporter Seth Borenstein has a terrible reputation as a runaway alarmist. Even global warming enthusiasts and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change are embarrassed by his over-the-top prognostications of doom and selective use of data to support his fading dream that mankind can actually control climate.
When other reporters people can see the bias, AP, you have a problem.
A few days later, spurred on by Borenstein’s initial letter, we see this one:
From: Kevin Trenberth <firstname.lastname@example.org>
To: Michael Mann <email@example.com>
Subject: Re: ENSO blamed over warming – paper in JGR
Date: Wed, 29 Jul 2009 10:23:09 -0600
Cc: Grant Foster <firstname.lastname@example.org>, email@example.com, “J. Salinger” <firstname.lastname@example.org>, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, Gavin Schmidt <email@example.com>, James Annan <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Wow this is a nice analysis by Grant et al. What we should do is turn this into a learning
experience for everyone: there is often misuse of filtering. Obviously the editor and
reviewers need to to also be taken to task here. I agree with Mike Mann that a couple of
other key points deserve to be made wrt this paper. Making sure that the important
relationships and role of ENSO on interannual variability of global temperatures should
also be pointed out with some select references (as in recent emails and the refs
therein). In terms of the paper, I recommend consolidating the figures to keep them fewer
in number if this is a comment: combine Figs 3 with 4 , and 6 with 7. Make sure the plots
of spectra have period prominently displayed as well as frequency and maybe even highlight
with stipple some bands like >10 years. Glad to sign on: I would need an acknowledgment
that NCAR is sponsored by NSF.
More instances of scientists acting like bullies to pressure editors and reviewers to accept the view they hold dear. Notice blogger “Tamino” aka Grant Foster is part of the gang.
Does Seth Borenstein ever report anything about undue pressure on journals exercised by his circle of climate coziness? No.
But to have Mr. Borenstein report upon the investigation of the leaked East Anglia emails, when he himself is part of the emails, is certainly a conflict of interest.
In that story today about the investigation, written in part by Borenstein it says:
The archive also includes a request from an AP reporter, one of the writers of this story, for reaction to a study, a standard step for journalists seeking quotes for their stories.
When the AP allows reporters to report on stories they are involved in, and for them to be able to dance around their own involvement in the same story, it clearly becomes a conflict of interest.
It is, in my opinion, time for AP to remove Seth Borenstein as “science reporter”. I believe he can no longer be trusted to report climate science without bias, due to this clear conflict of interest.
The Associated Press
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New York, NY 10001
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NOTE: I misidentified the article in Tacoma News Tribune as being from the reporter, when it was a letter reaction. In the right side is a “Share this story” bar, which aided in my misidentification. I regret the error. Thankfully, our large group of reviewers here caught this error on my part and it is corrected in the story above. – Anthony
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