Does CNN's Miles O'Brien cherrypick poll data? Apparently so.
I thought Newsbusters readers might be interested in an early peek at this forthcoming piece by David Ridenour of the National Center for Public Policy Research (full disclosure: I work there and I'm married to him) in which O'Brien is shown doing just that in the cause of smearing global warming so-called "skeptics" and the conservative Heartland Institute.
CNN's Miles O'Brien recently asserted that the Heartland Institute "desperately wants us to believe" there's a conspiracy to distort information about global warming.
[Georgia's] drought was a natural event transformed into a natural disaster by human folly. And while it's still hard to say whether global warming caused any particular drought or flood or fire, it's going to cause more of all of them.
In Africa, drought continues for the sixth consecutive year, adding terribly to the toll of famine victims... Climatological Cassandras are becoming increasingly apprehensive, for the weather aberrations they are studying may be the harbinger of another ice age.
The story, and a related post on the Reuters blog, implied that a noteworthy number of so-called global warming skeptics had been fooled by a fake "study" purporting disprove the manmade global warming theory.
A hoax scientific study pointing to ocean bacteria as the overwhelming cause of global warming fooled some skeptics on Thursday who doubt growing evidence that human activities are to blame.
Laden with scientific jargon and published online in the previously unknown "Journal of Geoclimatic Studies" based in Japan, the report suggested the findings could be "the death of manmade global warming theory."
The Center for American Progress's Think Progress blog attacked a Noel Sheppard post on NewsBusters and a handful of other conservative blogs today. Their crime? Citing climate change comments uttered by a weatherman.
Think Progress said:
The conservative blogosphere is pushing Coleman's junk science today. Matt Drudge links to NewsBusters' "marvelous" take on Coleman this morning. Red State [sic], Qando [sic], Sister Toldjah, and the Free Republic also join in by approvingly linking to Coleman's piece.
The right wing should check Coleman's credentials before touting his "scientific" work. As Coleman admits, his "expertise" is in weather - not climate change science. In fact, he "has been a TV weatherman since he was a freshman in college in 1953."
Think Progress doesn't believe a mere "weatherman" should speak his mind on climate, but...
When Rudy Giuliani said the survival rate for prostate cancer is 82 percent in the U.S. but only 44 percent in Britain, which has socialized medicine, you'd think a typical American response would be sympathy for the Britons, and the logical British response, outrage at its government.
You'd think wrong. The U.S. press corps devoted considerable energy -- and in some quarters, heated emotion -- to knocking down Giuliani's statistic, even when it had to twist logic like pretzels to do so. Meanwhile, the only outrage detected in Britain was against Giuliani -- for mentioning it.
Yet Giuliani's point, which is that socialized medicine systems fare badly compared to our own, remains valid.
The pro-socialized medicine lobbyists like to circulate U.S. health care system horror stories, such as this one they are circulating on email lists today (and which Daily Kos editorialized about here) about a man who allegedly murdered his wife, supposedly because he couldn't afford her medical bills.
Based on the content of the piece, it might better have been titled, "Assiduous Environmentalist Lobbying Draws a Mere Handful of Evangelicals into Environmentalist Fold," but that doesn't have the pro-environmentalist cheerleading quality the Post goes for in these pieces.
Presumably lacking statistical evidence of mass conversions, Eilperin uses argument-by-anecdote to imply that a significant number of Christian evangelicals are converting into anti-global warming activists:
Kudos to Marc Morano of the Senate's Environment and Public Works Minority Staff (and former staffer for Rush Limbaugh) for surrendering several hours of his life in the cause of debunking an incredibly, almost jaw-droppingly bad article, "Global-Warming Deniers: A Well-Funded Machine" (by Sharon Begley with Eve Conant, Sam Stein, Eleanor Clift and Matthew Philips) in the August 13 Newsweek.
I read the Newsweek article after having been alerted to it by Marc, and my thoughts mirrored some of his:
CBS News, via its "Public Eye" blog, has responded to the National Center for Public Policy Research's critique (covered here yesterday in Newsbusters) of its 60 Minutes show Sunday.
In a nutshell, The National Center's David Hogberg had complained that a recent "60 Minutes" broadcast relied upon unrepresentative, artifically-high data to determine the price seniors are paying for drugs under Medicare. Second, David said "60 Minutes" falsely claimed the Veterans Administration derives its prices by negotiation with drug companies, not telling viewers the VA uses strict price controls.
Viewers were expected to conclude that VA-like negotiations by Medicare would result in lower drug prices for Medicare recipients. The critical phrase "price controls" never came up.
The National Center for Public Policy Research's health care senior policy analyst, David Hogberg, contacted
the CBS television show "60 Minutes" five times last week -- by telephone, fax and e-mail -- to warn the show's producers that a report by the leftie big-government health care lobby group Families USA, which "60 Minutes" planned to highlight in Sunday's show, rested on faulty data.
The Families USA report made certain claims in support of calls that Medicare be permitted to "negotiate (read: dictate) drug prices to drug companies. An analysis David completed for the National Center in January, and which he made available to "60 Minutes," called the Families USA study "nonsense."
As David explained in a National Center press release today:
The Los Angeles Times and Harper's have a bit of egg on their faces.
The Los Angeles Times ran an op-ed by Kitty Kelley last week claiming that no one in George W. Bush's extended family -- daughters, nieces or nephews -- has served in the military since his father's service in World War II.
The Bush family's supposed lack of military service is the entire focus of the op-ed.
Says Kelley: "The president tells us Iraq is a 'noble' war, but his wife, his children and his nieces and nephews are not listening. None has enlisted in the armed services, and none seems to be paying attention to the sacrifices of military families."
She also says: "The presidential nieces and nephews also have missed the memo on setting a good public example."
Merrill Goozner at the leftie Center for Science in the Public Interest (as opposed to the Center for Objective Science, presumably) went to the equally-leftie Guardian in Britain to argue in favor of expanding the insolvent U.S. Medicare system to cover uninsured people.
Goozner's column focused on 12-year-old Deamonte Driver of Prince George's County, MD, who died as a result of an untreated tooth infection. The left has been using Driver's death, not terribly convincingly (given the facts of the case), as an argument-by-acecdote in favor of socialized medicine.
I won't let the week end without a fisking of the Washington Post's silly global warming op-ed Monday by in-house writer Sebastian Mallaby.
Mallaby says: "While the White House was sorting out its message, the rest of Washington was busy. Over at the Reagan building, a conference on carbon trading sold 600 tickets at $595 a pop and turned away 150 executives hungry to study the intricacies of permit allocation."
Response: Hungry to study the green -- or to reap the green? People who understand the global warming debate more than superficially have long known there is a constituency among profit-seekers to impose cap and trade. There is money to be made, even though cap and trade would hurt the economy, and especially harm low-income individuals and families and small businesses operating at the margin. There's a reason Enron pushed so hard for Kyoto and other limits on carbon -- that reason is money. We now speak of Enron's green-fingered successors.
The National Center for Public Policy Research's health policy analyst, David Hogberg, is impressed by Paul Krugman -- by Krugman's mastery of spin, that is.
Here's David's look at the way Krugman is covering some of President Bush's recent statements on health care reform:
I have to admire Paul Krugman's ability to deceive with spin. He is a master at it. This passage from his last column is a quintessential example:
Mr. Bush is also proposing a tax increase ... on workers who, he thinks, have too much health insurance. The tax code, he said, "unwisely encourages workers to choose overly expensive, gold-plated plans. The result is that insurance premiums rise, and many Americans cannot afford the coverage they need."
In a very poorly written article in the Washington Post, reporter Christopher Lee seems to find it remarkable that a lot of the health insurance groups that opposed Hillary Clinton-Care back in the early 1990s are now on board with a number of the new efforts at health insurance reform (and I use that last term loosely).
The Laurie David/Al Gore/Keith Olbermann/Washington Post v. National Science Teachers Association controversy continues, with Science magazine weighing in with facts that don't look so good for Laurie David. (Watch for the drive by media to lose interest in this story any minute now.)
Here's the latest (earlier posts about aspects of this are here, here and here):
According to Science magazine, Laurie David now admits the National Science Teachers Association offered the Gore Gang the opportunity to mail the DVD to NSTA members. What David is mad about is 1) the NSTA didn't offer to provide a letter endorsing the movie (NTSA, according to Science, says it has had a policy since 2001 "prohibiting endorsements of any product or message by an outside organization"), and 2) the NSTA didn't offer to pay the costs for mailing 50,000 DVDs (somewhat understandably, in my view, since it wasn't their idea to mail it in the first place) of David's and Gore's movie.
The National Science Teachers Association has now officially responded to Laurie David's Washington Post op-ed (see Noel Sheppard's Newsbusters post on the op-ed here) essentially accusing the group of being captive to corporate interests when it declined a gift of 50,000 "An Inconvenient Truth" DVDs for distribution to classrooms.
It doesn't say so, but presumably the NSTA is also responding to MSNBC anchor Keith Olbermann's Monday evening accusation that the NSTA president, Linda Froschauer, is "available at the right price," a statement made by Olbermann in a commentary that appears to have been based on the Laurie David Washington Post op-ed.
With the final line "Linda Froschauer, president of the National Science Teachers Association, available at the right price," Keith Olbermann of MSNBC Monday named Froschauer his "Worst Person in the World."
How did Ms. Froschauer get labeled a policy prostitute on MSNBC? The organization she heads declined a donation of 50,000 DVD copies of Al Gore's documentary-editorial "An Inconvenient Truth."
Yep. Apparently that movie is so good, people have to be paid to turn down 50,000 copies of it.
As movie producer Laurie David said in an indignant op-ed in the Washington Post (one of four pro-global warming theory articles the Post ran over the last two-day weekend, by my count), the movie's producers donated the 50,000 DVDs "for educators to use in their classrooms."
From page one of today's Washington Post, an article by Steven Mufson and Juliet Eilperin that begins with a reference to "the scientific consensus about climate change" as if the "consensus" were an established fact:
While the political debate over global warming continues, top executives at many of the nation's largest energy companies have accepted the scientific consensus about climate change and see federal regulation to cut greenhouse gas emissions as inevitable.
The Democratic takeover of Congress makes it more likely that the federal government will attempt to regulate emissions. The companies have been hiring new lobbyists who they hope can help fashion a national approach that would avert a patchwork of state plans now in the works. They are also working to change some company practices in anticipation of the regulation.
...memories of 1980s media bias when it comes to U.S. coverage of Nicaragua.
Fans [of Daniel Ortega] waved a sea of Sandista [sic] flags -- some in the traditional red-and-black stripes of Ortega's 1979 revolution that toppled the corrupt Somoza dynasty...
Somoza was toppled by a broad coalition the goals of which were subsequently hijacked by the Marxist-Leninist Ortega brothers.
During his first presidency, Ortega became a symbol of U.S. fears that a communist wildfire could sweep the Americas in the 1980s.
Ortega is more than a symbol. He's a real guy, and USSR and Cuba-funded civil wars were not a "fear" in the 1980s, but a reality. The civil war in El Salvador, for instance, really happened.
As the seventh leftist leader to win office in recent years in a Latin America increasingly at odd [sic] with U.S. dictates, Ortega's victory represents both a symbolic and a strategic blow to President George W. Bush.
Many political analysts called it a self-inflicted wound, saying United States made the Cold War dinosaur who will lead this desperately poor, banana-exporting, New York-sized nation of 5.5 million into a far more important figure that he is.
In light of the recent scandlous allegations regarding evangelical leader Rev. Ted Haggard, many news outlets have been referring to Haggard as a "conservative." Only a small number are mentioning that Haggard also sees himself as a global warming activist -- and definitely not one of the "skeptic" variety.
Some liberal activists seem to be delighted at the prospect of Haggard's possible professional suicide, but liberals promoting the global warming theory know better. Temporarily at least, they've lost a major -- and perhaps irreplaceable -- ally.
I've collected a few citations for the benefit of those who were unaware of the direction of Rev. Haggard's environmental activism:
Over at the National Center for Public Policy Research’s Blog, I’ve floated an idea I believe could help journalists and editorial writers be more accurate – even when they’d rather not.
I suggested that online versions of newspaper and magazine articles include footnotes.
I conceded that footnotes in the paper version of publications would be distracting and costly, but the major impediment to including them in online editions would probably simply be resistance by the writers themselves. Footnotes are a hassle for writers -- but they do have a way if helping to keep writers honest.
Blogger and Washington Examiner editorial page editor Mark Tapscott had a few thoughts in response:
The Washington Post, an altogether shameless publication on many levels, is running this inexcusable excuse for an obituary by Patricia Sullivan for the late Rep. Helen Chenoweth-Hage, a great defender of freedom who died in a car accident Monday. The obituary, which maintains the Post's tradition of including factual errors, is, in a word, bitchy. (Go read it, if you question my use of that particular word.)
Helen Chenoweth-Hage was a very gracious and kind lady who believed strongly in liberty and fought for it in Congress and out. Although the undeservedly smug mainstream press unfairly parodied her beliefs during her six years on Capitol Hill (95-00 -- unfortunately, before the advent of blogs that could help balance the reporting), she was undeterred.
I offer a case study in the way journalists serve the cause of global warming alarmists -- in this particular case, by claiming scientists are associated with the fossil fuel industry using "evidence" even a superficial investigation would have rendered void, and by misleading readers in other ways.
In June, columnist Tom Hennessy of the Long Beach Press-Telegram wrote a laudatory column about Al Gore's movie, "An Inconvenient Truth." Two readers whose critical letters were published by the newspaper included the Australian scientist Dr. Bob Carter (letter published June 29), and Canadian scientist Dr. Tim Ball (letter published June 26).
Hennessy responded with another column, "Sense Wins in Heated Debate," published July 5, in which he ignored the substance of both scientists' letters, preferring instead to lead readers to believe two things for which he had scant-to-zero evidence: 1) both scientists had received funds from the energy industry, and 2) in exchange for these funds, the scientists have agreed to espouse views they otherwise would not.
Something doesn't quite seem right with this glowing interview the Washington Post conducted with environmental activist Dr. Lara Hansen of the World Wildlife Fund.
Dr. Hansen is quoted saying, "When I was 5 or 6, my father read me an article in Science magazine about ozone depletion, which is what causes increased ultraviolet radiation..."
Here's a link to Science. Look at it and tell me a 5-or 6-year-old could understand it.
I'm the mom of three six-year-olds, and not a one of them reads articles in Science about ultraviolet radiation. Lest it be said that my kids are simply below-average, allow me to note that I frequently am with other six-year-olds, and none of them have ever once mentioned Science magazine, radiation, ozone depletion or even Al Gore's movie.
The Washington Post is editorializing today against the House Committee on Energy and Commerce Committee Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations, which held hearings twice in July on questions surrounding the "hockey stick" temperature studies.
Says the Post: "Instead of concentrating on the changing climate, the House Energy Committee picks on climatologists."
Whoever wrote the Post editorial seems to be genuinely unfamiliar with the hearings held, their purpose and what they revealed. It was irresponsible of the Post to publish something like this editorial without researching the matter a little bit first.
In so many ways does the mainstream press demean conservatives who work on environmental issues.
In this Los Angeles Times piece by Jim Puzzanghera, conservatives wary of the Henry Paulson nomination are described as "causing problems" for Paulson because Paulson likes to watch birds.
Here's how the article begins:
WASHINGTON - As a three-decade Wall Street veteran and chairman of one of the nation's premiere investment banks, Henry M. Paulson Jr. makes a living watching markets.
But it's his hobby of watching birds that is already causing problems for his nomination as the nation's next Treasury secretary.
An ardent environmentalist, Paulson is expected to be questioned during confirmation hearings about his role as chairman of the Nature Conservancy, and whether he adequately cleaned up the organization's questionable land sale and tax break practices. Another potential sticky issue: a decision by Goldman Sachs, the investment bank Paulson heads as chairman and chief executive, to donate 680,000 acres of land in a remote section of Chile to an environmental group with ties to his son...
Quick on the heels of its recommendation that conservatives support the Senate pro-amnesty immigration bill (for political rather than principled reasons, yet), the Weekly Standard is apparently laying the groundwork for a change in the conservative position on global warming.
From the June 12 issue, in an article by Contributing Editor Irwin M. Stelzer praising Treasury Secretary-designate Hank Paulson with all the enthusiasm usually reserved for people named Bush, comes this:
Then there is the environment, a policy area in which the Bush administration is in something of a time warp. No honest person can with certainty assert that global warming is a threat. But any responsible person can see that the evidence is sufficient to suggest that it might be, and that some action to contain emissions of greenhouse gases is an insurance policy worth having. Paulson is Wall Street's greenest titan, chairman of the Nature Conservancy, a bird-watcher, an advocate of a greenhouse gas emissions trading system for the United States and of mandatory curbs on emissions if voluntary action proves inadequate. At Goldman, he allocated $1 billion for investment in renewable energy and energy-saving projects. He is likely to make his voice heard in an administration that is said to be ready to move from its justifiable opposition to the Kyoto treaty to more positive proposals for emissions reduction.
No word from the Weekly Standard on the price tag of the "insurance policy worth having" (known as 'cap and trade' to those of us speaking plainly) as if 1) the cost wasn't billions, to be borne mostly by those who can least afford it, and 2) the "insurance policy" would actually lessen global warming IF (a big IF) the environmental left's position on global warming is accurate.
Will we soon see the Weekly Standard join the New Republic in name-calling skeptics of the notion that slowing the U.S. economy would have a notably beneficial impact on the world's weather?
Media Matters is criticizing the Competitive Enterprise Institute's Chris Horner for saying, on the Fox News Channel's Your World with Neil Cavuto, that ratification of the Kyoto global warming treaty was not a high profile issue for President Bill Clinton during the Clinton Administration. The Media Matters headline reads: "On Fox's Your World, CEI's Horner Misled on Kyoto, Global Warming."
Media Matters says, in part:
On the June 13 edition of Fox News' Your World with Neil Cavuto, Chris Horner, counsel for the oil industry-funded Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI), claimed falsely that the Clinton administration chose not to submit the Kyoto Protocol to the Senate for ratification because it did not consider global warming a "high-profile issue." In fact, Senate Republicans made clear at the time that Clinton would not be able to garner enough votes in the Senate to ratify the treaty...
Objecting to former President Bill Clinton taking credit for efforts to curb global warming during his presidency, Horner claimed that Clinton "set the U.S. policy, which was [that] for the final three years of his presidency, the U.S. would not seek participation in -- that is ratification of -- Kyoto." Horner made the claim to advance his suggestion that the Kyoto Protocol, a treaty mandating that countries reduce their greenhouse gas emissions, "was not a high-profile issue or a priority issue for the Clinton administration, like, say, school uniforms. It was not even a low-priority issue, like, say, finding Osama bin Laden."
I've often read that plants grow better when exposed to higher concentrations of carbon dioxide.
Yet, when the Associated Press mentions the subject, what it says is: Global warming boosts poison ivy.
The AP report, as published May 29 by the Boston Globe, begins:
Another reason to worry about global warming: more and itchier poison ivy. The noxious vine grows faster and bigger as carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere rise, researchers report Monday.
And a CO2-driven vine also produces more of its rash-causing chemical, urushiol, conclude experiments conducted in a forest at Duke University where scientists increased carbon-dioxide levels to those expected in 2050.