Letter to the Editor: Funny How the WashPost Doesn't Find Late Cherry Blossoms a Front-Page Eco-Fright

In his April 11 Washington Post column, “Thought police on patrol,” columnist Charles Krauthammer slammed the group "Forecast the Facts" for gathering signatures to ban "deniers" from the editorial pages: “the left is entering a new phase of ideological agitation — no longer trying to win the debate but stopping debate altogether, banishing from public discourse any and all opposition. The proper word for that attitude is totalitarian.”

On Saturday, the Post published a long letter from their campaign director Brant Olson that doubled down on the censorious swagger: Krauthammer's column was "not only unreasonable but also built on misinformation that should have no place in a space intended to further an informed debate." At least the Post also published a Sam Kazman letter from the right noticing how the Post had a funny way of avoiding a front-page article noticing that the traditional D.C. cherry blossoms bloomed late...although it was a front-page story in 2012 when they were early:

For the second year in a row, we’ve had peak cherry blossoms later than the average date of March 31. In 2013, they were nine days late; this year they were 10 days late. That’s not a big surprise; after all, the usual peak date itself is just an average.

But what is curious is how The Post’s coverage of cherry blossoms veers into discussions of global warming in some years but not in others. In 2012, when the blossoms peaked on March 20, one front-page article was ominously headlined, “Much-too-early bloomers? As temperatures rise, scientists speculate that cherry blossom times could advance by a month.” A Capital Weather Gang blog post that month was headlined, “D.C.’s cherry blossoms have shifted 5 days earlier: What about global warming and the future?” Why enjoy an early spring when you can turn it into a teachable moment?

Needless to say, this news angle wilted a bit in the past two years.

When it comes to global warming, the recent late blossoms don’t prove much. But for that matter, neither did the early blossoms of years past.

Sam Kazman, Washington

The writer is general counsel for the Competitive Enterprise Institute.

Tim Graham
Tim Graham
Tim Graham is Executive Editor of NewsBusters and is the Media Research Center’s Director of Media Analysis