Times reporter Ashley Parker’s profile of Texas Gov. Rick Perry on the campaign trail in New Hampshire portrayed a more cautious and subdued candidate, days after Perry’s claim that actions taken by Ben Bernanke, the chairman of the Federal Reserve, were potentially “treasonous,” a remark that offended the delicate sensibilities of Times reporter Binyamin Appelbaum, who found it simply “horrifying.” Parker's Thursday piece from New Hampshire, “Day After Fed Uproar, Perry Tones It Down," featured six paragraphs on an exchange on global warming between Perry and N.H. citizen Jim Rubens, described by Parker as a “a Republican activist and high-tech investor from Etna."
But Rubens is also a consultant with the left-wing environmental group Union of Concerned Scientists, a fact Parker didn’t include but which found its way into the Los Angeles Times: “One of his questioners was Jim Rubens, a Republican from the village of Etna who works as a consultant for the Union of Concerned Scientists.” UCS, which was formed in 1969 to protest the Vietnam War, has lobbied against Ronald Reagan's Strategic Defense Initiative ("Star Wars") and nuclear power.
L.A. Times reporter Maeve Reston also emphasized Rubens was “an investor who works in the clean-energy sector,” and not merely a “high-tech investor,” as the New York Times had it.
Here's the relevant part of Parker's NYT story:
New Hampshire voters often embrace a moderate strain of Republicanism, which could give many of the locals here pause about Mr. Perry. His challenge was underscored when Jim Rubens, a Republican activist and high-tech investor from Etna, asked Mr. Perry about climate change. (Four years ago, Mr. McCain, before winning the primary, said on the campaign trail that climate change was a real, man-made problem that needed to be addressed.)
But Mr. Perry said Wednesday that carrying out programs to reduce carbon emissions would cost “billions if not trillions of dollars.” He acknowledged that “yes, our climate has changed,” but he accused scientists of manipulating the data and was skeptical that human behavior was the cause.
“I don’t think from my perspective that I want America to be engaged in spending that much money on still a scientific theory that has not been proven and from my perspective is more and more being put into question,” he said.
Mr. Perry’s answer did not sit well with Mr. Rubens.
“He’s a very impressive candidate, but he was factually wrong on the earth’s climate,” Mr. Rubens said.
“You have to deal with technology and science as it is, and for him to say that the National Academy of Sciences is wrong,” he added, “calls into question the entire scientific discovery process.”
At no point did Parker suggest Rubens was more than a concerned citizen, but an environmental activist as well.