Monday, September 03, 2007

Fake News by Fox News & Washington Times Editorial Board

Not too long ago we reported how conservative blogs and even a NYT's editorial had horribly misleading or even blatantly false statements that would have readers believe 1934 was the warmest year on earth. Well Media Matters caught Fox News making distortions as well:



Transcript:

ANGLE: The man behind the website climateaudit.org has forced NASA to admit it was wrong when it said that 1998 was the hottest year on record. Steve McIntyre had to reverse-engineer NASA's figures because the agency refused to give him the formula it used to make the claim. And McIntyre found out NASA had made a serious mistake. NASA eventually agreed and now says 1934 was the hottest year, followed by 1998, then 1921. In fact, five of the hottest 10 years on record occurred before World War II.
Nowhere do they mention the difference between global and US averages. As for NASA refusing to release the forumalas well that's false as well. The algorithms, issues and choices are outlined in excruciating detail in the relevant papers. To Fox's credit their website does carry an article by a journalist from The Times that correctly reports what went on and even provides a link to the memo (pdf format) written by NASA's head climate honcho James Hansen.

Washington Times

Also, it looks like the Washington Post Op-eds has joined the misinformation foray:



But last week, it emerged that NASA had quietly restated its numbers, without fanfare or so much as a press release, after a blogger pointed out faulty methodology. Now, per NASA: 1934 is hottest, followed by 1998, 1921, 2006 and 1931.
So what does NASA's current temperature graph look like? Well here you go:



Or go to NASA direct. Just make sure you look at the GLOBAL temperature graphs. It's pretty obvious that 1934 is not the warmest year on global record. I'm sure the readers would appreciate how so many news outlets left that little factoid out. The op-ed then makes an assault on other news outlets as well as the science itself:



Only one thing is certain: The political debate over global warming has rushed far ahead of the science. [snip]The media coverage amid this confusion has been execrable. Last week's Newsweek purports to take readers inside the world of "Global-Warming Deniers: A Well-Funded Machine" without mentioning that the global-warming alarmists are even better funded, in some cases with government support. Naturally, Newsweek is not very interested in the recent data restatement.
For a more detailed and correct analysis of what actually went on please read my previous post on the subject. One might think the entire editorial board of the Washington Times would not make such a grievous error. All it takes it sending one single email off to NASA or reading realclimate.org.


Sources:
Washington Post, The hottest year: 1934?, August 15, 2007
FoxNews, Blogger Forces NASA to Tweak Climate Data, David Byers,Friday, August 17, 2007
Media Matters,Fox's Angle misrepresented NASA correction to claim 1934 is now "hottest year" on record, Sun, Aug 12, 2007 2:49pm ET

18 comments:

Dano said...

You may want to delete this post.

This is the Washington Times, not the WashPo.

Therefore, completely to be expected.

Best,

D

Sparrow (in the coal mine) said...

Meh I've moved Fox to the top. Wikipedia says WashTimes gets 1/7 the readership as WashPo so I'll leave it as the first and only time I cover this outlet just in case I come across a nutter that uses them as a source. Thanks for the headsup Dano.

Sparrow (in the coal mine) said...

Wikipedia reports The Washington Times as Ronald Reagan's favorite paper. So I definitely think this needs to stay. But an error this large shows how bad the paper is so we won't need to go back and review them as a source.

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