Get News & Views Updates
The press releases posted here have been submitted by
For further information or to comment on this press release, please contact the organization directly.
Most Popular This Week
- Frontline Gets Its Man: Lanny Breuer Leaves DOJ After Exposé
- The Non Zero-Sum Society: How the Rich Are Destroying the US Economy
- The Right of the People, Even At the Airport
- Not to Worry, Rape Victims Who Want An Abortion: We Won't Charge You With Felony Tampering With Evidence, Just Your Doctor
- Obama’s Dirty Wars Exposed at Sundance
Today's Top News
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tel: 212-633-6700 x13
More Hot Air from George Will
Columnist defends errors in climate change column
WASHINGTON - March 2 - Syndicated Washington Post columnist George Will and the Post's
ombud Andrew Alexander are still failing to address the majority of the
inaccuracies in Will's February 15 column on climate change.
Facing down critics (including FAIR--Action Alert, 2/18/09), Will claimed in a new column (2/27/09) that his original "column contained many factual assertions but only one has been challenged." Taking up that "one" challenge, Will continued to insist that his summary of research done by the University of Illinois' Department of Atmospheric Sciences was correct--despite the researchers' repudiation of Will's argument.
Of course, critics had pointed out two other inaccuracies: Will had suggested that global cooling was a prevailing scientific concern of the 1970s--a falsehood he repeated in his new column--and claimed the United Nations has found there has "been no recorded global warming for more than a decade," an inaccurate interpretation that the U.N. has tried to correct in the past. How the legion of fact-checkers that (according to Alexander) scrutinize Will's columns managed to miss the fact that Will's critics had cited multiple errors of fact in the previous column is hard to understand.
Will's real point was to criticize a New York Times report by Andrew Revkin (2/25/09) for not naming the experts that Revkin said found Will's column to contain inaccuracies. This, too, is specious, as Revkin noted that the sea ice researchers from the University of Illinois said Will was wrong about their data. (Revkin's piece was troubling, but for a different reason entirely; see FAIR Blog, 2/27/09.)
In his February 27 column, Will added another exaggeration, suggesting that scientists face enormous pressure to toe the line on climate change even though the scientific evidence is questionable:
That Will would cite scientists who immediately identified and corrected an error is an irony he would be better off not highlighting.
For his part, the ombud dismissively likened the controversy surrounding the inaccuracies in Will's column to being "like watching chairs being thrown in a bar fight," although he acknowledged that Will's reference to sea ice research should have prompted further inquiries by the Post. Alexander also noted that "readers would have been better served if Post editors, and the new ombudsman, had more quickly addressed the claims of falsehoods."
Yet given that Will's critics are still waiting for a response regarding two out of the three documented inaccuracies in Will's February 15 column, the ombud's call for improved timeliness misses the more important point.