Not content with publishing George Will’s fabrications about the stolen emails (for which, see Carl Zimmer), they now have a piece by climate expert Sarah Palin. The Washington Post simply does not care about the accuracy of the columns it publishes. Let’s look at just one paragraph:
The e-mails reveal that leading climate “experts” deliberately destroyed records, manipulated data to “hide the decline” in global temperatures, and tried to silence their critics by preventing them from publishing in peer-reviewed journals. What’s more, the documents show that there was no real consensus even within the CRU crowd. Some scientists had strong doubts about the accuracy of estimates of temperatures from centuries ago, estimates used to back claims that more recent temperatures are rising at an alarming rate.
I didn’t add the link to this paragraph. It’s a link to the WaPo‘s own report on the email theft and it directly contradicts Palin. For example, the WaPo‘s news story says:
Phil Jones, the unit’s director, wrote a colleague that he would “hide” a problem with data from Siberian tree rings with more accurate local air temperature measurements.
But Palin says that he tried to “hide the decline” in global temperatures, when in fact he showed the increase in global temperatures since 1960.
The Wapo‘s report does not support any of the false claims in Palin’s paragraph. No they didn’t deliberately destroy data, no, they didn’t try to stop their critics from publishing. And while the emails show there are many things that the scientists disagree on, they doesn’t mean there is no consensus about anything — they agree that it is getting warmer and that we are causing it.
So what use is the Washington Post? If they are not going to do even the most perfunctory fact checking on the stuff they publish, what value do they add?