WaPo’s ombudsman just doesn’t get it

Is he being purposefully obtuse? Once again the ombudsman decides to defend George Will, but only on a single point.

A key paragraph, aimed at those who believe in man-made global warming, asserted: “According to the University of Illinois’ Arctic Climate Research Center, global sea ice levels now equal those of 1979.”

Bizarrely, he acknowledges Will was wrong:

It said that while global sea ice areas are “near or slightly lower than those observed in late 1979,” sea ice area in the Northern Hemisphere is “almost one million sq. km below” the levels of late 1979. That’s roughly the size of Texas and California combined. In my mind, it should have triggered a call for clarification to the center.

But according to Bill Chapman, a climate scientist with the center, there was no call from Will or Post editors before the column appeared. He added that it wasn’t until last Tuesday — nine days after The Post began receiving demands for a correction — that he heard from an editor at the newspaper. It was Brewington who finally e-mailed, offering Chapman the opportunity to write something that might help clear the air.

Will’s column is grossly dishonest, as we and others pointed out it wasn’t just sea ice, but the repeated misquote of a scientific paper and a whole host of dishonest statements. He’s apparently been misquoting one paper to push this “global cooling” nonsense since 1992 and basically recycling this same BS article for almost two decades!

Alexander may be correct there is fact checking “on multiple levels”, but that does not change that it was incompetent, missed willful errors, and that there has not been a correction of Will’s mistakes or a repudiation of his incessant repetition of falsehoods like the myth of global cooling.

For yet another week the Washington Post has failed to demonstrate accountability for its errors.

Comments

  1. #1 SLC
    March 2, 2009

    Chris Mooney has submitted a 900 word rebuttal to Dr. Wills’ poppycock to the Washington Posts’ editorial page editor, Fred Hiatt. We will see if Mr. Hiaatt will publish it.

    http://scienceblogs.com/intersection/2009/03/in_which_i_submit_to_the_washi.php

  2. #2 Radioactive afikomen
    March 2, 2009

    I think you’ll want to delete “Joe Simons” comment—that’s flat-out spam he posted (unless his home page really is one of those illegitimate “cheap drugs now!” sites).

  3. #3 George
    March 6, 2009

    Why doesn’t George Will lose his job and be barred from writing ever again. Bah, same goes for Alan Dershowitz. These people are abusing their positions in the field of press and education.

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