The Island of Doubt

Last week we learned from the Washington Post‘s ombudsman that George F. Will had supplied a list of 20ish internet references to Post editors in support of his much-criticized Feb. 15 column. That column repeated his long-standing belief that the world is not warming according to the prevailing consensus of the world’s climatologists. Now, Will claims to be on sound scientific footing and refuses to admit to the many errors that his critics say he keeps making. So it should not be surprising that the list of verifying sources that purport to support his arguments is of great interest to the science journalism community.

With that in mind, I wrote to the Post in hopes of getting a look at that list. Here is the ombudsman’s reply to my request:

I think that would be up to Mr. Will’s office, since it originated there and is clearly an internal document. As a syndicated columnist, he does not work in The Washington Post building. You can write him at:

Best wishes,
Andy Alexander
Washington Post Ombudsman

As far as I’m concerned the story of how Will manages to misrepresent the science of climate change in column after column at a newspaper as respectable as the Washington Post won’t be over until we have a good look at that list. So I have written to Will.


  1. #1 Brian D
    March 2, 2009

    See also More Grumbine Science. Two can play Will’s game!

  2. #2 paulm
    March 3, 2009

    “Things are worse than they can possibly be.”

    I think wee Willy was referring to the state of the media reporting on Climate Change.

  3. #3 Hank Roberts
    March 4, 2009

    Yeah, the “roughly 20″ missing links. I bet they’ve lost the file by now.

    The long silence about those makes me think their ‘research’ guy — the ombudsman named him, but I’ve forgotten it — most likely gave Will twenty links from sites at “the septic end of the bogusphere” that just repeating some standard talking points, and told Will it was “science.”

  4. #4 Hank Roberts
    April 2, 2009

    Oh, good grief. He’s done it again.

    Thu, Apr 2, 2009 8:57am ET
    George Will continues to misuse WMO climate data despite criticism from WMO sec. general

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