NY Times reporter whitewashes Climategate story he is part of

November 24, 2009

Below is a text of the letter sent to clark Hoyt, the public editor (ombudsman) for the New York Times:

Mr. Hoyt,

Shouldn’t Andrew Revkin haved recused himself from his Nov. 21 front-page article, “Hacked E-mail Is New Fodder for Climate Dispute“?

First, as Revkin briefly acknowledges in the article, he is part of the story. Isn’t it a breach of journalistic ethics for a reporter to report on a story of which he is part?

Moreover, his story to a great extent defended his sources. It’s one thing to rely on sources; it is quite another to defend them at the expense of unbiased and accurate reporting about them.

This is not an innocent faux pas either.

Revkin tried to whitewash the significance of the story — including distracting readers away from the embarrassing/incriminating contents of the files and, instead, focusing them on the alleged hacking.

Finally, as we will report tomorrow, there seems to have been no “hack” at all.

The files appear to have been accumulated in preparation of a possible court-ordered FOIA release on a server to which the public had access. It is not “hacking” to access files that are publicly available. It may have been unwise/improper to store the file on a public server, but that is a different matter. There is no evidence that anything illegal occurred in the release of the files.

The hacking allegation, of course, was a terrific distraction device.

Perhaps a journalist more interested in unbiased reporting and less interested in defending his personal relationships with the subjects in the e-mails and his personal pro-climate alarmist agenda would have investigated and caught this. But then Andrew Revkin was the wrong man for the job.

Steve Milloy
Publisher, JunkScience.com

25 Responses to “NY Times reporter whitewashes Climategate story he is part of”


  1. [...] to find a word bouncing around and used it as his headline, spreading it far and wide.  11/24 Green Hell Blog  11/24Youtube on CNN Titled Whitewash 11/27 Bishop HillJames Dellingpole (Telegraph) [...]


  2. [...] been pushing AGW and Cap and Trade for years. (Yes, that’s the same Revkin mentioned in the ClimateGate emails.) So spending, $50,000 on a back page ad of the Times isn’t going to do much for their cause. [...]


  3. [...] NY Times reporter whitewashes Climategate story he is part of [...]

  4. t0msc0tt Says:

    More is coming to light about how and why the CRU emails were hacked – see this story from the UK’s Mail on Sunday (a right-wing conservative newspaper):

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1233562/Emails-rocked-climate-change-campaign-leaked-Siberian-closed-city-university-built-KGB.html

    It looks as if all those good folks so eager to expose a grand conspiracy on the part of climate scientists have in fact been playing the part of willing (albeit unwitting) accomplices in one of the cleverest pieces of black propaganda of recent years. It seems increasingly probable that the whole exercise has been masterminded by the Russian security services – formerly known as the KGB – who have a proud track record in this respect.

    Vladimir Putin, a former KGB man himself, must be chuckling at the ease with which effective action to place curbs on the fossil fuel industry has been sabotaged. His oil industry cronies are doubtless equally delighted.

    And the most delicious aspect of it is the way in which a horde of journalists and bloggers have been so rapidly enlisted to play the part of what the old KGB used to call ‘useful idiots’.

  5. justbeau Says:

    It used to be that developing nations may have been less informed about the weaknesses in environmental allegations.
    Environmental activists could control awareness to contrary viewpoints through captive institutions or captive media (e.g., NY Times).
    The beauty of Websites like this is that they provide independant thinkers, in any nation or walk of life, access to other viewpoints.


  6. [...] Re: Boxer Suggests Leaked E-Mails Represent 'Criminal' Hacker Conspiracy Meanwhile, it seems the so called "hack" was not a hack at all but a reply to court ordered British FOIA release and thew data was stored on a public server. Oh yeah, and it was all started by an article printed, and ignored, six months ago…………. NY Times reporter whitewashes Climategate story he is part of Green Hell Blog [...]


  7. [...] What if the CRU hack was not a hack? What if the CRU hack was not a hack at all and the emails, dating back a decade, were put together by a British "freedom of information" request? And that information was actually stored on a public server and was known to exist six months ago? OH this is going to get good. I'm buying popcorn. NY Times reporter whitewashes Climategate story he is part of Green Hell Blog [...]

  8. Flash Says:

    And today we get this VERY THOUGHTFUL AND RATIONAL commentary from John Coleman, founder of The Weather Channel:

    “You must know this about the leaked files. While the emails were damming, the real ‘meat’ was in sections of computer code leaked. Skeptical climate scientists have already studied it and find it an amazing manipulation that takes real temperature data and turns into a warming fairytale. Since this data forms the baseline for the research used by the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, this is huge. Those who counter this argument by saying there [are] three other data bases, and the two that use surface temperatures agree with this data, need to rethink what they are saying. Think about it. This indicates that since the Angelica University data is scientifically meaningless, and the scientists at the other centers are in constant contact with the scientists there, there is a strong likelihood their data is similarly without scientific merit.”

    Full article at ICECAP: http://icecap.us/index.php/go/joes-blog

  9. Flash Says:

    Just today we received an early Christmas present from the Obama administration: the definition of obtuse..

    WASHINGTON (AP) – Top White House science officials defended the validity of global warming research against repeated Republican attacks Wednesday that cited leaked e-mails from some climate researchers.

    The e-mails from a British university’s climate center were obtained by computer hackers and released last month. Climate change skeptics contend the messages reveal that researchers manipulated and suppressed data and stifled dissent.

    At a Capitol Hill hearing, the president’s science adviser and the chief of the agency in charge of climate research said the e-mails did nothing to undermine scientific consensus on climate change. Some Republicans said they showed a “culture of corruption” among scientists.

  10. justbeau Says:

    Alas, poor Yorick, we knew Anthropogenic Global Warming well. Its delusional bubble of “eco-science” seems to be beginning to pop, out in the mainstream.

    JunkScience shall miss AGW, in the years ahead. The topic has been fun while it lasted.

    Now Eco-Science has been so obviously revealed to be lemmings serving political ends, AGW may turn out to be a high water mark of folly. What new story can they concoct in the years ahead that will be able to rival this epic eco-con?

  11. justbeau Says:

    Monbiot is terribly misguided, but at least he seems to be an honest chump. This makes him much better than many of the Global Warming Scientists and politicians for whom the ends justify any means.

    • yonason Says:

      Surely you jest?

      Melanie Phillips calls him “…a green catastrophist and conspiracy theorist of the first order”, which is rather overly kind, in my opinion.

      He’s batty. He actually tried to “arrest” John Bolton
      http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/wales/7424785.stm
      He should be the one who gets locked up, in the looney bin for the criminally deranged.

      It’s one thing to have paranoid fantasies, but it’s another to act on them. Monbiot’s violent ranting, and support for not only nonsensical garbage but dangerous agendas of dangerous people, puts him in a class with the sociopath, or even borderline anti-social. He worse than just “misguided.”

      And as to him being “better” than “the politicians for whom the ends justify any means,” he’s been the most vocal supporter of the socialist freaks (politicians and pseudo-scientists) who want to take away our freedom in the name of cocked-up phony “global warming.” You can’t be “better” than the skanks you sleep with, and he is most definitely NOT.

  12. justbeau Says:

    Once a topic becomes a laughingstock, people will be disinclined to be fooled in the same way again.

  13. twawki Says:

    OT but great news – Tony Abbott, climate skeptic new leader of the opposition in Australia. http://www.twawki.com

  14. twawki Says:

    The whole gang of thieves is being outed and there’s nowhere to run!

  15. yonason Says:

    Whitewash doesn’t work so well. He should have tried Monbiot’s Mchtick. After all, Monbiot is fooling a lot of people who are against AGW, while the NYSlimes guy will only appeal to hard core believers and the otherwise confused.


  16. [...] part of the ClimateGate email list, as I noted last week, and Milloy writes in a public letter to New York Times Clark Hoyt [...]

  17. felsputzer Says:

    Then again, I’d argue that in many cases, the “insiders” are those who are best prepared to inform other people about a specific topic of situation. Maybe this is the case here. I’ve seen other reports that were lambasted for scientific inaccuracy & misunderstanding by the reporters.

  18. justbeau Says:

    Revkin uses “anonymous” sources in an unusual way. According to him, the science is settled, so he is protecting the anonymity of, in his view, those in the right, people who should be willing to speak on the record and to explain their thinking.

    Global Warming is an epic farce and the New York Times one of its enabling cheerleaders, as the captive newspaper of the Democratic Party.

    A decade or two ago, the Times had an honest environmental reporter who decided dioxin was not much of a threat. Revkin is no similar profile in intellectual integrity.


  19. [...] NY Times reporter whitewashes Climategate story he is part of Below is a text of the letter sent to clark Hoyt, the public editor (ombudsman) for the New York Times: Mr. [...] [...]

  20. nigelf Says:

    Excellent video and excellent letter Steve.


  21. [...] MEDIA;Comments on media bias here by Air Vent. Green Hell reports on NYT whitewash. [...]


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