After eight years of George W. Bush's rule, popular disapproval of policies that had come to be regarded as grave mistakes–from the invasion of Iraq to the response to the economic crisis–drove the Republicans from power. Unfortunately, the media system has no such built-in check on powerful pundits, as the unchallenged reign of another George W. with a long record of mistakes can attest. The ongoing controversy over a recent error-plagued climate change column penned by George Will–a Washington Post syndicated columnist whose record of error spans decades–offers a good case study in the impunity of the punditocracy. As bloggers, […]
George Will's history of misquoting data to distort the climate change debate goes back nearly two decades–that we know of. As Extra! reported in 2003, in 1992Will trashed Al Gore (Washington Post, 9/3/92) for being "cavalier with the truth" in his "wastebasket worthy" book Earth in the Balance. More from Extra!: Will confronted Gore on the issue of global warming: "Gore knows, or should know before pontificating, that a recent Gallup Poll of scientists concerned with global climate research shows that 53 percent do not believe warming has occurred, and another 30 percent are uncertain." It was Will, however, who […]
In a blog post about how it must have been "So Much Nicer To Be George Will Before The Internet" (2/17/09), A Tiny Revolution's Jonathan Schwarz looks back over how "on Sunday George Will made things up so he can claim global warming isn't happening" to "a funny story of Noam Chomsky's from the book Understanding Power about a column Will wrote in 1982": [A] few years ago George Will wrote a column in Newsweek called "Mideast Truth and Falsehood," about how peace activists are lying about the Middle East, everything they say is a lie. And in the article, […]
In the wake of a George Will column (Washington Post, 2/15/08) attempting to refute the reality of climate change with a string of inaccurate claims, FAIR has an action alert calling on media activists to write to the Washington Post asking them to retract the falsehoods and explain their fact-checking procedures for columnists. You can post copies of your letters to the Washington Post in the comments section below. Please remember that letters that maintain a civil tone are most effective.
On Monday (1/19/09), Washington Post media reporter Howard Kurtz took a look at the health of Time and Newsweek, and almost immediately rendered a political judgment: The rival editors are turning out weeklies that are smaller, more serious, more opinionated and, though they are loath to admit it, more liberal. They are pursuing a more elite audience, in print and on the Web, abandoning the old Henry Luce notion of catering to the masses. It is nothing less than a survival strategy. Hmm. Maybe those magazine editors are "loath to admit" they publish liberal magazines because, well, they don't? Kurtz […]