Supply and Demand in Journalism
Posted by Jeff Id on May 18, 2010
A few days ago I had a little fun with Grist.Keith Kloor took a bit of exception to it. Keith wrote the following article, which includes your humble host in an unflattering grouping with Romm.
Some quotes for entertainment.
So, are you ignoramuses still with me? Now a common refrain on Romm’s blog is that the mainstream media is just drop-dead dumber than dumb when it comes to reporting and writing on climate change. At least once a week he calls attention to another supposed foul-smelling abomination (in a subhead, of course):
So far, I think that may be the first time I’ve agreed with Romm– crazy day.
Many climate advocates and climate scientists couldn’t agree more with Romm. One climate blogger, who is starting to sound like Howard Beale, thinks the press is easily manipulated. An environmental ethics philosopher is sympathetic to “Hide the Decline” climate scientists because…well, you read (emphasis added):
More likely to me, and more defensible in many ways, is that Mann and others were fudging the findings in order to “smooth them out” so that they were easier to read, so that their findings would not be misinterpreted by a lazy and apathetic press, so that an anomalous line wouldn’t distract from the overarching observation, which is that there is persistent change.
Kind of interesting. So chopping off of inconvenient data isn’t a plan to make sure that people are unaware of the low data quality or uncertainty in result. It had nothing to do with the ‘unprecedented in a thousand years message’ presented in the IPCC. It is in fact, a sophisticated statistical technique to prevent readers from spraining their brains on uncertainty. All that consternation in the emails about insuring that their story was consistent for the IPCC was actually about making it easier to read….. Hmm.. I hadn’t heard that angle before.
At this point, you might be tempted to conclude that journalists are screwing up the biggest story of the century, that the world is on a collision course with climate doomsday because a bunch of hacks are falling down on the job. Or rather, is it because we’re not imploring everyone to stick their heads out the window every night and scream:
Well they are screwing it up, because they cannot look at the emails and review committees objectively. There has been almost no attempt to understand the issue and report it accurately. Of course, looking to Romm for guidance on climate is like looking to Iran for their opinions on Israel.
I’m mad as hell and I’m not going to take it anymore!
But wait, the Air Vent’s Jeff Id, no doubt speaking for many climate skeptics, says we are doing exactly this. And by god, it’s costing us our jobs, too! Here he is, explaining:
Perhaps if reporters stopped turning out a constant stream of alarmist, envirowhacko drivel like this link, they and the NY Times, LA Times, MSNBC, CNN, ABC and every other politically left media outlet wouldn’t have such financial difficulty.
Good, be mad, Romm is an extremist and journalists can’t see the difference between tAV and Romm? It’s a fantastic example Keith (the journalist) has provided here. Pitting reasoned argument against propaganda is precisely the point. Journalists pretend not to know the difference between those willing to say or do anything to make a point and a position of the typcial skeptic. Perhaps it’s not a lack of ability or honesty, but that journalists refuse to spend the time to understand the issue well enough to figure it out — naw, I’m 41 and long ago figured out that it’s just politics..
Audiences (consumers) are bombarded with constant leftist politics from nearly every single news source, yet America (at least) is still full of people who know that business and capitalism feed the world. Journalists keep supporting the Romms who tell us to shut everything down and build wind farms, but we who work in industry are just not that dumb. We know photovoltaic doesn’t work yet, we know that biofuel is a farce. Yet they continue to hammer away at thier propaganda… It’s actually journalists in this instance communicating to us that ‘hide the decline’ to help our pretty little heads not hurt is a reasonable point. Where are the neurons Keith???
Very kind of them to help my pretty little head, but I don’t want to read any more propaganda. Perhaps a little criticism of Romm’s blatantly untenable position on the climategate emails situation would be useful? Or hasn’t Keith taken the time to understand it?
And that’s why journalism is a rotting carcass, supply and demand work in media too, and there is way too much supply of the envirowhacko perspective.
H/T reader AMac