the Air Vent

Because the world needs another opinion

Hey Media – Skeptics are Scientists Too

Posted by Jeff Id on February 16, 2012

I suppose I’m old enough not to be surprised by the behavior of the media anymore, but this garbage coverage of the Heartland scandal  has done it again.  The media has flatly ignored that the point of the funding for SKEPTICS was to put the temperature data on line.   That’s it!!  Put it up where people without a computer background can plot it, see it and understand it.   How is that nefarious or anti-science in any way?

I’ll answer – it isn’t!

You don’t have to wonder why blogs exist and why Fox News is taking over the news market.  People want information,  not distortions.   Every article I run across has the same tone, the same ‘gotcha’ punch lines about skeptics and the poor naive scientists who were misrepresented in Climategate.  They feed this garbage to the public in droves and wonder why their ad revenues drop like stones.   It isn’t the paper or internet which is killing the media, it is what they put on it.

So when it is shown that the ‘primary’ leaked Heartland document with the main message is a complete forgery, where are the media reporters now?    Where are the retractions?  How about a simple investigation of the headers?

In the same place that the nefarious act of publishing the NOAA temperature data is.  In the circular bin or the janitorial closet of the New York Times where it won’t see the light of day.  There is no need to apologize to conservative groups after all, only to groups that push the correct politics like Media Matters or GreenPeace.

Even though I am regularly disappointed with the biased media coverage of things like Climategate, this time the unprofessional behavior is pretty special.  They are only attacking the report because a small amount of money is being donated to a climate skeptic blogger who just happens to be a weather professional!!  There is no attempt by the media to recognize that the money was to be put to use to place the primary data, the temperature data so central to the AGW message, on line.   Any motivation on the part of the individual after that should be moot.  The media and propaganda blogs like DeSmog should be proud to have the dataset on line and pleased that Heartland would invest that money for the common good.

We all should recognize that putting the information on line in a usable fashion, is a strongly pro-science endeavor.

When we read media articles about skeptics, they typically paint us as though we are non-technical, uninformed and motivated by our politics over our minds.  “Skeptics need to get real, and do something about climate”, they say.  This is despite the in-your-face reality that the IPCC represents exactly those political qualities.   The truth is that most of us are technical people from other fields who like to discuss the details of the data and many have realized that there just isn’t much to be alarmed about!  Climate Science has failed to alarm us.  We are chemists, engineers, programmers, physicists, astronomers, medical professionals, meteorologists, statisticians and even climate scientists.   We are not the ones who are uninformed in the debate, we are the ones who are qualified to read the science and where appropriate – disagree.  Since we are unfunded by the government for climate and often better statisticians, I would even say we are more qualified to judge the science than those embroiled in the highly funded political morass of “getting the world to do something”.  See Real Climate blog for a perfect example of the politics behind climate science.

We read articles from advocate media every day.   They are very consistent, and very wrong about people like Anthony Watts.   Not much exposes the bias of Climate Science more than the media-wide unabashed smear campaign against him for doing the right thing with data.

I guess I’m still not so jaded that I cannot be surprised.  They keep working on it though.

56 Responses to “Hey Media – Skeptics are Scientists Too”

  1. sean2829 said

    A few years back TAV did a survey of its reader’s background and asked how they became skeptics. Did you ever make a summary by education, technical background and training from that very unscientific survey?

  2. Jeff Condon said

    Good point Sean. No I didn’t but it is linked in the reader background header above for anyone who wishes to read it.

  3. curious said

    “It isn’t the paper or internet which is killing the media, it is what they put on it.”

    Now that’s a line!! 🙂

  4. Anthony Watts said

    Thanks, Jeff, most sincerely.

  5. Viv Evans said

    Thanks, Jeff.

    It is disturbing to see how the selfsame organisation, the Beeb, took such a long time to even recognise that Climategate 1 &2 had some alarming material in it- because they needed to check and verify – and get their talking points from the activists.
    In this case, they jumped in with both feet, no verification,no contact with the people concerned, be it Anthony or the HI.The activist talking points were a given …

    I didn’t think I’d be surprised any longer by the twistings and lies of the AGW activists – but here they come up with something new!

    Well – at least it made me hopping mad yet again. Anger does warm one when sitting in a cold home – cold because of the precautionary CO2 prevention measures instituted by our government, which have increased energy bills somuch that heting has become a luxury item.

  6. stan said


    CAGW is all politics all the time. And for alarmists, politics and global warming are their religion. Skeptics are messing with the religion of the news media types. This kind of irrational behavior we have seen over the last couple of days is what happens when you mess with people’s religion.

    Krauthammer made the point years ago about Dems and Republicans, but it applies to left-wingers around the world — he wrote that the difference b/w them and the GOP is that Republicans think Democrats are wrong and Democrats think Republicans are EVIL. Their belief systems need a devil to oppose, so we are cast in the role of the evil facists so that their fantasies can be fulfilled. [Remember Bill Clinton’s explanation to his cabinet justifying why it was necessary for him to lie under oath, lie to his cabinet (and let them make asses of themselves defending him), and lie to the American people about some BS right wing conspiracy — he had to do it or else the Republicans would benefit politically. He had to lie — not to cover his own worthless ass — but for the good of the country!]

    As Michael Crichton pointed out so well, everyone has a religion. It is a constant in every society throughout history. If it isn’t the organized type we normally associate with ‘religion’, something else will substitute. Socialism and environmentalism have been two of the options which have attracted those for whom politics has become a replacement faith. When the Soviet bloc collapsed, millions of lefties embraced the greens and brought the two together. E.g. see the reaction to Chavez’ speech in Copenhagen.

    If the latest Fakegate (so similar to Rathergate) seems reminiscent to the days of KGB tricks coordinated with outraged news coverage from the fellow travelers, it is because it comes from the same playbook. I’m not saying that all the lefty/green journalists who made asses of themselves rushing to sensationalize the Heartland scandal knew about the hoax ahead of time. I’m saying that their behavior was completely forseeable. It’s what they do. It’s even worse than we thought! 😉

    Remember the sensational coverage of the BS spouted by Joe Wilson and his wife Valerie Plame? It didn’t matter that the Wilson story was obvious crap. Didn’t matter that the Plame “leak” wasn’t a leak and didn’t come from Cheney. The truth was completely irrelevant. The news media had a field day screaming about W and Cheney and how evil they were. That’s all that mattered. It was a handy tool to beat the crap out of the evil satans. A scandal built completely out of lies. And a news media that pounded the scandal for months and showed no interest in correcting the lies.

    The foundational building block of their belief system is that they are working against evil. Note, I’m not saying that their actions are rational when understood that way, just that said actions become more understandable when understood thay way. They aren’t rational because their religion is under assault. And their eagerness to lash out and hit the people who are attacking their beliefs is what we should expect.

    My prediction is that Heartland fakegate will continue to be used for years by most news media as proof of the perfidy of global warming skeptics. It will be used as a false equivalence to climategate, except of course, in their ‘approved’ version the scientists were proved innocent in climategate. The truth will not matter. All that will be ‘remembered’ is the convenient fiction that they want to believe.

  7. kim2ooo said

    Well Said!

  8. page488 said

    RE: #6

    Wow, Stan! Beautifully written!

  9. Jeff, the current behavior of the news media continue the deep historical roots of intertwined efforts by government leaders and the news media to promote two false models of reality:

    1. The AGW model of Earth’s climate
    2. The Bilderberg model of Earth’s heat source – the Sun.

    Climategate emails and documents revealed decades of collusion between the news media and world leaders to mold science for political propaganda:

    Click to access Climategate_Roots.pdf

    The media smear campaign against Anthony Watts and the Heartland Institute is no surprise to those who recall the news reports of global cooling in the mid-1970s:,9171,944914,00.html

    This also explains media disinterest in the 1998 CSPAN video recording of a NASA Administrator releasing isotope data that had been withheld from the public after collection as the Galileo probe entered Jupiter in 1995:

    Data confirming a peer-reviewed 1983 paper (based on precise isotope analysis from samples returned by the 1969 Apollo Mission to the Moon) that the interior of the Sun is the iron-rich remains of the nuclear furnace that produced and ejected our elements five billion years (5 Gyr) ago:

    Click to access 5011.pdf

    Contrary to consensus opinions formulated at the Bilderberg Hotel in April of 1967:….3….5G

    The media campaign against Anthony Watts and the Heartland Institute continue the historical roots of intertwined efforts by government leaders and the news media to promote false models of reality.

  10. steveta_uk said

    Richard Black at the BBC is a serial liar – and despite acknowledging that his information is wrong, he continues to spread the lies.

    Regarding Antony’s project, he still says this:

    A project detailing flaws in weather stations would cost $88,000 – half from the Anonymous Donor.

    Further funding will go to climate blogger and former meteorologist Anthony Watts for a web-based project aiming to demonstrate problems in the US network of temperature monitoring stations – an issue whose irrelevance to the big questions of climate change was emphatically demonstrated last year by the Berkeley Earth Project, which found station quality was not a factor in modern measurements of global warming.

    While I sincerely hope that he can be bought to account for this deliberate lying, the worry is that if he is, then the BBC and ultimately the British public will end up maying any damages.

    Is there any way to ensure that he personally can be made to pay for what he writes?

  11. Coldish said

    Thank you, Jeff, for putting it so well.

  12. Jeff Condon said

    I found a Forbes article which seems reasonably balanced:

  13. Kenneth Fritsch said

    The quote from an Andy Revkin email about the supposedly forged document from Heartland gives a clue what could be revealed by information leaked from Heartland. I believe Revkin was hesitant to discuss the climategate emails because they were stolen and here he seems to be taking a Ratheresque view of a potentially fake document. I do not mind folks taking sides on these issues. What bothers me is those who claim to be less partisan then they are and thus in a better position to evaluate the situation for us. I think that most half way intelligent people can separate out the good information that might well be contained within a partisan message.

    “looking back, it could well be something that was created as a way to assemble the core points in the batch of related docs.”

  14. […] The Air Vent: So when it is shown that the ‘primary’ leaked Heartland document with the main message is a complete forgery, where are the media reporters now?    Where are the retractions?  How about a simple investigation of the headers? […]

  15. page488 said

    Off topic, but always on topic, is the notion that………..

    We live in an era of nihilists.

    How empowering it must be to the Michael Mann’s & the Barack Obama’s of the world, to hold the keys to the destuction of everything we, the citizens of the US, hold dear and depend upon (our freedoms). Reducing real people to rubble is heady stuff – tends to puff out the chests of the perpetrators, whatever the outcome.

    Their ultimate goals may be somewhat different – Mann expects to rule academia (and he’s doing a good job at that – at least, moneywise); Barack expects to rule the world (the US is just a little stop on his world tour to heading the UN) – but, in the end, they both seek to subjugate all of us to their respective wills, which will coalesce until they turn on each other.

    Which they will – study any totalitarian regime – it always happens.

    Nihilism is easy. Creativity is hard.

    The current version of nihilism started in the sixties, but has been perfected over the years. Strange that the nihilists of today considider themselves the most creative people of all time. What they propose is actually anarchy – the antithesis of creativity –
    ultimate destruction.

    I’m just an old person (almost 60) living in Birmingham, Alabama, but, to this day, I think I have a lot to say; I think I deserve an audience. I think I deserve to live on my own terms.

    It’s important that all of us keep fighting for our rights to live and create….and to find scientific truth and adress it as it is.

    Take care, everyone.

  16. stan said


    Jeff — Warren Meyer is Coyote Blog and Climate Skeptic. His story about the homeless advocate (someone named Snyder if I recall) making up a number of homeless is true, but Warren got the number wrong. The actual BS number was 3 million, not 1 million. And the music video for Phil Collins’ “Another Day in Paradise” said that America had 10 million homeless. After it become obvious that the number was total crap, it was scrubbed from the video.

  17. I don’t like the homeless story much because too many use the system. In China, they will rent baby’s to known elderly to collect money. The grandma’s carry the babies around asking for money. You can pick out the scammers by the fact that they are very very overweight. I once paid a guy who begged for a living in China $18 for NOT begging me. Drove his compatriots nuts.

    Help the clueless, not the lazy and I don’t mind giving a little to those in between.

  18. Anderegg,Prall, et al. Phoney science used to try and discredit the opposition. Massive, embarrassing fail.
    Brian Angliss, Scholars and Rogues: Phony science used to discredit the opposition. Massive, embarrassing fail.
    John Mashey, attacks on Wegman. Conflates minor (but real) error in copying Wikipedia on one part of the report to try and discredit the statistical analysis of Mann’s misbehaviour. Partial (but embarrassing) fail.

    Now for your entertainment and amusement, the Gang that Couldn’t Think Straight make up a document and call it Heartland’s strategy.

    Idiot kids hatching plots in a tree house. Can they get stupider?

  19. Tony Hansen said

    Tom, would it be a big suprise if they did?

  20. stan said


    The biggest shocker for people who started paying attention over the last few years has been the realization that so many of the supposed leading lights are dumber than rocks. A compendium of Mann’s ‘greatest’ hits would be a 2 or 3 disc set. Phil Jones would require even more. Hansen? Algore? — keeping up with their gaffes is like trying to keep up with new developments in case law. Any lawyer who tries to read every new case could speed read 7/24 and fall further behind every day.

    Even Muller and his handling of BEST was so inept as to be painful to watch.

    My prediction is that the claims made by the medical journal editor, various stats profs, and venture capitalists are finally going to be checked out. We’ll find out that half or more of all studies are badly flawed. Tetlock’s research about expert predictions is going to be understood as having particularly pertinent applicability to climate predictions. The many flaws that have been exposed in the work of Mann, Jones, Steig, Rahmstorf, Briffa, and the IPCC are going to be exposed as standard for climate science. And the public is going to feel like Flounder hearing from his rush chairman after their road trip.

  21. HaroldW said

    I agree fully, but the idea that the opposition is EVIL rather than wrong, as you so nicely put it, is not limited to Democrats.

    Remember Nixon.

    It certainly seems to be the case that more people think that way nowadays than formerly, but perhaps that’s a skewed sample based on those who are more vocal, e.g. post on facebook.

  22. stan said

    I don’t know that Nixon considered Democrats evil, but he certainly believed that the liberals in the news media were out to get him. In that, Nixon was right. As some journalists have admitted, they WERE out to get him. And they celebrated when they got him. His role on HUAC made him a person absolutely loathed by those on the left. They hated him with a passion. And he knew it.

    As for who considers whom evil, can you name many GOP leaders who routinely accuse their opponents of racism, sexism, homophobia, wanting to starve kids and kill seniors, etc.?

  23. The saddest part of this whole global climate debate is that all of us – world leaders, leaders of the scientific community, and everyone else on planet Earth – are part of a society that is today collapsing into disarray from lack of confidence in:

    a.) Scientists who “fudged” experimental data, and
    b.) World leaders who encouraged them to find evidence for
    c.) Tyrannical government policies based on flawed, computer models of
    _c-1. Economics
    _c-2. Environment
    _c-3. Earth’s global climate
    _c-4. Earth’s heat source – the Sun

    Hidden beneath the government funds spent on food stamps, (pseudo-) “science”, “research”, student loans, welfare, social security and unemployment are these simple facts:

    a.) Our economy is collapsing
    b.) The dollar dropping in value daily
    c.) There are no “green” jobs for unemployed
    d.) CO2 is not a dangerous atmospheric pollutant
    e.) CO2 is the symbiotic link between plants and animals
    f.) There are no fusion reactors to meet future energy needs
    g.) Earth’s climate is and has always been changing, because
    h.) Earth’s heat source is the violently unstable nuclear furnace (pulsar) at the Sun’s core that made our elements and spit them out five billion years (5 Gyr) ago.

    If bankers, politicians and scientists are necessary for the operation of society (as seems obvious), both sides in the global climate debate need to abandon the goal of winning and work together to identify leaders who can lead society out of its current demise.

    With kind regards,
    Oliver K. Manuel

  24. stan said


    I hope you will let me post this. Roger jr zapped it. Reponding to the alarmists such as Joshua who keep resorting to the false equivalence argument to argue that skeptics are hypocrites for not denouncing Heartland, I made the analogy to a street fight. I wish I’d copied it, but the gist of it was this:

    Alarmists, backed by billions in funding and a compliant, cheerleading press, have been smearing and slandering skeptics and even lukewarmers like Steve Mc for years. The lies and fraud are an epidemic. Skeptics, with a tiny bit of funding, have been trying to respond.

    If this were a street fight, a dozen alarmists jumped a skeptic and have been beating the crap out of him with bats and pipes for a long time. Alarmist fans like Joshua and others haven’t been bothered by it. Finally, the skeptic tries to hit back and his fist manages to graze the thigh of one of his assailants. Since the skeptic’s hand made contact below the belt, the Joshuas are claiming it is a low blow and demanding that we skeptics denounce the low blow or we are hypocrites.

    That’s how ridiculous they have become. They spend billions. They commit fraud, they coverup negiligence, they mislead the public and governments, and they have been especially vicious in their attacks on skeptics. After all that, they think Heartland is the one that’s out of bounds.

  25. Stan,

    I snip very little. Although, I do believe the analogy is missing the point that Heartland was funding something which ‘helped’ the believers.

    Even that didn’t change the response.

  26. Actually, Pielke Jr does a fine job but I don’t read his blog regularly after an incident where he published a typical leftist economics paper. I’m thinking of taking Curry off my list too. I don’t read there anymore because of the less than stellar reaction to BEST critique which I would think they would appreciate.

    People are too soft.

  27. david said

    Jeff says, “The media has flatly ignored that the point of the funding for SKEPTICS was to put the temperature data on line. That’s it!! Put it up where people without a computer background can plot it, see it and understand it. How is that nefarious or anti-science in any way?
    The media has PURPOSEFULLY mishandled this in so many ways, I almost forgot this aspect. Thanks for reminding me. The entire episode is astounding and beyond parody.

    Sometimes things are so Orwellian that, in protest, the brain cells cease operating, screaming at the illogical statements and assumptions, feeling poisoned and filthy just by having been exposed to such evil inane thoughts.

  28. For those of us who read and watched news from journalists that practiced journalism, not advocacy, the last decade has been disappointing and quite frankly boring. One of the worst in this sorry spectacle has been Revkin. Usually he has shown at least a modicum of integrity. On this he has scored an own goal. One of the interesting points of this to me is that in the past, the “liberal” media insisted on integrity and truthful reporting and spurned those who failed. But as the years have gone by, it is easy to see the transformation. When you had to read or listen carefully, where details mattered, truth and integrity went hand in hand. As we went first to the TV, then cable, and now the WWWeb, we have replaced truth with sound bites and integrity with political litmus tests. This has been on both the “right” and the “left”. We have lost much not in terms of science, but rather in critical thinking, replacing thoughtful consideration of others with a caricature of thought, stick figures and strawmen instead of reasoned argument.

  29. M. Simon said

    His role on HUAC made him a person absolutely loathed by those on the left.

    And libertarians.

  30. M. Simon said

    As for who considers whom evil,

    On the right we have the drug warriors who routinely confuse the symptoms – drug use – with the disease – PTSD.


    The information is pretty well known by this time (I first started writing on this in 2002). And yet, are we seeing reports that would change policy in the major media? I musta missed it/them.

    The demise of science is not confined to Climate Science. It is bad in all areas that touch on public policy.

  31. willard said


    While I sympathize with your lack of surprise, I believe this

    > [T]he media-wide unabashed smear campaign against him for doing the right thing with data.

    is simply a strawman.

  32. Jeff Condon said


    How is that a strawman? Seriously, I don’t see it.

    To me it seems that the messenger is being attacked for accepting money, without regard for what that money was being used for.

  33. willard said


    Well, I don’t see the smear campaign. Your post has not linked one single article of that smear campaign. It’s a campaign, and these are smears. Should be easy to substantiate.

    While you provide some links about that smear campaign which deserves due diligence, I note in your reply:

    > [B]eing attacked for accepting money, **without regard** [my emphasis] for what that money was being used for.

    Are you suggesting that the end justifies the means?

    I also note that we have yet to have a link whereby it is shown that Anthony is being criticized for accepting money from Heartland.

    I really thought it was about the secrecy of it all.

  34. Jeff Condon said

    “Your post has not linked one single article of that smear campaign.”

    There were literally hundreds of articles in the MSM on this. Why would I link to them?

    Curry did a partial list for you here:

    “Are you suggesting that the end justifies the means?” – I’m clearly making the opposite argument, are you making an argument for the purpose of arguing? I’m saying that if you criticize someone for accepting money, their name should not be the reason, what is being done with the money should be the reason – simple eh?

    “I really thought it was about the secrecy of it all.” – Wow, you really think that? The money hasn’t even been given out yet to my knowledge. They only made the decision a few weeks ago. How fast is a ‘tiny’ project like that supposed to be announced?

  35. willard said

    > Why would I link to them?

    To justify your accusation that we are witnessing a smear campaign.

    To reveal to your readers what exactly made you write this.

    Some quotes might be needed here.

    > I’m clearly making the opposite argument […]

    One opposite argument would be that for what money is used (the end) is irrelevant to the fact that it got obtained (i.e. the means).

    You’re clearly presuming that the use of funding must be considered when evaluating its obtention.

    What you *do* claim, besides what we were discussing, is that the media is attacking the person of Anthony Watts. That remains to substantiate.

    Here again, quotes might be needed.


    This is quite simple, Jeff. Either you pay due diligence, or your editorial remains empty. Your choice.

  36. Jeff Condon said


    See it how you will.

    Choice made.

  37. willard said


    Thank you for your honesty.

    In return, I’ll answer this rhetorical question:

    > Wow, you really think that [the criticism was about secrecy]?

    Yes, I did. At least in part. Just a theory based on this quote:

    > Watts as he has previously laughed off the notion that he is being funded by any corporate- and/or vested-interest group. […] And, yet, just a few months later comes the news that he has now received a considerable cheque from a climate sceptic thinktank funded, in part, by the Koch brothers and those with various other corporate and ideological interests.

    But hey, by chance you gave me the chance to make it what I will.

    I guess auditors will have to rely on the timestamps of the network of editorials for their social analysis.

    Due diligence,


  38. Jeff Condon said

    “Due diligence,”

    Like Douglas’s request that I look up the CO2 laser capable of cutting steel, this isn’t something which you cannot find on your own. It is a little silly asking me to do it for you.

    If you pay me, I will do it

  39. willard said


    Thank you for your charitable comment, which starts with this:

    > Like Douglas’s request […]

    Three words, and two tricks: Yes, but Look Over There and guilt by association. An efficient sentence.

    Then this:

    > [T]his isn’t something which you cannot find on your own.

    I am afraid I won’t be able to find what you read if you don’t tell me what you read.

    I could guess, though. It seems like a popular sport, nowadays. But I won’t speculate, because speculation can be dangerous.

    And finally this:

    > If you pay me, I will do it but you wouldn’t like my hourly rate.

    I already accepted your choice of not substantiating your accusations. In any case, I believe that if one wants to challenge the establishment, one should do it for free and accept money from no one. Do you agree?

    I’m just trying to help, you know. To show you that, here’s a quote from Judy’s list:

    > However, Anthony Watts, a weathercaster who runs one of the most prominent anti-science blogs, Watts Up With That?, acknowledged Heartland was helping him with $90,000 for a new project. He added: “They do not regularly fund me nor (sic) my WUWT website, I take no salary from them of any kind.” […] Watts, in an email, did not mention the entire cost of his temperature station initiative but said: “Heartland simply helped me find a donor for funding a special project.”

    Could you point to a criticism of Watts in that article?

    Many thanks!

    Oh, in case this is not clear from my response: no, I won’t give you a cent to answer this question.

  40. Jeff Condon said

    on and on.

  41. willard said


    Many thanks for your benevolent search. Here are my comments:

    1. I am not sure it would be fair to include your first link as a member of “the media” you have in mind. I’d rather classify this as the blogland climate circus. But I am quite sure it does not fit your other claim below:

    > There were literally hundreds of articles in the MSM on this.

    since it certainly does not belong to MSM. So I’ll let that aside for the moment, as I usually never open a link that goes there. But I would be interested to return to the accusation made toward Anthony Watts.

    2. Your second citation refers to an article where the string “watt” can’t be found.

    3. The third citation refers to an article where the string “watt” can’t be found.

    4. The fourth citation refers to an article where the string “watt” can’t be found.

    Do you have any quotes in these three articles that can substantiate your accusation that the media is onto a smear campaign against Anthony Watts?

    Many thanks!

  42. Willard,
    Many articles reference watts. I’m not going to read them for you.

    The forth link above also references watts.

    “The documents reveal that Heartland also pays prominent global warming sceptics more than US$300,000 a year and plans to raise US$88,000 to help a former television weatherman set up a new temperature records website.”

    Unless you think that might be a different former television weatherman receiving the same money.

    Do your own homework Willard. I don’t like sophists.

  43. Jeff Condon said


    If you said – Jeff, I’ve looked and there are no references, I would gladly look or even retract the article if needed.

    However, you have instead implied that I haven’t looked and read. This is not the case. I would say that nearly everyone here has read some form of Anthony Watts bashing on the matter.

  44. diogenes said

    wow! Willard resorting to parsomatics…..did he mislay his meds?

  45. willard said


    Thank you for your candid answer.

    If I read you right, in the fourth link there is this quote:

    > The documents reveal that Heartland […] plans to raise US$88,000 to help a former television weatherman set up a new temperature records website.

    So this refers to Watts alright. But I’m not sure I recognize the smear in that sentence. If that’s all you can do to back up that

    > [T]he media-wide unabashed smear campaign against [Anthony Watts] for doing the right thing with data.

    then readers might be tempted to believe that you are at handwaving.

    You may have read many things, Jeff, but you can’t say you quoted much to back up the claim that the media is smearing Anthony Watts.


    I acknowledge this advice you gratuitiously provided:

    > If you said – Jeff, I’ve looked and there are no references, I would gladly look or even retract the article if needed.

    If you already looked, I’m not sure why you’d “gladly look” again. Since it’s obvious to you that a smear campaign exists and that you read about it before publishing this editorial, you have nothing to lose by issuing this challenge. I don’t doubt the possibility that somebody, somewhere, smeared Anthony Watts: I want to know what you read that made you believe this.

    I can check alright. I can even report everything I find here. I could take Judy’s list if you want.

    But first let me note that George Monbiot just commented on this sorry episode. Here’s how it begins:

    > Shocking, fascinating, entirely unsurprising: the leaked documents, if authentic, confirm what we suspected but could not prove. The Heartland Institute, which has helped lead the war against climate science in the United States, is funded among others by tobacco firms, fossil fuel companies and one of the billionaire Koch brothers.

    Here’s how it ends:

    > This is plutocracy pure and simple. The battle for democracy is now a straight fight against the billionaires and corporations reshaping politics to suit their interests. The first task of all democrats must be to demand that any group, of any complexion, seeking to effect political change should reveal its funders.

    Considering auditors’ dislike of secrecy, and nevermind the “democrats,” would you agree with this suggestion?

    This time, I took more time to try to find a smear against Watts. Yet again, I found no occurence of “watt”. I did not find any occurence of “weatherman” either. Monbiot seems to have forgotten about the importance of this story.


    To prevent some parsomatics, I do realize you could not have read Monbiot, Jeff. (For that subsequent task, we could simply take Judith’s list.) But before that, I quote this editorial, among other things, to substantiate my claim that

    > I really thought it was about the secrecy of it all.

    So this quote shows that I am not alone in believing that last week’s hurly burly has something to do with secrecy.

    Not that it’s our main issue, of course. The main issue is how the media smeared Anthony Watts, for which we have yet to have a quote appearing on this thread.

    Since you provided me with such a free advice, I’ll return the gesture. If I were you, I’d rather find the quotes myself.


    Thank you for your generosity, and for the true gentlemanship you are showing in a comment thread of an editorial talking about smearing campaigns,

    Good evening,


  46. Willard,

    Thank you for your very kind post. Perhaps I’m a little to short with people who write in here sometimes. I often assume that fellow bloggers are exceptionally skilled in the art of Internet searches. Sometimes they are more difficult than I give them credit for.

    Perhaps a primer is in order?

    Open google, I assume this isn’t beyond you.

    Tpe in words which represent what you are looking for. In this case, “Anthony Watts denier funding” will work fine. Denier being a word which is derogatory toward those who don’t agree that climate science has the ‘future’ nailed down. Shame that term but it does the job. Another search I used first was “anthony watts funding”. ‘

    See, the news search engine compares recent online articles and finds the best matches to your words. That way, you can find what you are looking for quickly.

    Here is a link for you:
    It says:

    “funding to supposedly independent climate change deniers like Anthony Watts, and plans to develop a $100,000 climate change denial curriculum. ”

    Does that support my contention above that Anhony is being smeared without regard to the reason for the funding?

    No? Okay, what about this one? — I haven’t even looked back to the search yet, but I know it is there.

    This revelation is potentially damaging to Watts as he has previously laughed off the notion that he is being funded by any corporate- and/or vested-interest group. “AGW proponents seem hell bent on trying to repeat this ‘linked to’ nonsense at any cost,” he wrote last May. “Heh, I’ve yet to see that check or any from Exxon-Mobil or any other energy or development company. Somebody must be stealing checks out of my mailbox. /sarc – Anthony.”

    And, yet, just a few months later comes the news that he has now received a considerable cheque from a climate sceptic thinktank funded, in part, by the Koch brothers and those with various other corporate and ideological interests.

    Hell of a smear methinks.


    So Willard, since I assume from the quality of your tone that you are not “internet disabled”…………………..

    Why can’t you find the quotes.

    I spent 5 minutes the first time, 10 this time.

    You owe me 15 minutes.

  47. willard said


    You say:

    > I haven’t even looked back to the search yet, but I know it is there.

    Spending 10 seconds more on this page would have saved you 15 minutes.


    > Watts as he has previously laughed off the notion that he is being funded by any corporate- and/or vested-interest group. […] And, yet, just a few months later comes the news that he has now received a considerable cheque from a climate sceptic thinktank funded, in part, by the Koch brothers and those with various other corporate and ideological interests.

    has been quoted in #37, by yours truly.

    I believe the criticism expressed in that quote is about some kind of double standard. If that’s correct, I am afraid that the journalist making this accusation may have a point. In any case, what would be the smear, according to you?


    I found there, by the way:

    Have you read about this article at Lucia’s, like I did?

  48. I read Lucia’s every day. I’m not sure why you think that makes any difference at all to my contention.

    Previously you ‘insinuated’ there was no smear and I needed to provide links. I have provided the links which demonstrate the smear. There are MANY others.

    What else do you need?

  49. willard said


    This is your editorial. I am not the one who needs anything here.

    I don’t believe you demonstrated anything like a smear, let alone a campaign, targetting Anthony Watts.

    Have a good one,

    Keep the chin up,


  50. Willard,

    The campaign targeted all skeptics. One bystander who was obviously smeared was Anthony Watts.

    I wonder if you could define ANY evidence which would convince you.

    5 links




    Quotes about his mother?

  51. willard said


    I’ve asked you to tell me how the quote in #37 smears Anthony Watts.

    Let’s quote it again:

    > Watts as he has previously laughed off the notion that he is being funded by any corporate- and/or vested-interest group. […] And, yet, just a few months later comes the news that he has now received a considerable cheque from a climate sceptic thinktank funded, in part, by the Koch brothers and those with various other corporate and ideological interests.

    Please tell me how this smears Anthony Watts.

  52. By misrepresenting the obvious fact that we live in a forward biased timeline.

  53. willard said

    > And, yet, just a few months later […]

  54. SteveC said

    Jeff Condon writes:
    We read articles from advocate media every day. They are very consistent, and very wrong about people like Anthony Watts

    I completely agree with that statement.

  55. Willard,

    I believe you missed the reply in 52. It is enough for most to grock the problem. I have additionally provided other links, do you now admit that Anthony Watts was smeared or do you require other evidence? Before I find it for you though, you need to define what will convince you. At this point, I’m pretty sure that if every member of the media stood on your doorstep and personally confessed, you would remain surprisingly unconvinced.

  56. willard said


    Here’s the last sentence from the only article to which we are alluding:

    > If you like your hypocrisy sandwiches served with a side order of double standards, then these leaked documents are certainly the place to dine out.

    I believe that Hickman’s criticism was about entertaining a double standard. I already told you so, just a bit before you made a search that wasted 15 minutes of your expensive time searching for articles you have read to write this editorial. Just out of curiosity, why have you not looked into your browser’s history, by the way?


    I’m not sure how this argument gets refuted by Lucia’s “timeline” argument, which you now seem to be recalling. It was published in an editorial posted a few hours before you published that editorial. This editorial appeared in a blog you read daily.

    Incidentally, the sentence I underlined in my last comment:

    > And, yet, just a few months later […]

    does not appear in Lucia’s quotes from that article.

    In any case, I’m not sure how to interpret your claim that this article misrepresents “the obvious fact that we live in a forward biased timeline.” The timeline is there.

    And I’m not sure how a timelines matter in questions of double standards.

    Perhaps you could mansplain me how to search for this.


    I could stay a bit more and follow the links from Judy’s list, as I already offered. You have yet to accept or refuse this offer. Accepting it would provide an opportunity to pay due diligence to every open loops that remain in our discussion. For instance, I would acknowledge your last two tentatives to shift the discussion on my humble person.

    See you tomorrow,


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