Category Archives: Media bias

Not So Skeptical Skeptics

One of the best podcasts that you will find is The Skeptic’s Guide to the Universe.  I link to their podcast feed over on the right side of my blog page under GREAT PODCASTS and I highly recommend it.  I have learned a lot from their discussions of science-related current events and they are even funny while they do it.  Steve Novella, the main guy, is simply sharp as a tack.  Having said all of that, they really disappointed me with their response to the ongoing scandal that has been dubbed “ClimateGate”.

Additionally, I was absolutely stunned to discover that none of the Big Three networks have covered the scandal and the leaked information and ramifications at all on television.  Seriously – this is a blatant news blackout.  I simply cannot believe that they would be so obvious.  Someone on Twitter humorously suggested that we should accuse Tiger Woods of involvement to get some coverage, but I digress…

I will admit up front that I have always been a skeptic when it comes to anthropogenic climate change (what used to be called Global Warming before cold spells undercut that mantra).  My pre-ClimateGate reasons for this skepticism include things like the pre-industrial Medieval Warm Period, the outright silliness of trying to consider the Little Ice Age to be a baseline for normal temperatures, the discredited Hockey Stick graph, James Hanson’s deceitful attempt to use September temperatures to make October look inordinately hot, it goes on and on.  Additionally, part of my reluctance to get on board is the stink of a social/political agenda on the part of the high priests of the church of man-made climate change.  Additionally, though believers love to dismiss any non-believers who receive research money from energy concerns they do not use that same standard for these scientists who get massive grants for coming up with the “approved” results, nor do they talk much about Al Gore cashing in on it.  They simply [naively] assume altruism in those people.

Having said that, ClimateGate is a huge scandal, and while I can understand people like Michael Mann (the huckster who created the discredited hockey stick graph) and Phil Jones circling the wagons to protect themselves and their [well-funded] alarmist industry, I cannot understand why the SGU rogues and their friend-of-the-SGU Phil Plait (the Bad Astronomer) seem to be willing to throw aside their alleged skepticism in order to stick to their story.  In doing so they embarrass themselves and have seriously undercut their well earned credibility, particularly with those of us in the sub-group that Steve once dubbed their “libertarian listeners”.

I listened to the SGU podcast #227 to see how they would respond to the damning information that has come to light from the leaked (or hacked) data pulled from the UK’s Climate Research Unit.  Did they mention the scientists conspiring to use tricks to hide the decline in recent global temperatures (“Mike’s trick”)?  Nope.  Did they mention the scientists discussing illegal schemes to hide their data from Freedom of Information (FOIA) Requests?  Nope.  Did they talk about the fact that these scientists claim that all of the raw, unadjusted data has been lost, with only the “corrected” (i.e. “tricked”) data left available?  No, they did not.  They simply circled the wagons and took the typical [shout-down fascism] tactic of calling us anthropogenic climate change skeptics “deniers”, a well-known reference equating us to holocaust deniers.

Bad Astronomer Phil Plait, who is president of the JREF and seems to be a very decent guy, even took the ridiculous position of dismissing it with this pathetic statement:

Bottom line? Yawn. Get back to me when you have equally overwhelming evidence that global warming is not happening, or if it is it’s not anthropogenic. Then we can talk.

One could argue that his statement is an example of the logical fallacy called the argument from ignorance, “in which it is claimed that a premise is true only because it has not been proven false”.

When the data is called into question you cannot dismiss skeptics based upon your unwavering faith in that same questionable data.  Perhaps in such a situation one should check one’s premises.

These so-called scientists have been using tricks to arrive at their pre-determined conclusion, have talked of avoiding FOIA requests, and have “lost” the raw data, but the skeptics at SGU continue to declare that it is settled science… based upon the very people and data that have now been shown fairly convincingly to be lies, half-truths, manipulations, and obfuscations.  I am trying to find a good analogy here to describe what they are doing in defending the ClimateGate offenders.  Maybe the way football fans will let a player get away with egregious crimes because they feel like they are on the same team?  Perhaps a better analogy is the way that people who naively supported vacuous candidate Obama still refuse to admit that they were hoodwinked by his platitudes.  Those analogies are not exactly right but I am getting close.  I will have to put more thought into that.  Maybe they have simply gotten so used to defending against “deniers” that they are just doing the thoughtless knee-jerk reaction.

Perhaps most importantly, the computer models on which a lot of this theory is based did not predict our current cooling trend.  Why is that?  Because as analysis of the source code is now revealing, they coded the software with a conclusion in mind, fudging things to make them work.  Poor Harry, whoever that is, but I will get to that in a minute.

Continue reading

Advertisements

Three Key Points About ClimateGate

[Hat tip to the always spot-on Hot Air]

Writing over at Pajamas Media, Iain Murray points out the three most important things to know about what is now being called ClimateGate:

First, the scientists discuss manipulating data to get their preferred results. The most prominently featured scientists are paleoclimatologists, who reconstruct historical temperatures and who were responsible for a series of reconstructions that seemed to show a sharp rise in temperatures well above historical variation in recent decades.

So when people mock you about being a denier, remember that their entire Climate Change belief system was largely constructed by these same dishonest, “proper result”-driven scientists.

Secondly, scientists on several occasions discussed methods of subverting the scientific peer review process to ensure that skeptical papers had no access to publication. In 2003, Tom Wigley of the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colorado, complained that paleoclimatologist Hans von Storch was responsible for “the publication of crap science ‘in order to stimulate debate’” and that they “must get rid of von Storch” (1051190249) as an editor of the journal Climate Research (he indeed subsequently resigned).

So they are big about calling for peer review, but they attack peers who review things in ways that they do not like.  Real science requires letting people attempt to poke holes in your theory, but these High Priests of the Church of Climate Change fight back when people do just that.

Finally, the scientists worked to circumvent the Freedom of Information process of the United Kingdom.

They discuss hiding data and deleting emails in order to evade FOIA requests.  Unbelievable.

Showing that the True Believers are circling the wagons, Newsbusters is reporting that the only TV news outlet reporting on this historic scandal is Fox News:

The Obama administration has another reason to hate Fox: it appears to be the only national television news outlet in America interested in the growing ClimateGate scandal.Despite last Friday morning’s bombshell that hacked e-mail messages from a British university suggested a conspiracy by some of the world’s leading global warming alarmists — many with direct ties to the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change — to manipulate temperature data, ABC, CBS, CNN, MSNBC, and NBC through Monday evening have completely ignored the subject.

LexisNexis searches indicate that NPR appears to also be part of this news boycott.

Having never believed in this junk science hoax, one of my main concerns has always been the long term effects of this political “science”.  When something legitimate comes along that does warrant a warning from [more legitimate] scientists, people will remember this bogus, political Global Warming hoax and will ignore the scientists.

Charles Gibson: Spinning for Obama

ABC News Anchor Charles Gibson

ABC News Anchor Charles Gibson

On Monday night Charles Gibson continued doing his tough job of spinning for the Obama administration.  After starting with Jake Tapper’s report on the health care debate, anchor Gibson did what he has done time and time again: spin horrible economic news positively for the Obama administration.  On the October 12th World News Tonight, Gibson said this:

Most economists say the recession is over and a recovery is underway.  That’s the view of 80 percent of experts in a survey by the National Association for Business Economics.

Then Gibson immediately moved on to other news.  As so often seems the case, Mr Gibson only reported the shred of data that could conceivably look good for Obama: the fact that 80 percent felt that the recession is over.  Given that this is a survey done by an organization that has been around for fifty years, one would expect that they would ask more than one question, perhaps gleening more than one simple data point.  Lo and behold, that does appear to be the case!

First, look at this graph, drawn from the results of the survey’s question asking when the jobs would return:

CNN Money chart_job_recovery

Note that only a total of 7.7 percent of the economists surveyed believed that we would recover the lost jobs by the end of 2011, more than two years from now!  I am just a programmer who spent 10 minutes doing internet research to find this data but I would argue that it is highly pertinent to the intentionally shallow story peddled by Mr. Gibson about the rosy end of the recession.

A cynical person could safely assume that Mr. Gibson simply cherry-picked the news that was good for President Obama and left out the parts that were not good for Mr. Obama.  In fact, it would take an exceedingly gullible person to believe that Mr. Gibson was not being intentionally deceitful in his reporting of this story (par for the course for Charlie).  It would seem that those people still under the spell of the Obama personality cult think that defending him serves some higher purpose.

In Gibson’s defense, he may just be a talking head who reads from the teleprompter (sound familiar?) and may not be responsible for the content that he repeats.  It seems apparent that Jake Tapper and Nick Schifrin do all the real journalism on that network, freeing up people like Charlie Gibson to be advocates for the Left.

This reminded me of a good report at Newsbusters a couple of weeks ago.  In case you are under the impression that this is an isolated incident of Gibson’s advocacy journalism, take a look at the following video which compares the reporting of a 9.4 percent unemployment rate under Obama to that same number under President Reagan in 1983.  Conveniently enough, it is the same so-called journalist (Charlie Gibson) doing both stories!

1982 – President Reagan (R) – 9.4% unemployment

” There really isn’t any good news in the statistics, all of the numbers are bad” … “450,000 more people are unemployed than were a month ago.  For Democrats it’s an issue ready-made.” — Charles Gibson

2009 – President Obama (D)- 9.4% unemployment

“In the current economic environment, sometimes the bad jobs report can look good.  345,000 American workers lost their jobs in May.  A big number to be sure, traumatic if you are one of the 345,000, but the number was smaller than economists had predicted, and that’s good news.” — Charles Gibson

Newsbusters published a report on this oddly different reporting of the same jobs numbers, relying on a report from the Business and Media Institute.  Some of their conclusions:

Network Reports 13 Times More Negative Under Reagan than Under Obama: An overwhelming majority of stories mentioning the Reagan administration were negative 91 percent (20 out of 22) while only 7 percent (1 out of 15) of Obama administration mentions were negative. Additionally, Obama mentions were favorable 87 percent of the time, but there were zero positive mentions of Reagan.

 Networks Connect Reagan White House to Negative Jobs Numbers Almost Twice as Often as Obama: Unemployment stories in 1982 mentioned the Reagan administration 71 percent of the time (22 out of 31), but 2009 stories mentioned the Obama administration only 40 percent of the time (14 out of 35).

Charles Gibson: 9.4% Unemployment ‘Good News’ (Obama) and also ‘All’ Bad (Reagan): The unemployment rate reached 9.4 percent under Reagan and Obama. But ABC’s Charles Gibson covered the identical rate very differently in 1982 than in 2009. Gibson told viewers May 7, 1982, “[T]here really isn’t any good news in the statistics. All the numbers are bad.” But by 2009, Gibson had turned into an optimist citing “good news” June 5 and “hope the economy may be finally turning the corner” Aug. 7.

I think that Charlie Gibson gets that same thrill running up his leg that Chris Matthews has so embarrassingly described.  Both men are nothing more than partisan hacks, but at least Matthews is not taken seriously as a journalist.

Hey Democrats: You DO Lie!

Joe-Wilson-You-Lie-photoIn my decades of political observation I have observed one absolute fact: you can never trust a statist to tell the truth, because the truth that they are hiding always involves their plans to make you more and more of a slave to the government.

As we all now know, even though Rep. Joe Wilson’s choice of time and place for his outburst was unwise, Joe Wilson was telling the truth and Barack Obama was lying and obfuscating.  As anyone who is not drinking his personality cult Kool Aid knows, Barack Obama consistently plays word games and obfuscates in order to hide his real statist, anti-freedom agenda.  Simply put, Barack Obama is a lying piece of [expletive deleted].

Writing at the Macon County Conservative Examiner, Robert Moon spills the beans on the Democrats’ lies about their deceitfully-named health care “reform”:

Every single Democrat on the Senate Finance Committee has voted down an amendment to ensure that this government takeover will not involuntarily force people out of the coverage they want.

This has been an central talking point of Obama’s from the beginning: “If you like your insurance, you can keep it.”

We’ve seen this time and time again. As I previously noted, Democrats also indignantly rejected any notion that ObamaCare would end up covering illegal immigrants…but then turned around and voted down every single attempt to add any kind of verification measures to the legislation.
 
And then I also pointed out how Obama-apologists insisted that HR 3200 wouldn’t be used to fund abortions…only to turn around and reject any and all amendments to actually ban such funding…and now this.

Actions speak louder.
 
This is why Democrats keep losing ground with the American people.
 
This is reminiscent of Obama’s campaign pledge made repeatedly in 2008 against imposing any tax increases “of any kind” on people making less than $250,000/year…which he already violated when he passed a national tax hike on cigarettes.

When politicians tell you that you will not have to change to their plan, but then refuse to put that into the bill, they are showing themselves to be lying sacks of excrement.  Period.

When the Democrats and their water carriers in the mainstream media vehemently deny that their socialist health care plan will cover illegal aliens while they vote down any attempt to put that into the bill, they are not only lying to you, they are insulting your intelligence.

Then when they scoff at the notion that their Soviet-style health care takeover will cover abortions but then refuse to put that restriction into the bill it simply defies all believability.

The only conclusion that I can draw from all of this is that the Democrat Party geniunely believe that we are morons and that with the aid of their accomplices in the mainstream media, like the perennial advocate for the Left Charles Gibson, they can say whatever they want secure in the knowledge that they can get away with their lies.

Calling out Gibson and Tapper

Say it ain’t so, Jake!

abc_jake_tapper_090127_blog

ABC News White House Correspondent Jake Tapper

Jake Tapper, ABC News White House Correspondent,  has consistently posed harder questions to President Obama than virtually anyone else in the largely fawning gaggle of groupies also known as the White House Press Corps and because of that higher level of intellectual honesty many of us follow Jake on Facebook or on Twitter.  When he noted yesterday that ABC’s World News Tonight was [finally] going to report on the recent ACORN sting and their on-tape support of numerous illegalities I made sure that I did not miss it.  I like Jake Tapper.  I was more than a little disappointed by the story, and frankly he and Gibson need to be called out on it.

Please go watch the short segment, which can be viewed here, to decide for yourself.

The segment seemed slanted from the very beginning and I had a flashback to the late 90s when Dan Rather was reporting on the Lewinsky scandal during President Clinton’s second term.  Like Charlie Gibson’s graphic, which read “ACORN Under Fire,” Rather was doing his best to run interference for Mr. Clinton and similarly the graphic over his shoulder sympathetically read “White House Under Fire”.  Many more properly descriptive alternatives come to mind, such as “ACORN Accused of Criminality” or even “Big Media Scooped by Amateurs”, but would clearly fail to portray the group sympathetically enough.

UPDATE 9/18: To be completely honest, O’Reilly’s graphic last night said “ACORN Under Fire” as well!  But I do think that the points that I make in the rest of this post stand alone.

Gibson’s lead-in statements before handing the story off to Tapper attempted to frame the story immediately as some sort of GOP grudge match.

“For years, republicans in that city have been taking aim at an umbrella group of community organizers called ACORN.  Opposition to the group intensified when ACORN helped President Obama in his election campaign. And now a video tape has surfaced which has prompted calls for investigations of ACORN’s activities.”

ABC News Anchor Charles Gibson

ABC News Anchor Charles Gibson

Gibson immediately struck a sympathetic tone with ACORN, once again painting a picture of a group in the crosshairs of the “republicans” who are “taking aim” at ACORN and he tried to present it as a simple partisan grudge against a group who supported their opponent.  Furthermore, while being interviewed on a Chicago radio show on Tuesday (Sept. 15th), Gibson actually claimed that he was unfamiliar with the story!  Given that the story, complete with video from ACORN offices of their people happily assisting in plans for illegal activities, had broken five days earlier one would expect Mr. Gibson to be familiar with it.  The Senate had voted the night before to cut ties to ACORN and the Census Bureau had terminated their association with the radical group four days earlier on Friday, September 11th.  Mr. Gibson’s claim of ignorance truly requires an unacceptable level of credulity.

Continue reading

Thomas Sowell: Obama is a liar

[Hat tip to Mark Levin for linking to this Sowell article]

Sowell must be racist, huh?  According to the media, those of us who do not salute every utterance out of the Dear Leader’s mouth are motivated by racism.  I for one do not care that Obama’s skin is brown but I very much care that his politics are red.

The brilliant Dr. Sowell points out something that Charlie Gibson (advocate for the left) probably has not mentioned to the proles: though they are rushing this bill through Congress, it does not go into effect until after the next Presidential election!

One plain fact should outweigh all the words of Barack Obama and all the impressive trappings of the setting in which he says them: He tried to rush Congress into passing a massive government takeover of the nation’s medical care before the August recess– for a program that would not take effect until 2013!

Whatever President Obama is, he is not stupid. If the urgency to pass the medical care legislation was to deal with a problem immediately, then why postpone the date when the legislation goes into effect for years– more specifically, until the year after the next Presidential election?

If this is such an urgently needed program, why wait for years to put it into effect? And if the public is going to benefit from this, why not let them experience those benefits before the next Presidential election?

He answers his own question, but you already knew why Mr. Obama is doing what he is doing:

If we do not believe that the President is stupid, then what do we believe? The only reasonable alternative seems to be that he wanted to get this massive government takeover of medical care passed into law before the public understood what was in it.

Moreover, he wanted to get re-elected in 2012 before the public experienced what its actual consequences would be.

President Obama

President Obama

What a complete hardball-politics slimeball Barack Obama is.  This is a new leader?  This is HopenChange?  This clown is attempting to ram Soviet-style health care down our throats but does not want us to get a taste of how bad it will be until he is safely into his second term in the White House.  True to form as a statist, he consistently shows that creating and cementing more government dependence is his raison d’etre.  His reason for being.

One would imagine that the press would be performing their watchdog duties if a Republican tried such a thing.  Of course, when a leftist is in power the American Media morphs from watchdogs into lapdogs.

Obama Road

I found this picture on The Frugal Cafe Blog Zone and wanted to share it:

Obama and his cheerleaders

Obama and his cheerleaders

I suppose that someone is going to need to update this to exchange Gibson for his talking-head replacement (Sawyer) at the end of the year.