Washington Post Notes that “Strom” Inhofe’s an Idiot. Hello, Have you Read George Will Lately?

March 20, 2015

The Washington Post has been writing some scathing editorials on the towering dumbness of folks like Senator Strom..ahem..Jim Inhofe, whose recent “snowball” stunt so perfectly captured the current level of stupid in denierville. And, to be fair, the Post made a major step forward in hiring Chris Mooney, whose writings on climate and science in general are light years above what passes for science reporting in most major newspapers.

But, jeez, Washpost, have you taken a look at what your columnists have been doing for the last, oh, twenty or so critical years?

Washington Post:

SEN. JIM Inhofe (R-Okla.) chairs the Environment and Public Works Committee — and he seems determined to make that fact a national embarrassment.

Mr. Inhofe delivered a Senate floor speech about the “hysteria on global warming” last week with two conspicuous props. One was a blown-up photo of his family standing in front of an igloo labeled “AL GORE’S NEW HOME.” The Inhofe clan constructed it following a 2010 “snowstorm that had been unprecedented, it set a record that year,” Mr. Inhofe explained.

“In case we had forgotten, because we keep hearing that 2014 has been the warmest year on record,” Mr. Inhofe continued, reaching for a plastic bag next to his lectern, “I ask the chair, do you know what this is? It’s a snowball, just from outside here. It’s very, very cold out.”

Mr. Inhofe then tossed his snowball at the presiding officer.

The senator was right about one thing. The weather in Washington has been unusually cold. This February might turn out to be the capital’s coldest in 36 years. However, one could just as easily point out that, despite some bitter temperatures on the East Coast, the Northern Hemisphere is set to break the record for the least amount of cold air ever.

It may be worth pointing out that another steaming pile of climate ignorance has a comfy home within the Washington Post itself.

Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting:

The Washington Post (3/1/15) is afraid that Sen. Jim Inhofe’s ridiculous claims about climate change are going to be a “national embarrassment.”

It takes a much more tolerant attitude toward the climate deniers in its own employ.

Inhofe, the Oklahoma Republican who chairs the Environment and Public Works Committee, took to the floor of the Senate to try to debunk the “hysteria on global warming” with a snowball and a photo of a snow fort. As the Post accurately notes:

Global warming is a long-term and worldwide trend. The fact that it’s cold at one place on the Earth at one point in time does not undermine the contention that industrial greenhouse-gas emissions are warming the planet over the course of decades.

After remarking that polling on recognition of global warming varies with the weather, the editorial points out: “Politicians worthy of Americans’ trust dispel this sort of ascientific thinking–they don’t encourage it.”

So what does it say of the Washington Post‘s worthiness of Americans’ trust that one of its most prominent columnists engages in just this sort of “ascientific thinking”?

In a column in Newsweek (12/18/06), then owned by the Washington Post, Post columnist George Will presented this as an amusing irony:

Two US explorers went to the North Pole to study how global warming threatens polar bears. They had planned to go last year, but were forced to delay Project Thin Ice because of unusually heavy snow and ice.

Yes, the fact that it still snows at the North Pole was used by Will to cast doubt on climate science. If anything, that’s even more absurd than bringing a snowball from the Mall as a climate-denial prop.

Later, on ABC‘s This Week (7/8/12), Will dismissed a record-breaking heat wave, saying, “I grew up in central Illinois in a house without air conditioning. What is so unusual about this?” Is that what the Washington Post considers scientific thinking?

George Will’s latest attack on “climate Cassandras” appeared earlier this year in the Post (1/7/15), where he offers “historical evidence of enormously consequential episodes of climate change not produced by human activity” as a reason to be sanguine about current climate disruptions that are created by people.

Will isn’t the only prominent climate change denier given a prestigious soapbox by the Post.  Charles Krauthammer, for one, has used his Post column (2/20/14) to attack climate scientists as “white-coated propagandists,” and has gone on TV (Fox News Special Report, 5/6/14; cited in Talking Points Memo, 5/8/14) to mock climate change science as “superstition,” like the “rain dance of Native Americans.”

And the Post (12/9/09) made room on its op-ed page for Sarah Palin to explain how “we can’t say with assurance that man’s activities cause weather changes.”

Post editorial page editor Fred Hiatt (Media Matters, 8/26/14) has justified printing this kind of climate know-nothingism by saying, “I’m more inclined to take op-eds that challenge our editorials than just kind of join the chorus.” When similar arguments are made by Inhofe on the floor of the Senate, the Post calls them “benighted complacency”; maybe Hiatt finds benighted complacency challenging.

Of course, the music of the chorus itself can be rather discordant, as when the Post (10/5/12) called on readers to join in “the biggest environmental fight of our time–against climate change”….by embracing fracking (FAIR Blog, 10/11/12).

You can write the Washington Post at letters@washpost.com. Please remember that respectful communication is the most effective.

Interesting that C-Span thought it worthwhile to post the Snowball stunt in a video clip, that has gotten half a million views so far.

4 Responses to “Washington Post Notes that “Strom” Inhofe’s an Idiot. Hello, Have you Read George Will Lately?”

  1. anotheralionel Says:

    George Will, ‘…we are being asked to wager trillions of dollars and substantially curtailed freedom on climate models that are imperfect and unproven and the consensus far from being as solid as they say it is and the debate is over as they say it is the emails indicate that people are very nervous about suppressing criticism, gaming the peer review process for scholarly works and all the rest. One of the emails said it is a travesty, his word, that we cannot explain the fact that global warming has stopped.’

    Sorry but I had to stop listening to this equivocating dissembler at that point, so angry was I about Will’s distortions and basic untruths. He must be aware of the multiple exonerations of the so called Climategate emails by now. He must also be aware that global warming has not stopped.

    But Will’s total distortion of Trenberth’s ‘travesty’ quote is beyond the pale for as long ago as November 2009 Joe Romm posted this article, Let’s look at one of the illegally hacked emails in more detail — the one by NCAR’s Kevin Trenberth on “where the heck is global warming?” and it is not credible that Will was not aware of that.

    Many others also straightened out the issues over Climategate, which we must remember cam about from an illegal act perpetrated to derail the climate talks at that time. I put it, that by continuing with this fatuous line Will is aiding and abetting the perpetrators of that crime, for that is what it was. IIRC nine investigations cleared the CRU and associates of any wrong doing which is more than can be said for George Will.

    If the WaPo wishes to be able to hold its head up as a fair and balanced media outlet then Will needs censure, or worse.

  2. dumboldguy Says:

    “You can write the Washington Post at letters@washpost.com. Please remember that respectful communication is the most effective”.

    Uh-Huh! The WashPost has been my daily newspaper for 46 years, and in terms of getting published, the most “effective” letters are inane screeds about some non-PC treatment in the paper of women or gays or animals, grammar and word usage errors, and “inappropriate” photographs. Huge amounts of paper have been wasted on the controversy over the name of the Washington football team (the Deadskins) and their greedy spoiled little rich kid owner Danny S.

    Do not bother to write them about climate change or suggest that they follow the lead of the LA Times and adopt a policy of not publishing crap from deniers. They apparently want people to “feel good”, but not educated, at least about AGW.

    Mooney’s arrival has upped the intelligent reporting on climate change greatly. There seems to be an internal political war going on at the Post on many fronts, and I hope Mooney survives. Krudhammer and his getting-senile buddy Gorge Twit are being given slightly less exposure of late in comparison to more “fair and balanced” commenters—I applaud that trend.

  3. Bob Doublin Says:

    George Will is a toxic mimic of a wise man. George Will is a toxic mimic of a critical thinker. Charles Krauthammer is a toxic mimic of a human with integrity.

    • greenman3610 Says:

      In Washington’s journalistic community of pompous idiots, George Will is what passes for an intellectual.

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