Sunday, December 13, 2009

Going Rogue 11, ClimateGate 5

Remember this?

If you wonder why American newspapering is dying, consider this sign-off:

AP writers Matt Apuzzo, Sharon Theimer, Tom Raum, Rita Beamish, Beth Fouhy, H. Josef Hebert, Justin D. Pritchard, Garance Burke, Dan Joling and Lewis Shaine contributed to this report.

Wow. That's ten "AP writers" plus Calvin Woodward, the AP writer whose twinkling pen honed the above contributions into the turgid sludge of the actual report. That's eleven writers for a 695-word report. What on? Obamacare? The Iranian nuke program? The upcoming trial of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed?

No, the Associated Press assigned eleven writers to "fact-check" Sarah Palin's new book

Now we have this. From the AP's article covering (up) ClimateGate:

The AP studied all the e-mails for context, with five reporters reading and rereading them—about 1 million words in total.

That's less than half the reporters they assigned to "fact-check" Sarah Palin's book.

To be fair, that article also tells us:

As part of the AP review, summaries of the e-mails that raised issues from the potential manipulation of data to intensely personal attacks were sent to seven experts in research ethics, climate science and science policy.

OK. But read this at Watts Up With That: AP’s Seth Borenstein is just too damn cozy with the people he covers – time for AP to do something about it.



  1. I can understand shopping out the climate science bit and the policy bit, but research ethics? I guess that not having anyone onboard for that explains a lot...
    BTW, do read the article in McLeans's on Steve McIntyre. Particularly the early biographical bits, it makes one realize that in some sense, Bedford Falls was a real place, and still exists....

  2. LOL!AP shoots themselves in the foot!Cmon AP is sarah palins book that important to warrent 11 reporters on her new book?No wonder you clowns have no credibility!You do realize shes just loving all the attention shes getting eh?All the free press,id be laughing!Keep pushing your climate change garbage and watch reasonable people push back and tell you all to stick it where the sun dont shine.No India or china on any deal in Copenhagen = No deal.


  3. Horrible work by the AP. But this isn't "why newspapers are dying."

    (I know they weren't your words; I'm just responding to the notion.)

  4. The AP marches on to total irrelevance. Sending reporters to cover something they have no working understanding is perfect.

    Expect them to find nothing, because that's all they're capable of grasping in this event.


    As noted, it would be far more useful to talk to Steve McIntyre. He could explain in terms even the AP could understand.

    - djohn

  5. (1) They sent summaries instead of the actual text? Let's see the rewrites.

    (2) The climategate files also included code, code that shows how the CRU folks were manipulating data. I don't know why the journalists didn't bother to look at the code, but it contained comments that even they should have been able to understand.

    Programmer who took the time to look at the code found that it pretty much proves that the CRU folks were a mix of deception and incompetence.


  6. It doesn't surprise me or even bother me that AP would use fewer reports to cover a technical story. than a biography of a politician. I am surprised that AP thought it had five reporters who would be competent enough to analyze and fact check a science story dealing with statistics.

  7. Bets that Seth Borenstein is one of AP's ClimateGate "fact checkers?"

  8. Yep, he is, a "lead author" of the article no less.

  9. 11 reporters plus William Shatner.

  10. "That's less than half the reporters they assigned to "fact-check" Sarah Palin's book."

    Fewer than half, please.

  11. And as Taranto notes today, AP seems to have missed the point--that even CRU scientists harbored serious doubts about the data:
    " In the wake of a whistle-blower's release of emails from the University of East Anglia demonstrating the intellectual corruption of climate science, believers in global warming have insisted that, however badly some scientists might have behaved, the "consensus" is so solid that there is no reason to question it. But a review of the emails by London's Mail on Sunday shows that scientists committed to global warmism suppressed their own doubts about some elements of the purported consensus:

    The claim was both simple and terrifying: that temperatures on planet Earth are now "likely the highest in at least the past 1,300 years."
    As its authors from the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) must have expected, it made headlines around the world.
    Yet some of the scientists who helped to draft it, The Mail on Sunday can reveal, harboured uncomfortable doubts.
    In the words of one, David Rind from the US space agency Nasa, it 'looks like there were years around 1000AD that could have been just as warm'.
    Keith Briffa from the University of East Anglia's Climatic Research Unit (CRU), which plays a key role in forming IPCC assessments, urged caution, warning that when it came to historical climate records, there was no new data, only the "same old evidence" that had been around for years.
    "Let us not try to over-egg the pudding," he wrote in an email to an IPCC colleague in September 2006.
    "True, there have been many different techniques used to aggregate and scale data--but the efficacy of these is still far from established."
    But when the "warmest for 1,300 years" claim was published in 2007 in the IPCC's fourth report, the doubters kept silent.
    The Associated Press, has conducted its own review: "The AP studied all the e-mails for context, with five reporters reading and rereading them--about 1 million words in total." That's less than half as many reporters as the AP assigned to "fact check" Sarah Palin's "Going Rogue," a book we're pretty sure contains considerably fewer than a million words.

    The AP's findings:

    E-mails stolen from climate scientists show they stonewalled skeptics and discussed hiding data--but the messages don't support claims that the science of global warming was faked, according to an exhaustive review by The Associated Press.
    The 1,073 e-mails examined by the AP show that scientists harbored private doubts, however slight and fleeting, even as they told the world they were certain about climate change. However, the exchanges don't undercut the vast body of evidence showing the world is warming because of man-made greenhouse gas emissions.
    Somehow a single reporter at a London tabloid was able to find the evidence that eluded the AP's five-man team."

  12. Thank You!