Three weeks ago, Chris Mooney submitted an op-ed to the Washington Post, in response to George Will's controversial global warming column. Today, the Post runs Mooney's column. Mooney concludes:
Readers and commentators must learn to share some practices with scientists -- following up on sources, taking scientific knowledge seriously rather than cherry-picking misleading bits of information, and applying critical thinking to the weighing of evidence. That, in the end, is all that good science really is. It's also what good journalism and commentary alike must strive to be -- now more than ever.
Mooney graciously says he is "heartened" that the Post ran his column. The Post does deserve some credit for doing so, but I have to wonder what took so long. Three weeks is an eternity in the modern news cycle, and many people have probably forgotten all about the controversy surrounding Will's column. In the meantime, Will's false claims have had three weeks to solidify in Post readers' minds. The paper would have done better by the public -- and the truth -- had it published Mooney's column much sooner.