I'm in the wrong line of work.
Rather, I'm on the wrong side in my line of work, because it's becoming increasingly clear that one can be a fairly successful conservative media critic without having to bother with honesty, consistency, or respect for one's readership.
In spite of my better judgment I clicked over to NewsBusters this afternoon and read through Lachlan Markay's attack on a Pennsylvania cross country skier who was quoted in the Wilkes-Barre Times-Leader blaming climate change for the poor skiing conditions in his state. After ticking off a variety of higher-latitude areas that have received huge amounts of snowfall this year, Markay observes:
The problem with scary climate models is that every aberration in weather patterns is taken as evidence that there is something seriously wrong with the climate, and humans are to blame.
The Times-Leader might have looked into whether this trend was widespread enough to proclaim it an indicator of global temperature trends. And the paper certainly should have thought twice before offering one man's experiences on his cross country skis as proof that “global warming is happening.”
Markay has a point here -- it's irresponsible for newspapers to take isolated weather occurrences as proof, one way or the other, of climate change. In fact, I made this same exact point two days ago when Markay's fellow NewsBuster Noel Sheppard mocked the idea of climate change by observing that it's cold in Copenhagen, where the United Nations climate change conference is taking place. And my colleague Jamison Foser also made this same exact point eight days ago when Sheppard suggested that a December snowstorm in New England undermines the scientific consensus on climate change.
And this isn't the first time Markay's high-minded tut-tutting has put himself at odds with his colleagues. On December 8, Markay attacked the White House for denigrating the “reputable polling organization” Gallup and their daily presidential tracking poll, even though NewsBusters has a rich and storied history of denigrating “reputable polling organizations,” frequently accusing them -- Gallup included -- of cooking their numbers to achieve pro-liberal results.
As I wrote at the time, it's improbable that the NewsBusters don't read their own blog, so the more likely explanation for this blatant hypocrisy is that they just don't care.