The Washington Post’s “fact-checking” process is a disgrace

A little over a week ago, I posed the question “Is Joe Romm right about conservatives and climate change?“, prompted by some depressing evidence from conservative media sources that Romm in fact is. Not long after, George Will lent his voice to the choir of right wing climate moronity. ‘Enough is enough’ seemed to be the response from the science and lefty blogospheres, which all but erupted (e.g. here, here, here, here, here, here, here, etc.) in protest to Will’s resurrection of several easily debunked denialist talking points.

It’s worth reading Carl Zimmer’s latest post on the issue in full. Consider, while you’re marveling at the complete lack of accountability Will and WaPo’s editorial board enjoy, that Will’s columns are widely syndicated throughout the country. We can argue all day about the costs/benefits of science bloggers critiquing science journalists, but the relative audiences of either are minuscule compared to a columnist like Will’s.

Where is the journalistic outrage from Will’s conservative (or liberal) mainstream media peers? From the Washington Post’s competitors? If conservatives’ arguably most intellectual pundit and one of the highest profile newspapers in the country (if not the world) cannot even be held to account for basic fact-checking after being repeatedly called on their errors, how are we supposed to get half of the country on board in order to make a binding international emissions treaty possible?

[UPDATE: It looks like Carl’s post is going to get a lot of well-deserved reads. Apparently everyone and their mothers are linking to it, and rightfully so. Maybe Will and/or WaPo will be moved to issue a correction out of sheer embarrassment, as they seem to have no professional or ethical motivation to do so.]

[LATE UPDATE: Joe Romm has more, including an arch reaction from Hilzoy which is well worth reading.]


One response to “The Washington Post’s “fact-checking” process is a disgrace

  1. Pingback: George F. Will goes platinum « Greenfyre’s

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