Human Exceptionalism

“Media Malpractice”

One of the joys of being a writer is that when something galls you, you can fight back. As readers of SHS know, I have been mightily irked by CBS and MSNBC swallowing whole the specious “study” that global warming is causing earthquakes. My friends at the Daily Standard saw it the same way, resulting in this column. I begin:

THERE IS A SURE-FIRE WAY to make the news these days: Just issue a press release beginning with the words, “New scientific study shows,” and have it assert a conclusion that the MSM fervently want to believe–especially if the resulting story would serve to debunk or refute a Bush administration policy. Slam-dunk! Your press release will become news!

That is precisely what happened with the “global warming causes earthquakes” story run by CBS and MSNBC. I then point out that the originator of this nonsense, one Thomas Chalko, MSc, Ph.D., is hardly an expert on the issues of either global warming or earthquakes:

Chalko is best described as a pseudo-scientist–at least when it comes to the fields of global warming and earthquakes about which he was quoted by CBS and MSNBC as an authority. He is not a meteorologist. Nor is he a geophysicist or seismologist. His website reveals that he is into “self healing,” “vibrations,” and alien visitations

I discuss some of the issues I have addressed here previously and conclude:

The media love to repeatedly parrot the liberal meme that the Bush administration is scientifically ignorant. But the Chalko non story shows that many in the MSM are the true scientific ignoramuses–as well as true believers. Even if a story that is patently ridiculous comes across their transoms supporting their mass-think, and, better yet, purports to be based on a “scientific study,” why bother with fact and source checking?

No wonder the public is fast losing faith in what the media tell them. File this debacle under Stupidity in Media.

Or to put it another way: Duh.