Planet Gore

An Inconvenient HuffPo Item

A reader writes to note that, after yesterday’s outrage of a voice of reason — er, “rambling . . . denial” — gracing its pages, the Huffington Post “could NOT allow Mr. Ambler to go on so (so, they had to denigrate HIM),” citing this example of HuffPo siccing someone else to go after the gent, and quite personally.

The author naturally reaches immediately for the alarmist’s oxygen, argumentum ad hominem: Ambler’s piece was the “ramblings of a rowing musician” (yet somehow the very poor science student Al Gore, and any other pol or celeb who agrees, apparently spouts Gospel). They reach, too, for the fallacious and equally typical appeal to authority: “NASA,” by which he actually means James Hansen, to whom he ascribes NASA’s scientific authority.

Yet, turning the mirror a bit, we see the amusing truth that, despite this approach, the author is not a scientist but a blogger for the tantrum-throwing PR outlet DeSmogBlog. The alert reader directs us to the DeSmogblog scribbler’s HuffPo bio noting:

He’s an editor and a “social media” guy/guru. Now, how far above “musician” is that?
But, what I find most interesting is the chastisement of Mr. Ambler by other blogs because of a point made by Ms. Huffington HERSELF in one of her books.

He refers us to this post, which complains:

What is, perhaps, especially frustrated [sic] is that Huffington Post chose to give voice to this deception as if they are redefining ‘fair and balanced’ back to the Faux News version. As Arianna wrote in her book:

Without the enabling of the traditional media — with their obsession with “balance” and their pathological devotion to the idea that truth is always found in the middle — the radical Right would never have been able to have its ideas taken seriously.

By publishing such misleading tripe, Huffington Post is contributing to defining some form of middle when it comes to science, between those who actually believe that the scientific method has value those who seem to think that they can shape reality through loudly repeating falsehoods while holding their hands over their ears. Huffington Post has done its founder, its readership, and the larger society a disservice by giving voice to dishonesty.”

So above we see how once again the objection is to allowing others to speak, or be published, and have their thoughts judged on their merits by others. And the response is, once again, not to address the merits but to take out after the speaker, personally. Humorously, however, in their pique they’re now turning on themselves.

But note that last, desperate stab of “dishonesty,” not unsurprising from an author who also went on with “It is tiring and rarely fruitful” to counter those who disagree with their prophesying, “especially because so many so-called ‘skeptics’ are not open to factual and thoughtful discussion. Data and analyses at odds with their misguided weltaunschauung [sic] will not be allowed to penetrate their thinking.” More amusing is that I received this on the heels of receiving the following from the producer of a nationally syndicated radio show, cancelling a hit planned for this morning:

Unfortunately we are still unable to secure a guest to support the Global Warming Is a Reality side of the coin. Most have said that they have moved past the debate issue and are focusing on solutions to the problem. They stand behind their facts and say there is no longer a debate over this issue.

[As I address in my new book, that’s clever: refuse to debate and say, “See, there’s no debate.” Respond to every skeptic scientist or, more recently, to a petition by hundreds or even tens of thousands by saying either “oh, those same old names” or, “never heard of them.” Like calling global cooling “global warming” then “climate change.” Cover all the bases.]
As the e- mailer cited above noted, what we have here seems to be a whopper of a case of “projection.”


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