The Washington Post’s opinion page writers are in high dudgeon today over recent hearings by a House Energy and Commerce subcommittee on climatology and global warming. The gist of the page’s second editorial is, “How dare they look into the science and the hockey stick?” The opinionators conclude with a mighty blast, declaring, “But it is a particularly ugly kind of denial that leads a congressional committee to spend this kind of energy attacking scientists, instead of confronting the problems their data suggest.”
We’re confused. What hearing? We looked and looked and looked in the pages of the Washington Post and could not find a single news story about any such hearing. (Blogger in Chief Pat Cleary wrote about his frustrated search in this post.) No reporting on the scientists’ testimony, no quoting of inquiring politicians, no coverage at all.
We’re inclined to say something along the lines of, “It is a particularly ugly kind of advocacy journalism that leads a newspaper to spend this kind of editorial energy attacking one side of an argument, instead of confronting the issues with objective reporting.”
But that would be intemperate.
UPDATE: Amy Ridenour of The National Center for Public Policy Research detects a lack of seriousness in the Post’s editorial. And diligence. And effort:
I realize the editorialist was at something of an information disadvantage, as the editorial page is editorializing against hearings the Post never covered, but occasionally even opinion writers have to do research.
In this case, too, it would not have been hard: The Energy and Commerce Committee has webcasts available of both the July 27 and July 19 hearings. The editorial writer might have watched a few minutes of them, or, perhaps, read the witness testimonies archived online. It would have taken just a few minutes to see that the hearings were serious business, conducted in a serious way (well, maybe not including the statements of the Congresswoman worrying that her grandchildren wouldn’t ever get to see polar bears because global warming would make polar bears extinct before they get a few free hours to go to the zoo).