Last week, the Wall Street Journal published from a group of anthropogenic climate change deniers — a small group of engineers, retired weathermen, and scientists, none one of whom worked in the the field of climate science.

A much larger group of scientists, most of whom actually work in the field climate change, submitted a signed letter in response. The cowardly editorial board of the WSJ rejected the rebuttal letter. In response, the pre-eminent science journal Science, known for scientific rigor, decided to published it: “Climate change and the Integrity of Science” (January 27th, 2012). (The WSJ did publish yesterday (Feb 1), a letters to the editors from Kevin Trenberth, a scientist).

Sigh.

Ever since what once was the best paper in the US was purchased by Rupert Murdoch, its value as a source of business news been continuously degraded. I spend more time on the Journal’s many excellent blogs than I do the print paper. And their iPad app sets the bar for media integration into a tablet. I may still read the print Journal, but I am down to 2 sections, Money & Investing and Personal Journal (called Friday/Weekend on those days).

This is a tragedy. Great journalism is becoming increasingly rare, and a vibrant independent press is a necessary part of any Democracy. Not only was the Journal a once great institution, but I have many friends and colleagues who work there — along with an increasingly large roster of those who used to.

Murdoch’s Foxification of the WSJ has reduced its reliability to me as an investor. Its objectivity is is no longer unquestioned. The obvious disregard for facts, for science, and the rabid disregard for Truth in the service of Murdoch’s ideology is slowly poisoning the rest of the paper — it now reaches beyond the OIpEd pages. At a certain unknown point in the future, I fear the entire publication may simply become too untrustworthy for investors to rely upon. At that point, I suspect Bloomberg will buy the FT, put out a US edition, and media watchers will begin the countdown to the final days of the WSJ.

That is a terrible shame. No one should take any delight in the destruction of what was once a great Wall Street institution.

The full list of signatories to the rejected rebuttal are after the jump. And for a slice into the world of cognitive dissonance, check out the comment stream following the published letter to the editor — its hilarious, in a sloping forehead kinda way.

>

Previously:
Murdoch’s WSJ Changes Creates Opening for NYT, FT ( April 24th, 2008)

Read It Here First: “De-Financializing” the WSJ (April 28th, 2008)

WSJ Jumps the Shark (January 22nd, 2010)

Read It Here First: WSJ Becomes Fox-ified (July 16th, 2011)

Sources:
Remarkable Editorial Bias on Climate Science at the Wall Street Journal
Peter Gleick,
CEO Pacific Institute, MacArthur Fellow, National Academy of Sciences
http://www.forbes.com/sites/petergleick/2012/01/27/remarkable-editorial-bias-on-climate-science-at-the-wall-street-journal/

Two incontrovertible things: Anthropogenic Global Warming is Real, and the Wall Street Journal is Political Rag
Greg Laden
Science Blogs, January 27, 2012
http://scienceblogs.com/gregladen/2012/01/two_incontrovertible_things_an.php

P. H. GLEICK
R. M. ADAMS
R. M. AMASINO
E. ANDERS
D. J. ANDERSON
W. W. ANDERSON
L. E. ANSELIN
M. K. ARROYO
B. ASFAW
F. J. AYALA
A. BAX
A. J. BEBBINGTON
G. BELL
M. V. L. BENNETT
J. L. BENNETZEN
M. R. BERENBAUM
O. B. BERLIN
P. J. BJORKMAN
E. BLACKBURN
J. E. BLAMONT
M. R. BOTCHAN
J. S. BOYER
E. A. BOYLE
D. BRANTON
S. P. BRIGGS
W. R. BRIGGS
W. J. BRILL
R. J. BRITTEN
W. S. BROECKER
J. H. BROWN
P. O. BROWN
A. T. BRUNGER
J. CAIRNS JR.
D. E. CANFIELD
S. R. CARPENTER
J. C. CARRINGTON
A. R. CASHMORE
J. C. CASTILLA
A. CAZENAVE
F. S. CHAPIN III
A. J. CIECHANOVER
D. E. CLAPHAM
W. C. CLARK
R. N. CLAYTON
M. D. COE
E. M. CONWELL
E. B. COWLING
R. M COWLING
C. S. COX
R. B. CROTEAU
D. M. CROTHERS
P. J. CRUTZEN
G. C. DAILY
G. B. DALRYMPLE
J. L. DANGL
S. A. DARST
D. R. DAVIES
M. B. DAVIS
P. V. DE CAMILLI
C. DEAN
R. S. DEFRIES
J. DEISENHOFER
D. P. DELMER
E. F. DELONG
D. J. DEROSIER
T. O.
DIENER
R. DIRZO
J. E. DIXON
M. J. DONOGHUE
R. F. DOOLITTLE
T. DUNNE
P. R. EHRLICH
S. N. EISENSTADT
T. EISNER
K. A. EMANUEL
S. W.
ENGLANDER
W. G. ERNST
P. G. FALKOWSKI
G. FEHER
J. A. FEREJOHN
A. FERSHT
E. H. FISCHER
R. FISCHER
K. V. FLANNERY
J. FRANK
P. A. FREY
I. FRIDOVICH
C. FRIEDEN
D. J. FUTUYMA
W. R. GARDNER
C. J. R. GARRETT
W. GILBERT
R. B. GOLDBERG
W. H. GOODENOUGH
C. S. GOODMAN
M. GOODMAN
P. GREENGARD
S. HAKE
G. HAMMEL
S. HANSON
S. C. HARRISON
S. R. HART
D. L. HARTL
R. HASELKORN
K. HAWKES
J. M. HAYES
B. HILLE
T. HÖKFELT
J. S. HOUSE
M. HOUT
D. M. HUNTEN
I. A. IZQUIERDO
A. T. JAGENDORF
D. H. JANZEN
R. JEANLOZ
C. S. JENCKS
W. A. JURY
H. R. KABACK
T. KAILATH
P. KAY
S. A. KAY
D. KENNEDY
A. KERR
R. C. KESSLER
G. S. KHUSH
S. W. KIEFFER
P. V. KIRCH
K. KIRK
M. G. KIVELSON
J. P. KLINMAN
A. KLUG
L. KNOPOFF
H. KORNBERG
J. E. KUTZBACH
J. C. LAGARIAS
K. LAMBECK
A. LANDY
C. H. LANGMUIR
B. A. LARKINS
X. T. LE PICHON
R. E. LENSKI
E. B. LEOPOLD
S. A. LEVIN
M. LEVITT
G. E. LIKENS
J. LIPPINCOTT-SCHWARTZ
L. LORAND
C. O. LOVEJOY
M. LYNCH
A. L. MABOGUNJE
T. F. MALONE
S. MANABE
J. MARCUS
D. S. MASSEY
J. C. MCWILLIAMS
E. MEDINA
H. J. MELOSH

D. J. MELTZER
C. D. MICHENER
E. L. MILES
H. A. MOONEY
P. B. MOORE
F. M. M. MOREL
E. S. MOSLEY-THOMPSON
B. MOSS
W. H. MUNK
N. MYERS
G. B. NAIR
J. NATHANS
E. W. NESTER
R. A. NICOLL
R. P. NOVICK
J. F. O’CONNELL
P. E. OLSEN
N. D. OPDYKE
G. F. OSTER
E. OSTROM
N. R. PACE
R. T. PAINE
R. D. PALMITER
J. PEDLOSKY
G. A. PETSKO
G. H. PETTENGILL
S. G. PHILANDER
D. R. PIPERNO
T. D. POLLARD
P. B. PRICE JR.
P. A. REICHARD
B. F. RESKIN
R. E. RICKLEFS
R. L. RIVEST
J. D. ROBERTS
A. K. ROMNEY
M. G. ROSSMANN
D. W. RUSSELL
W. J. RUTTER
J. A. SABLOFF
R. Z. SAGDEEV
M. D. SAHLINS
A. SALMOND
J. R. SANES
R. SCHEKMAN
J. SCHELLNHUBER
D. W. SCHINDLER
J. SCHMITT
S. H. SCHNEIDER
V. L. SCHRAMM
R. R. SEDEROFF
C. J. SHATZ
F. SHERMAN
R. L. SIDMAN
K. SIEH
E. L. SIMONS
B. H. SINGER
M. F. SINGER
B. SKYRMS
N. H. SLEEP
B. D. SMITH
S. H. SNYDER
R. R. SOKAL
C. S. SPENCER
T. A. STEITZ
K. B. STRIER
T. C. SÜDHOF
S. S. TAYLOR
J. TERBORGH
D. H. THOMAS
L. G. THOMPSON
R. T. T JIAN
M. G. TURNER
S. UYEDA
J. W. VALENTINE
J. S. VALENTINE
J. L. VAN ETTEN
K. E. VAN HOLDE
M. VAUGHAN
S. VERBA
P. H. VON HIPPEL
D. B. WAKE
A. WALKER
J. E. WALKER
E. B. WATSON
P. J. WATSON
D. WEIGEL
S. R. WESSLER
M. J. WEST-EBERHARD
T. D. WHITE
W. J. WILSON
R. V. WOLFENDEN
J. A. WOOD
G. M. WOODWELL
H. E. WRIGHT JR.
C. WU
C. WUNSCH
M. L. ZOBACK

Category: Financial Press, UnScience

Please use the comments to demonstrate your own ignorance, unfamiliarity with empirical data and lack of respect for scientific knowledge. Be sure to create straw men and argue against things I have neither said nor implied. If you could repeat previously discredited memes or steer the conversation into irrelevant, off topic discussions, it would be appreciated. Lastly, kindly forgo all civility in your discourse . . . you are, after all, anonymous.

76 Responses to “The Ongoing “Foxification” of the Wall Street Journal”

  1. This is about getting to the objective truth and the problems with bias — not about politics

  2. arogersb says:

    Richard Lindzen, who signed that letter, works in the field of climate science, he is not retired.
    really, is there something that would make you change your idea about global warming? Or are you fully committed until the end?

    ~~~

    BR: I will change “none” to “one” above.

    I have no firm opinion about global warming — I defer to the overwhelming consensus amongst professional climate scientists — indeed, I tend to defer to scientists more than other professions becuase I understand their process, the scientific method — theory, hypothesis, test, repeat — and appreciate what peer review means.

    I dont believe Oil company funded nonsense, and I assume that those people who do are either foolish, have poor judgment or are just dumb.

  3. MayorQuimby says:

    Used to read WSJ daily. It is a disgrace what has happened to it. It isn’t half the newspaper it once was and I no longer read it. I cannot believe they let Murdoch anywhere near it. Just another brick in the wall…

  4. Wexler says:

    I watch Fox News for the page 3 girls…they had two warming debunkers on recently and neither could complete a thought…one was a physics professor?

  5. constantnormal says:

    Any sign of this also occurring to other Dow Jones publications? E.g., Barron’s?

  6. theexpertisin says:

    Well educated climate change supporters have not been helped by uncovered lies, deceit and Soviet-style tactics that must be followed to be awarded grants to write “scholarly” climate change papers at their university or think tank.

    Is climate change real? Sure, IMO. My view is many folks are experiencing crisis fatigue due in part to the unending hourly yellouts of doom and gloom prevalent within the 24/7 news cycle to objectively give a rat’s ass about climate change. China continues to acquire huge fossil fuel and mining interests around the globe, while nations such as Cuba are now drilling at unheard of depths with little environmental sefeguards, with hardly a peep of dismay from the American environmental movement. There is plenty of ammunition for skeptics to latch on to.

    With the likes of Al Gore (nice, huge energy wasting mansion on the coast, Al), Thomas Freidman (another nice, huge energy wasting mansion) and screaming activists (less in munbers now that they have moved on to villify the 1%) pounding the table on global warming — oops, climate change, I can see why skeptics on the subject gain traction.

  7. alt.QOTD..

    “Science does not give us absolute and final certainty. It only gives us assurance within the limits of our mental abilities and the prevailing state of scientific thought. A scientific system is but one station in an endlessly progressing search for knowledge.”

    Human Action, p.7

    “One has to recognize that science is not metaphysics, and certainly not mysticism; it can never bring us the illumination and the satisfaction experienced by one enraptured in ecstasy. Science is sobriety and clarity of conception, not intoxicated vision.”

    Epistemological Problems of Economics, p.46

    “The pseudo-liberals monopolize the teaching jobs at many universities. Only men who agree with them are appointed as teachers and instructors of the social sciences, and only textbooks supporting their ideas are used.”

    Planning for Freedom, p.162

    “The social function of economic science consists precisely in developing sound economic theories and in exploding the fallacies of vicious reasoning. In the pursuit of this task the economist incurs the deadly enmity of all mountebanks and charlatans whose shortcuts to an earthly paradise he debunks.”

    Economic Freedom and Interventionism, pp.51-52

    “Whether we see the greatest value in wisdom or in action, in neither case may we scorn science. It alone shows us the way both to knowledge and to action. Without it our existence would be only vegetative.”

    Epistemological Problems of Economics, p.46
    ~~~
    Ludwig von Mises

    http://mises.org/quotes.aspx?action=subject&subject=Science

  8. stonedwino says:

    BR: You can’t fix stupid….Murdoch is always after the lowest common denominator…

  9. Orange14 says:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/02/02/business/energy-environment/three-states-tell-insurers-to-disclose-responses-to-climate-change.html

    Of course these are the guys that will really have to deal with this issue as we experience (and ALREADY HAVE) violent weather. I suspect that Warren Buffet’s set of insurance companies are already making plans here. I think the WSJ is just silly in this regard. Business will always have to plan for contingencies if they plan to stay around for the long run and we’ve already seen a number doing just that with regard to climate change.

  10. pedrocpaguy says:

    WOW! What a difference 11.5 hours makes …

    “By Barry Ritholtz – February 1st, 2012, 7:30PM

    “Great question from WSJ’s DealJournal:

    “Do you spend more or less time on Facebook now than you did a year ago?”

    ~~~

    BR: Like I said, I like their blogs . . .

  11. Petey Wheatstraw says:

    Once it’s politicized, it’s political. GW is highly politicized.

    The WSJ, under Murdoch, and in keeping with all other Murdoch-ownrd publications, is not a news journal, it is propaganda bent towards political ends.

  12. smallcog2 says:

    I never read the wsj opinion/editorial pages. I quickly turn past them because they are generally a toxic waste and leave a bad impression.

    As much as I enjoy the wsj book reviews I have given them up because they are in the opinion section.

  13. thetruthseeker says:

    Ignore Climategates 1 and 2. You complain about oil money? There is countless scores more money pumped into the debate by environmental groups, governments, and those that have a stake in green technology and/or carbon trading schemes. More importantly, why don’t we look at the predictions made by the warmists 10 years ago. They are so far off-base of what has happened, that it should warrant rethinking their claims. How James Hansen continues to be listened to when his track record is so abysmal is beyond me. You might want to check out Piers Corbyn, of Weather Action. He has one of the best long-range forecasting track records out there, and he is a meteorologist and astrophysicist. His numbers don’t lie, but many of the warmists do (in fact they even change the numbers or “hide the decline” when they do not get the desired outcome.)

    ~~~

    BR: However can Exxon Mobile BP, and Sunoco ever keep up with all that Greenpeace loot?

    #FAIL

  14. dpharris says:

    @pedrocpaguy

    DealJournal is one of the WSJ blogs Barry is referring to.

    Separately:
    It’s no secret that Fox Business News is only temporary until the WSJ contract with CNBC runs out. Murdoch will not continue to collaborate with the network that also includes MSNBC. They will try to “leverage” the WSJ brand by turning FBN into WSJ TV, but that will likely be the last straw for a lot of people.

  15. VennData says:

    aroger writes “…Richard Lindzen, who signed that letter, works in the field of climate science…” So of course, to confirm his – and any GOP genuflector’s feelings – they will believe the lone wolf, rather than accept the idea that he is an arch libertarian who opposes any gov’t action… in spite of the source of so much of his, Lindzen’s, research.

    Find a shred, puff it up, and support the feelings of the people who vote at the behest of the very rich to keep their taxes lower than the other 99% – the GOP way.

    What a sucker you are.

  16. Darkness says:

    Like the vehement nuclear meltdown deniers right after the Japanese tsunami, the climate change deniers are creating an investment opportunity. Change is a done deal. Ignore the bickering and plan for it accordingly. For example if you own property in the UK, sell it, without the gulf stream it is going to revert to the climate of its latitude, which is Hudson’s Bay, Canada.

  17. Petey Wheatstraw says:

    Darkness:

    In that this is global, playing it for profit isn’t a realistic option any more than a goldfish saying that when his bowl gets toxic enough, he will simply jump onto the table and live there. If the gulf stream ends, well . . .

  18. Monte Davis says:

    You can’t say they’re not serving their readers. I read the first hundred or so comments, scanned the rest — and a large majority are pure black-helicopter rant: Al Gore blah blah, bandwagon gravy-train neener neener, smoking gun e-mails blah blah, Oregon Institute neener neener.

    Notice how the anti-AGW people appropriate the “martyrs of science” meme for themselves (the establishment wouldn’t listen to Galileo or Wegener or Lindzen), while charging almost everyone actually working in the field with mindless — or self-interested — groupthink. There’s also a certain charm to “Burt Rutan builds great aircraft, so I’m going with him on CO2 absorption spectra.”

  19. dougc says:

    If you can’t disprove your opponents logic, question their credentials….weak…..

    ~~~

    BR: You are not arguing that peoples credentials are not relevant, are you?

  20. SkepticalOx says:

    pedrocpaguy:

    You know, if you actually read the two posts you are referring to, BR said he spends more time on the “excellent blogs” of WSJ then the actual news/opinion content… and surprise surprise, the FB poll he posted “11.5 hours” ago is from the Dealjournal BLOG.

    Honestly, with Murdoch’s whole phone hacking thing, his public support of SOPA/PIPA, and the destruction of the WSJ, I’m seriously considering not renewing my subscription for the WSJ.

  21. SkepticalOx says:

    dougc,

    The WSJ made it a point to highlight the scientists who signed at the bottom of the letter/op-ed… It’s fair game.

  22. DeDude says:

    The right wing is dedicated to great certainty based on little evidence. No surprise that the extreme right, that Murdoch represents, brings this to a new level and make a mockery out of “news” by refusing to allow a rebuttal. If you know that your opinion cannot handle an evidence based debate you would not want to allow such a debate.

    The problem with anthropogenic warming is that to truly evaluate the underlying facts and the strength of the models you have to study the subject as a professional. There are less than 1000 people in this world who have sufficient professional training to understand and evaluate the science and models. The rest of us have to make up our mind based on other things. Just like you I know how scientist and the scientific process works. The fact that as more and more information has been collected; prominent scientist and the field as a whole, has moved from a 50-50 split on whether we were going toward hot or cold to 99% in support of warming, says it all. The fools who suggest that scientist have been persuaded in favor of warming by political and academic pressure obviously have no clue about university life, and must have been asleep during the Bush decade.

  23. louiswi says:

    You rock Barry!!!

    Keep up the good work.

    We cancelled our subscriptions to WSJ, Barrons, and cable service on account of them carrying Faux News. There is more than one way to vote.

  24. Moss says:

    Like everything else that Conservatives hold dear, if it is not within their ‘Core Principles’ than it is not so. They must first and foremost feed the base. Denying Climate Change is a Core Principle, denying evolution is a Core Principle, that Government is useless is a Core Principle, that Regulations are useless is a core principle, that Liberals/Progressives suck is a core principle, logic has little to do with it. They prefer conviction over rational thought.

  25. gman says:

    A recent study funded by the Koch brothers actually found man made climate change was real.

    It is a done deal. It is too late to do anything about. Plan accordingly. Savvy market particpants and the US military are doing just that.

    Even at this point there are few dead enders who think “smoking is not a health risk” so why should man made climate change be any different.

  26. constantnormal says:

    There was one small nugget of value in the WSJ article. While the deniers quoted seemed to be objecting to slightly different things, and possibly not all of them to the entirety of the global climate change story, the one thing they all pointed to was the shortfalls in the current global climate models, particularly the fact that global temperature is not rising as rapidly as the models predict.

    This underscores the fact that global climate is a VERY complicated thing, difficult to measure, and that we desperately need better models and more studies and tools … but does not impact the need to begin to take what measures we can, now — simply from a risk-benefit analysis.

    Pretty much all of the measures supported by the GCC folks would have a significant long-term payoff, and would provide a place to apply resources and create jobs, instead of blowing up large parts of the planet on the other side from us, and sending our military to get killed and make more enemies for us.

    The deniers are not calling for better models, and are certainly not developing any models and subjecting them to the tests of prediction and back-testing. Fuggedaboudem.

  27. Bokolis says:

    Given the Earth has been warmer than it is, the global warming argument misdirects from the larger and more addressable issue of the (unprecendented) overuse/misuse of the planet. We don’t focus enough on the weather events being more extreme, unstable, unpredictable in addition to the general warming. Something tells me that, before we get inundated or baked, we’ll have either thought of something, or the planet will have struck back.

    It is far more convenient and productive to ignore the existence of FOX. While it can be argued that the pushback is necessary because the network has millions who hang upon its every word, it’s just as convenient to ignore its minions- until it’s time to go to war against them.

  28. bcallum says:

    “I defer to the overwhelming consensus amongst professional …”

    How has that worked out in your chosen field, Barry?

    ~~~

    BR: Following the ellipses, the word you omitted was “scientists” — in this case, professional climate scientists. That means peer reviewed people whose work and track record is constantly challenged by other experts in their field. Regular readers of this site know of my disdain for the economists and fund managers.

    For you to omit the word “scientists” quite bluntly, does not reflect well on you.

    #FAIL

  29. Concerned Neighbour says:

    I am a huge advocate of public broadcasting, specifically the news and investigative news functions. In this day and age where real journalism is so rare, I believe it’s important to have a well-funded pool of journalists free to report on the facts instead of what the corporate multinational paymasters tell them to report on. Let’s not forget that failure of journalism was largely to blame for entry into the Iraq debacle, and there are legion other examples of the media failing as an institution.

    This isn’t to say public broadcasters can’t be corrupted. But when the majority of media serves the corporation, I believe it is hugely important now more than ever to have a strong media outlet that serves the public.

  30. drewburn says:

    I am allowing my subscription to expire this year. I agreed with Barry, in spades.

  31. Arturo says:

    The Truth About Republicans by..George Carlin http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hsBfqrNoFXQ

  32. AlexM says:

    Moss, you hit the nail on the head. But I will take it one step further, they have their “Core Principles” which of course serve their corporate masters but they also must pander to the people that make up their constituency. This is where the lobotomized right echo machine comes into play as they need their Christian, anti-abortion, anti-gay, gun loving, racist, anti-immigrant, and now climate change deniers to win elections. Ignorance is bliss!

    Why listen to the experts when you can have Rupert make decisions for the whole planet!

    What is unknown is where the global tipping point lies. It might make a Mad Max scenario look tame by comparison. I guess those folks have so much money that they think they will survive any future cataclysm.

  33. JimRino says:

    Carbon Dioxide ppm now 391.
    We are in a bubble of population growth over the last 200 years. With populating increasing 700%.
    We are in an oil bubble, first discovered in 1859, zero barrels per day to 84,213,000 per day world consumption. Oil consumption has plateaued in the 84,000,000 per day range.

    Humans with only a 20 – 30 year memory, from adulthood to their 50′s are not in a position to judge the bubble we’re living in. Just because we were born near the top of the bubble doesn’t mean the bubble will last forever.

    Changing the basic properties of the planet we live on, with no ability to rollback the change, is a policy of the insane.

  34. bazzab says:

    Why does anyone care whether ‘climate change’ is anthropogenic or not? According to the same scientists life on earth has been wiped out a multitude of times on planet earth from supervolcanoes to meteors and it always rebounded. We live on a magical planet. So who cares. Oh, you care about your children and grandchildren? What do you owe them? How could they thank you if you actually did something good? Lay flowers on your grave? Build a statue? Like that matters.

    I find it laughable how the same people I know will do stupid things because they care about the planet. They become vegetarians because cows are methane producers yet have no problem buying their teenage child a car so they can drive around polluting the planet. Or they eat rice, which is the largest contributor to methane.

    People are hypocrites. Get over it. So far I have NEVER met anyone who complains about global warming ever change their carbon footprint other than some trivial crap. Ride a bike people.

    Better to spend you time looking for that Terra Nova wormhole. Sorry, am I allowed to mention a Fox TV show?

  35. ellwood2011 says:

    It’s not just the WSJ and not just Fox properties. All media has become “Foxified”. The NYT has become the Fox News of the left. The reason is subscriber attrition and the need to hold on to a base of subscribers. So you have to give them their particular diet of world-view-reinforcing stories and keep out the other stories. That’s what causes potential non-subscribers to stay subscribed. That’s why Paul Krugman is in the Times, sneering at Republicans in columns written at an eighth grade level. It cements bonds between the NYT and its subscribers that have grown fragile over the past generation.

    ~~~

    BR: I call bullshit on this “He said/She said” comment. Its simply nonsensical.

    All papers have OpEd pages where opinions run free — but its documented that Murdoch properties OpEds spill over to the front page, and arguably over to some of the rest of the paper.

    Fox news is unique — its not a news network, its a propaganda organ. For giggles, see this: http://www.ritholtz.com/blog/2012/02/fox-news-vs-amsterdam/

  36. AtlasRocked says:

    The problem is not that the science these guys are doing isn’t factual, Barry, it’s that government will abuse the power being created to solve these problems.

    It is most certainly a political topic, like the giant debt being created to solve “poverty”:

    - The people give the gov’t the power to solve poverty, and instead massive middle class welfare programs are created that dwarf the true safety net spending.

    - The people give the gov’t the power to “juice” the economy and interest rates are kept too low for too long, and Glass-Steagall is repealed.

    - The people give the gov’t the power to regulate, then the gov’t co-mingles benevolence and bailout power with regulation power – presto! – no one goes to jail anymore. Fines are levied on bailed-out companies!

  37. JimRino says:

    bazzab, I guessing you hang out with Republicans, and if they did anything, they wouldn’t be Republicans would they. Because Republicans are “believers”, they don’t demand evidence, they demand lies.

    How are we going to double food production in 30 years? We’re Not.
    We live in a bubble.
    We can get off oil, by having Shareholders DEMAND the Oil Companies Move to Wind and Solar.
    Demand that for every new dollar invested in oil, 10 dollars goes to Wind or Solar projects, and you will see RAPID DROP in Wind Power Costs, and Solar Panel Costs as these ramp up to high unit production numbers.
    Germany already gets 60% of it’s power from renewables.
    Don’t act like it can’t be done.
    Being last has a cost, the cost that these jobs move to China and Germany.
    Germany Does Not Give Away Leads in New Technology,
    why does the US?

    http://www.voanews.com/english/news/health/Study-Food-Production-Must-Double-in-30-Years-138506174.html

  38. Petey Wheatstraw says:

    bazzab:

    Your comment sounds like a good justification for someone wanting to play Russian roulette. After all, you’re going to die, anyway — why delay the inevitable and put off immediate personal gratification when you can have a good time and potentially go out with a bang.

    Nihilism can justify anything.

  39. As I have written, I own lots of carbon producing cars, boats, appliances, HVAC, etc.

    I have no intention of changing my behavior — I’m just not a hypocrite about it.

  40. Wexler says:

    Ohhhhh Moss, I can’t believe you went there! I’ve been chomping at the bit to post that in “what the F are you reading”, but thought it to be too much.

    Is it open mic night on the blog tonight? Hope so.

  41. Petey Wheatstraw says:

    Moss Says:

    “This should explain a lot, of course it will be denied.”

    Denying it would be stupid.

    wait . . .

    . . . never mind.

  42. Bill Wilson says:

    It’s a shame that they didn’t publish both points of view.

    I listen to quite a bit of NPR, and although I find them to be liberal and biased, they almost always let you here both sides of the argument. That’s about the best that any news organization can do. Although, they do make me laugh when they get full of their own cool-aid and start talking about how unbiased they are. No one is unbiased.

    I look at the issue of climate change in terms of risk. We really don’t know what’s going to happen to the planet if we continue to produce CO2, or any other gas. So, while I agree that the theory of climate change is unproven, so is the “robust earth” theory that argues that the earth will adjust to change. It seems like common sense that we should keep the atmosphere the way it is.

  43. maddog2020 says:

    @ Concerned neighbour:
    “Let’s not forget that failure of journalism was largely to blame for entry into the Iraq debacle, and there are legion other examples of the media failing as an institution.”

    i might argue that it was even worse than that – journalists (and their editors) desperately trying to shed the so-called liberal mainstream media image ended up taking spoon-fed information as fact. One can see how well these attacks on the media still play well to the base (e.g. Gingrich).

  44. [...] climate) that the Wall Street Journal turned down have responded to the WSJ piece.  In addition, Barry Ritholtz talks about how the Wall Street Journal (which in the past was a respectable newspaper) has been Foxified since [...]

  45. bcallum says:

    Barry, it doesn’t really matter where the point of ellipsis ends. The critical word there is consensus. The history of scientific advance is one of prevailing consensus yielding to individual skeptics and the emergence of a new consensus, sometimes after long periods of vilification and persecution of those skeptics. Michael Crichton discussed this in a 2003 lecture: https://www.cfa.harvard.edu/~scranmer/SPD/crichton.html

    Your point about the WSJ is probably correct. The example may be imperfect. I’m a fan of your blog. You get the last word. Cheers.

    ~~~

    BR: Ahhh, but the difference is, the real scientists are the ones challenging the prevailing consensus — not a bunch of cranks trying to turn the clock backwards!

  46. Singmaster says:

    Go to Antarctica. No one, no one I could find, who has worked there for years denies climate change. They are seeing it occuring before their own eyes. People, real scientific people, are attempting to educate, instruct and warn. The ice melting. When we were there, all of the land should have been ice covered but we encountered a lot of algae covered ground and a lot of bare land with just patches of ice. Penguin chicks are dying of heat prostration because the springs are warmer earlier. Gentoos are adapting, the chinstraps are not.
    And weirdly enough, the only news station we could get on the boat was FoxNews.

    And don’t get me on the krill. Ships are hoovering it up and making into Omega 3 sups for us humans. The only thing that baleen whales live on is being put into capsules for us when we could get the same in any number of ways.

  47. Yossarian says:

    I stopped reading the NYT years ago. I have found myself significantly cutting back my WSJ consumption and find it less enlightening when I do read it. As far as AGW, in my view “scientists” tend to Groupthink, etc. as much or more than other professions, economists included.

  48. AlexM says:

    The biggest problem of the Foxification of America is the lies that are told about everything from soup to nuts, and then those lies are repeated endlessly until them become part of our national discourse.

    There is simply no equivalent in the non-conservative media outlets. While some media that lean left obviously push their point of view including bias, what is missing is the out and out lies that are routinely pushed and repeated by the right wing. How do you know the right wing is lying? Their lips are moving.

  49. 81wahoo says:

    BR, I’m really confused. Your post was about journalistic decline and “Foxification” at the WSJ. They published an opinion piece. It’s obvious from your comments that you can and do distinguish between the reporting and editorial functions. So why get in a twist over an opinion piece? It’s just an opinion, perhaps ill-informed, and you are free to disregard it, right?

    The mere presence of an objectionable opinion piece does not support your larger charge about the paper. You have to have more ammo than that. You make some serious allegations about the journalistic integrity of the WSJ, but really only have offered up your opinion on the matter. Specifically, “its (sic) documented that Murdoch properties OpEds spill over to the front page, and arguably over to some of the rest of the paper.” Documented where, when, and by whom? I think you owe it to your readers, and yourself, to support the charge you are making, or else describe it as an opinion.

    thanks.
    PS — I’m not in any way affiliated with WSJ or News Corp. or anyone connected with them.

    ~~~

    BR: The twist is the refusal to publish the response. Its cowardly — but thats how cowards behave.

  50. DeDude says:

    @JimRino 11:30;

    I agree. In Denmark the technological institute build a house that was off the grid with solar power providing all the electricity needed to heat/cool/power not just the house but also 80 miles of daily driving in an electrical car. However, the price is about 50% higher than a similar sized normal house. Improved solar panels and mass production could easily make that a no-brainer in the near future. No need to improve the grid, get rid of it, and let every house take care of its own energy needs. Denmark by the way is at the front of wind-power development because the country 40 years ago began to invest heavily in developing that technology and industry. Having let the oil industry rule this country will leave lasting damage.

  51. “…Ships are hoovering it up and making into Omega 3 sups for us humans. The only thing that baleen whales live on is being put into capsules for us when we could get the same in any number of ways…”

    “…we could get the same in any number of ways…”

    esp. from..

    http://search.yippy.com/search?input-form=clusty-simple&v%3Asources=webplus-ns-aaf&v%3Aproject=clusty&query=Omega+3+Hemp+Oil+Industrial+Hemp

    http://search.yippy.com/search?input-form=clusty-simple&v%3Asources=webplus-ns-aaf&v%3Aproject=clusty&query=Industrial+Hemp

    but, hey, that might put a crimp in..

    http://search.yippy.com/search?input-form=clusty-simple&v%3Asources=webplus-ns-aaf&v%3Aproject=clusty&query=Prison+for+Profit

    among, many, other, Rackets..

  52. isurewould says:

    I may be a bit anal retentive, but when I clicked on in BR’s post it went to a letter that was originally published in the May 7, 2010 edition of “Science.” It’s 2012 now, right? Is there a more recent response to the WSJ editorial, or was this that letter merely recycled? I’ve never been a journalist, but isn’t a letter to an editor that’s approaching 2 years old a little stale?

    As to the comment that “I have no intention of changing my behavior — I’m just not a hypocrite about it” — so what’s the point of this whole post? Is this just an exercise to establish that the WSJ now the propaganda arm of the hard right and that Rupert Murdoch is the devil? If this issue is not a big enough deal for one individual to change his/her behavior, what does one care if the WSJ is disingenuous about it? If your not part of the solution, you’re part of the problem. Perhaps “they” should make a law that everyone but the 1% (and politicians, and retired politicians) should be green . . . after all 1% is such a small number as to be inconsequential. . . .

    ~~~

    BR: So its the date the signatures were first gathered that is the determinitive factor here? Really?

  53. 81wahoo says:

    ok BR: “The twist is the refusal to publish the response. Its cowardly — but thats how cowards behave.” but what does that have to do with the essential point you were making about the WSJ news/reporting organization?

  54. maddog2020 says:

    Youssarian’s comment hits to the core of what I was stewing about all day – that scientists engage in “Groupthink”. I find this statement to be bogus. No one gets anywhere in science by engaging in “Groupthink”.

    No good scientist I know can survive without being (1) curious to know how the world works and (2) skeptical about the status quo explanation of how the world works. Which pisses me off that AGW deniers are often called by the term “skeptics”, as if the scientists who have found evidence of global warming/climate change are not skeptical!!

    Do you know what the most commonly asked question I have to deal with every single day? “What is the evidence for XX?” If you can’t back up your favorite hypothesis with evidence, you get your a@@ handed to you. Don’t think so? Try defending your PhD or giving a talk in front of a couple hundred of your competitors.

    This doesn’t mean scientists are always correct. Scientists can make mistakes, suffer from cognitive dissonance, and be vain, egotistical, and competitive, just like people in every other field. But they do however, engage in an effort to subject their work to constant scrutiny.

    As BR pointed out, most climate change deniers are weathermen & the like, not climate scientists.

    Now, rant over, back to the bench…

  55. MidlifeNocrisis says:

    I really don’t have anything to add to this discussion……… I’m way more interested in the proposed colony on the moon than I am climate change on earth.

  56. frodo1314 says:

    Has there been a similar lament here regarding the NY Times?

    ~~~

    BR: See this:
    Paul Krugman is Wrong About Securitization

    Krugman’s Crisis Responsibility Wrong About Reagan

  57. DeDude says:

    maddog2020 @ 3:36;

    I think Youssarian demonstrated a total lack of understanding how the academic world works. Yes in a right wing “think” tank you get booted out if you don’t follow the party line and design studies and analysis to deliver the right message. But in real academia you earn your stripes by challenging your peers and poking holes in their conclusions. There may be a few young untenured faculty that are intimidated about challenging the department head, but for tenured professors it’s a requirement to gain any respect that you demonstrate your ability to see the weaknesses in other professors work. The fact that the climate change field has moved from lots of AGW skeptics to 99% support, is not an indication of “group think” but an indication that the case has grown so strong that even the grumpy old tenured professors, have run out of things they can point to as weaknesses. We are almost at the point where it is easier to find a “flat earth” geology professor than an AGW denying climatologist.

  58. Six Of The Scientists Have Been Linked To Fossil Fuel Interests. Roger Cohen and Edward David are both former employees of ExxonMobil. William Happer is the Chairman of the Board for the George C. Marshall Institute, which has received funding from Exxon. Rodney Nichols is also on the boards of the George Marshall Institute and the Manhattan Institute, which has been funded by Exxon and the Koch Foundations. Harrison Schmitt was the Chairman Emeritus of the Annapolis Center for Science-Based Public Policy, which was funded by oil refiners and electric utilities in the 1990s, according to a Wall Street Journal report (via Nexis). Richard Lindzen also served on the Economic Advisory Council of the Center, was funded by ExxonMobil through the 2000s.

    -

  59. jdavis says:

    I see BR’s point, but I wouldn’t go quite as far as he does. I still think outside of the Editorial Page, the paper is quite good.

    Anyway, I’d like to make different point. The idea that another media property is going to move against a weakened Journal, assumes that the Journal has been weakened. Correct me if I’m wrong, but I think subscriptions have actually held steady or even increased since the acquisition by News Corp.

  60. r says:

    since you present the “big picture”, can you share how the wash post, NYTimes, LA times and CHI tribune present left or right biased news?

    ~~~

    BR: If any of those papers were what investors relied upon to make financial decisions, it would matter.

    But they aren’t — and I have explained repeatedly Why politics and investing don’t mix

  61. frodo1314 says:

    BR – thanks. I think Murdoch’s strategy is simply to put a counterweight out there – just as he did with TV-wise with Fox News. I contend though that Fox News is lesss Right than network news is Left. That being said while it’s nice to have the counterweight, I agree losing a pulication that calls it down teh middle is a shame. Hopefully someone will see the void and come in – as you predict the FT will do.

    ~~~

    BR: Dude this statement “Fox News is less Right than network news is Left” is batshit crazy!

  62. illinijoel says:

    I would encourage people to look at the science in particular the statistics. The problem climate science has is lack credibility relative to open peer review which has been painfully documented at Climate Audit. Barry I would think you in particular would strongly object to the way data series were used and transformed in the last IPCC report.

  63. isurewould says:

    It may be that Murdoch is “foxificating” the Wall Street Journal, however, this instance is not an example of it. An editorial decision not to repost a letter to the editor from Science originally published in May 2010, is probably justified. The fact that the Wall Street Journal did publish a response from scientists on February 1st, as Mr. Rithotz admits in his original post, is fairly strong rebuttal. I for one would like a better example of the WSJ’s breach of journalistic standards.

  64. r says:

    “BR: If any of those papers were what investors relied upon to make financial decisions, it would matter.
    But they aren’t — and I have explained repeatedly Why politics and investing don’t mix.”

    I don’t see how global warming has any impact on investing decisions whatsoever.

    ~~~

    BR: It isn’t — but how its handled reflects on the integrity and intellectual honesty of the Editors

  65. William says:

    Between your blog and “naked capitalism” blog, I get in a lot of good reading on finance and economics. I read both blogs each day I am on the computer. I particularly enjoy the “ginormous” graphics. Don’t know why.

    More on WSJ: It’s decline.

    I also read British newspaper’s online versions. Two that I’ve read on Murdochs’ well, behaviour , the Independent, the Guardian, have articles on (1) the Fall of his main Brit tabloid due to hacking the cell phone of murdered girl,(2) hacking phones of celebs (recently resolved in court), (3) shutting down that paper, and giving editor $1.7 million in “salary” to go on vacation for a year (4) the resignation of London’s Chief of Police, and his asst. due to payola. (Not unlike JPMorgans payoff to NYPD). It goes on and on. Murdoch Sr. and son called multiple times of testify on phone hacking before Parliament. (5) PM Cameron’s Media spokesperson forced to resign over his involvment with hacking cell phones WHEN HE WORKED FOR MURDOCH. So, it goes well when your man is hired by Prime Minister as spokes person. Etc., etc.

    But since you don’t know me, do your own research and see what you think.

  66. illinijoel says:

    I would encourage people to look at the science in particular the statistics. The problem climate science has is lack credibility relative to open peer review which has been painfully documented at Climate Audit. Barry I would think you in particular would strongly object to the way data series were used and transformed in the last IPCC report.

    ~~~

    BR: You have this precisely backwards: Consensus amongst vast majority of climate scientists — those scientists whose work is peer reviewed — is that the IPCC report were “warming of the climate system is unequivocal”, and “most of the observed increase in global average temperatures since the mid-20th century is very likely due to the observed increase in anthropogenic greenhouse gas concentrations.”

    The deniers are the ones whose scientific works are either Oil Industry funded and (mostly) not peer reviewed.

    Again, this is not my issue — and if its yours, I suggest you invest accordingly.

  67. BR,

    I’m not sure how you–Authoring a Media Outlet, open for ‘Public Comment’–but with ME, let alone ‘others’, like “r”, or “frodo1314″, (or) “81wahoo” ? (?)

    Ref. your 2011 ‘Mea Culpa”-Post..

    Aren’t there ‘more Important’-things to be considered/spend Time on?

    IOW, if ‘Open’, let ‘the Algos’ “figure it out(or, not)” ~ ;)

  68. “…but with ME…”

    from 23:25 Post

    was meant…”put up with ME…”

  69. end game says:

    BR: it’s seriously great when someone reads your mind as you just did on this topic and writes about it. It’s astonishing how transparently the WSJ has transformed itself into a distorter. Many, many thanks.

  70. frodo1314 says:

    BR – I was referring to the actual news broadcasts on the major networks versus the news broadcasts, not the obviously far right opinion programs like Hannity, on Fox.

  71. jdavis says:

    BR,
    Interested to see if you really think it’s likely for a WSJ rival to emerge. We’ve heard a lot about the FT, and more aggressive business coverage from the NYT, but the game has not really changed much since the Journal was acquired by News Corp. While I could see Bloomberg acquiring the WSJ if News Corp. decided to get out of the print game, I find it very unlikely that Bloomberg would try to mount a print challenge to the Journal. Reuters, Bloomberg and the like are investing in their online properties, and I can’t see how any of them would invest in print.

  72. kaleberg says:

    I’m another former WSJ subscriber. Their editorial page was always ridiculous. Taking any of it seriously was a guaranteed way to lose money investing. Unfortunately, Murdoch started weakening their business coverage, both dumbing it down and increasingly biasing it. I miss old fashioned business journalism that explained what companies did and how they made money doing it. This is increasingly rare these days, probably because so few readers understand corporate accounting. There are still a few sources for this kind of thing, usually writers who know their businesses, rather than professional journalists.

    P.S. Krugman may write at the 8th grade level, but he gives better investment advice than the WSJ editorial page, a very low bar I’ll grant.

  73. end game says:

    Kaleberg, I agree. Krugman doesn’t give investment advice per se but you can deduce what to buy and avoid from his commentary. It’s all been pretty much perfect for the past three years. WSJ and other Hayek groupies, inflationistas, and debt alarmists all steered investors away from one of the largest bond rallies in history.