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Climate Chaos at the New York Times

Follow up to my “ANTI-SOON CAMPAIGN GOES SMEARING WHOLE CATEGORIES OF SCIENTISTS” post, I can now show how Somebody at the NYT noticed exactly what I pointed to, and tried to change history but ultimately failed in the process.

Yesterday I had noticed that casual readers would only get the message that a climate researcher was somehow involved with undeclared corporate interests. This is because the online article was titled “Ties to Corporate Cash for Climate-Change Researcher” with no reference to the outside-of-the-consensus position of Willie Soon, who found himself representing literally any climate scientist.

Given what happens with politicians, it would then be expected that the same casual readers would conclude some form of corruption be endemic to climate science. Not exactly the Narrative favored by the New York Times.

Turns out the same online article has since been changed, at least in the title, that now reads “Deeper Ties to Corporate Cash for Doubtful Climate Researcher“. Apart from the dramatizing use of “Deeper”, the important bit is the addition of “Doubtful” – removing at last the apparent smear against all climate scientists of every opinion.

A last-minute correction following a blog post? It’s not so simple. Here’s the story as I can see it now

1. The original article (“Ties to Corporate Cash for Climate-Change Researcher“) appeared online before 2AM EST Sunday Feb 22, as per Wayback Machine. It was timestamped “3:05PM”, presumably Saturday Feb 21

Wayback Machine
Wayback Machine


2. The same title appeared on the official Facebook NYT pages, timestamped 12:53AM Sunday – AFAIK, that’s GMT, or in other words, 7:53PM Saturday EST


3. Same title got propagated by various news outlets and blogs

Google Search
Google Search
Google News
Google News

4. Then something happened. The printed (US) edition of Sunday showed the new title (“Deeper Ties to Corporate Cash for Doubtful Climate Researcher“). I do not know if more than one printing is done on Sundays: assuming it is not, the change was made in a real hurry as one can only presume 2AM is already a little late for the printers

NYT Sunday A1 page

5. Whoever ordered the change, forgot to distribute it in full. So the International New York Times, printed for delivery on Monday, still carried a version of the old title (apologies for the small size of the picture)

International New York Times Feb 23
International New York Times Feb 23

6. Both versions of the article are visible on the International NYT archive – in fact I am not aware of any material change in the text between one title and the other

International New York Times search
International New York Times search

7. Yesterday I then noticed that the original “Ties” version was on the NYT website – another misdistribution of the correction. But by sometimes in the AM GMT, the online title was changed to the new “Deeper” version too.

On past performance, this is yet another heavy handed intervention by Somebody High Above at the NYT to correct a climate article that had gone astray, just as for this 2010 article, dramatically changed between the IHT printed edition and the NYT website.

(yes I have imagery demonstrating the changes)

In that case, the newspaper of record made Judith Curry disappear, to be replaced by a nobody from the UCS with zero climate science background. And Gavin.


32 replies on “Climate Chaos at the New York Times”

Maurizio, there is a simpler explanation this time. In the UK reporters don’t write the headline the sub-editor does. On consideration is the space they have available on the page.
– In the NYT print the Sub may have decided to use a more defining headline, then added the story to the website to be consistant.
– In the IHT perhaps for spacing they kept the old title.
– I wouldn’t trust NYT on environmental stories at all. Rather than simply REPORT stories it is
the custom of all media these days from newspapers, radio, popsci and serious journals to all CONSTRUCT and SPIN NARRATIVES.
– Your 2010 NYT example is a strong proof of this.
– As regards Soon the story is clearly spin-tronics, cos the actual story is of incredibly low magnitude as the “new evidence” changes nothing.. The 1. It’s the Motive fallacy to thinl you can simply dismiss a paper on grounds of who funded it; arguments in his papers stand whoever funded
2. Anyone in the field reading the papers would have been well aware that Soon was a famous “denier” who has always said “Yes of course some of my work has been funded by lots of companies including fossil fuels, but that doesn’t’ influence the results I get for work the work they sponsor or work I do on papers for others.” – For NYT to pretend that their “new information” changed anyones opinion of his papers is ridiculous.
– Soon is entitled to due process; I can wait a couple of months for an inquiry before judging him further.

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