A flawed column in the New York Times.9:04 AM, Jul 6, 2015 • By ETHAN EPSTEIN
Oklahoma senator James Inhofe did the world no favors earlier this year when he brought a snowball onto the Senate floor in order to “disprove” global warming. For one, a blizzard hitting Washington, D.C. tells us absolutely nothing about whether man-made climate change is indeed occurring. His stunt also was a gift to the left, who have, predictably, referred to the incident over and over again as if it were the ne plus ultra of right-leaning thinking on climate. Inhofe, after all, serves the narrative – that conservatives are anti-intellectual cretins, of course – in a way that, say, Irwin Stelzer does not.
Take New York Times columnist Timothy Egan. In his most recent column, which uses unusually hot weather in Seattle as a peg to discuss climate change, Egan predictably goes back to the Inhofe well.
“Inhofe is famous for bringing a snowball to the floor of the Senate to prove his point,” Egan dutifully recounts. “What he proved is that there are Labradors with more common sense than a senator with a peanut for a brain.”
Egan’s column is mostly taken up with discussing the current heat wave in the Pacific Northwest. “[Seattle] had eight days at 85 degrees or higher in June. On Sunday, east of the Cascade Mountains, it hit 113 degrees in Walla Walla,” he notes.
Oh sure, he concedes, “The experts . . . do not think the broiling of the Pacific Northwest can be attributed to climate change . . .but they say that what we’ve experienced over the last 16 months is an indication of what this part of the world will be like after the earth has warmed by several degrees.”
There are two problems with this passage. First, the blog post that Egan cites makes no such argument. But in any event, even if it did, this is pure tautology: Egan is saying that Seattle will be warmer if Seattle is warmer. The question is: Will Seattle be warmer? And if so, why?
The columnist then goes on to lay out the cascade of horribles that will occur in the years ahead. “We could face major wildfires, in places where 500 year-old trees are draped with tendrils of green,” he warns, “Salmon-spawning rivers could be shallow and warm in early fall — lethal to this region’s iconic symbol.”
So, let’s boil Egan’s column down to its essence: he has taken a case of unusual weather and used it, speciously, to make a broader argument about the state of the climate. That is to say, Egan’s column is nothing more than mirror image Inhofe-ism. The distinguished New York Times columnist has thrown a snowball, and he apparently doesn’t even realize it.
(*if you don't count 9/11)3:29 PM, Jun 25, 2015 • By ETHAN EPSTEIN
Last week’s horrific events in Charleston demonstrate, unfortunately, that there are violent homegrown extremists in this country. The extent to which they present a danger to the citizens of the United States is a serious issue worth considering.
Jun 29, 2015, Vol. 20, No. 40 • By THE SCRAPBOOK
"In the style of a lot of current shows, Deutschland 83 mixes real historical events into its made-up story. Ronald Reagan and other leaders of the period turn up in video clips spouting their Cold War bombast, verbiage that today feels both scary and ridiculously simplistic. The show has the feel of a . . .” (Neil Genzlinger in the New York Times, June 16).
Gleanings and observations.10:20 AM, Jun 15, 2015 • By IRWIN M. STELZER
Another Sunday, another New York Times magazine, this one featuring a cover story about “Scott Walker and the dismantling of American unions.” Readers of the Old Grey Lady, a newspaper not without its virtues, are undoubtedly aware of its sympathy for down-trodden workers, especially if they belong to trade unions.
Jun 22, 2015, Vol. 20, No. 39 • By THE SCRAPBOOK
It’s far too early to pick a front-runner for the Republican nomination, but we already have a pretty good idea which candidate is doing the best job of scaring both the media and the Democratic establishment (but we repeat ourselves).
But similar gifts from other foundations were.1:01 PM, Jun 10, 2015 • By JERYL BIER
A $100,000 donation given to a New York Times charity campaign in 2008 by Bill and Hillary Clinton's family foundation is not included in a Times list of large gifts from various other foundations, such as George Soros's charitable foundation.
Hosted by Michael Graham.5:45 PM, Jun 9, 2015 • By TWS PODCAST
THE WEEKLY STANDARD podcast with staff writer Michael Warren on the New York Times and the failed hit on Marco Rubio's fishing boat.
Hosted by Michael Graham.1:17 PM, Jun 5, 2015 • By TWS PODCAST
THE WEEKLY STANDARD podcast with editor William Kristol on the week in review, Hillary Clinton's bad week, and why the New York Times is panicked about Marco Rubio
4:11 PM, Apr 17, 2015 • By MARK HEMINGWAY
I understand that to many people who work at the New York Times, guns are frightening animistic objects. But Andrew Rosenthal, the editorial page editor of the Times, just took the following swipe at Ted Cruz, under the headline "Ted Cruz’s Strange Gun Argument," and it is his argument, not Ted Cruz's, that is strange to say the least:
11:20 AM, Apr 17, 2015 • By JEFFREY H. ANDERSON
If there is anything that liberals and Big Business can seemingly agree upon, it’s that we don’t need an approach to immigration that benefits Main Street. It remains to be seen whether anyone running for president will seize this opening and buck the liberal-corporate consensus, but in the meantime Sen. Jeff Sessions has been ably holding down the fort against Democrats and Republicans alike. As his partial reward, he just received the wrath of the New York Times editorial board.
Gleanings and observations.3:28 PM, Apr 8, 2015 • By IRWIN M. STELZER
For your further enlightenment, two news stories on page one of last Sunday’s New York Times. One begins a long report on California’s water problems, attributed to a drought rather than bureaucratic mismanagement.
Apr 6, 2015, Vol. 20, No. 29 • By THE SCRAPBOOK
Normally The Scrapbook is pleased to learn of advances in technology allowing greater numbers of people access to the news. Ceteris paribus, these innovations help cultivate an informed public and, we like to hope, keep our journalistic colleagues from the economic chopping block just a little while longer.
11:03 AM, Feb 22, 2015 • By MICHAEL WARREN
Hillary Clinton would likely defend her continued spate of high-dollar speaking engagements, according to a New York Times reporter, as follows: "It's expensive to be a Clinton."
Even the sports section has a liberal bent.8:25 AM, Feb 16, 2015 • By IRWIN M. STELZER
Nothing like a quiet Sunday with the New York Times. Start with the sports section, as I do, hoping for an escape from the paper’s relentlessly liberal approach to what it calls news. No luck.