David Rose is not a credible source - OFFICIAL

Posted by Graham Thompson — 24 July 2014 at 12:46pm - Comments
All rights reserved. Credit: David Rose/Mail on Sunday
The source of denial (joke copywrited to Graham Thompson)

This may not be entirely new or surprising information to you, but the English speaking press around the world has been recycling Rose's Mail on Sunday climate denial nonsense for nearly a decade. Now a decision of the Australian Press Council, published today, means that 'it was in the Mail' is no longer an excuse for publishing climate misinformation.

There’s been some recent media about how the bottom three countries in terms of understanding climate science are the US, the UK and Australia.

We form the anglophone Oceania Echo Chamber. Climate nonsense published in one country is quickly and easily recycled in the other two. Typically, David Rose will be the first mainstream journalist to allow a denier conspiracy theory off the internet and into print in the Mail on Sunday. Then it’ll be picked up by the Murdoch press on both sides of the Atlantic, and down under. This highly efficient method of working has numerous advantages, not least because once one outlet has published some nonsense, the mere fact that it’s been published gives it that extra layer of credibility when it’s rehashed in the other papers.

You can even escape all requirements for accuracy and integrity by writing a story about the previous story. Claiming that the Earth is getting cooler might make you look like a fool or worse, but claiming that another paper claimed the Earth was getting cooler allows you to spread the same disinformation while passing the buck on to them. Or so they thought.

Last September, just before the latest IPCC report came out, the Australian newspaper published ‘a number of pieces’ of climate scepticism, starting with a front page headline ‘We got it wrong on warming, says IPCC’. Nonsense, of course, as were the vitriolic editorial and letters that followed. And at least by the time those follow-up pieces were published, the Australian should have known it was nonsense, as they’d been told so by a Professor of Atmospheric Physics and IPCC author. He later complained to the Australian Press Council.

But the Australian thought they were in the clear because their most contentious claims had already been published in ‘Britain’s The Daily Mail’. Yes, it’s David Rose of the Mail on Sunday.

In the interests of fair and balanced reporting, here are some of my favourite extracts from the Australian Press Council’s adjudication on the Australian’s coverage :

The publication subsequently acknowledged to the Press Council that the headline and first sentence of the original article were incorrect, but it said that in all other respects the article was fair and balanced.

The publication said there was no reason for it to have suspected errors in the articles in The Mail on Sunday and noted that The Wall Street Journal had also published an article containing the same error.

It also acknowledged that the online “Clarification” should perhaps have been called a “Correction”

The Council has concluded that the erroneous claim about the revised warming rate was very serious, given the importance of the issue and of the need for accuracy (both of which were emphasised in the editorial that repeated the claim without qualification).

The Council considers rigorous steps should have been taken before giving such forceful and prominent credence to The Mail on Sunday’s claim. Accordingly, the complaint on that ground is upheld.

Given Professor Karoly’s expertise and the importance of the issue, his letter should have triggered a prompt and thorough investigation by the publication. Instead, the error was repeated in an editorial on the page opposite his letter.

The Council welcomes the acknowledgements of error and expressions of regret which the publication eventually made to it. But they should have been made very much earlier, and made directly to the publication’s readers in a frank and specific manner. It is a matter of considerable concern that this approach was not adopted.

In summary, don’t trust David Rose.

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