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And You Thought the Washington Post Was Lame? Et Tu, New York Times?!?

by: lowkell

Tue Feb 19, 2013 at 16:46:23 PM EST

You know, it's bad enough that the newspaper I read in "dead tree" form every day (the Washington, aka "Kaplan" Post) increasingly bites the big one. But the New York Times? Since I was a kid, I've always viewed that newspaper as the be-all, end-all of newspapers, la creme de la creme, "All the News That's Fit to Print," you name it. But a few more miserable days like today, and I might have to start questioning that long-held view of mine.

Exhibit A: An embarrassingly abysmal column, by NY Times business reporter Joe Nocera, entitled How Not to Fix Climate Change. Over at Daily Kos, energy guru Adam Siegel has done a superb job demolishing Nocera's idiocy, so no need to repeat it here. In sum, though, the guy clearly has no clue what he's talking about when it comes to: a) energy; b) economics; c) mathematics; or d) politics. Other than that, he's spot on! (snark) Also, since when did the NY Times feel that it was ok for one of its leading columnists to resort to ad hominem attacks - in this case against climate and clean energy champions Bill McKibben, Michael Brune, and James Hansen, all of whom are making a gazillion times more of a difference than Joe Nocera ever will - in place of an actual argument?As Adam Siegel puts it, the NY Times should be embarrassed, but sadly it probably won't be. Sigh.

Exhibit B: In its own way, Is There Room for Varied Approaches to Energy and Climate Progress? by NY Times "Dot Earth" blogger Andrew Revkin is even more cringe-inducingly lame (if that's humanly possible) than Nocera's article. While Nocera simply demonstrates utter ignorance, which is bad enough, Revkin doesn't even realize how pathetic he comes across, as he desperately tries to be a "Very Serious Person," aka "Reasonable Man." Those latter two phrases come from David Roberts' epic skewering or Revkin, seriously one of the best blog posts I've read in a long time. In short, Roberts takes "a calm look at the Reasonable Revkin take on Keystone activism, representative as it is of a certain VSP consensus," and very seriously, totally reasonably, demolishes it. I strongly recommend it.

OK, so one last comment and I'm done bashing the corporate for the day (no worries; the thrashings will resume tomorrow!). Check out this story, in which a former CNN producer lifts the curtain a bit on the the warped priorities, not to mention almost complete lack of "information with redeeming value," of the leading cable "news" channels (CNN and Fox, in this case).  But then again, we knew that right?

lowkell :: And You Thought the Washington Post Was Lame? Et Tu, New York Times?!?
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Completely agree (0.00 / 0)
This is par for the course for Nocera, I'm afraid.

Ivy Main is the Chair of the Virginia Chapter of the Sierra Club and a frequent writer on energy issues at

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When the NYT, CNN, other corporate media decide that concern for the environment is "liberal" and "elitist," what they are really saying is that environmentalism isn't able to shove big ad dollars at them, while multinationals like BP will spend millions in advertising telling Americans how pure and pristine the Gulf is and how BP helped make it that way. (Enough to make one ill). Thus, they skew the news the way their financial masters want it.

When broadcast and cable news found that courting corporate money was far more important to their bottom line that informing the public, they became little more that multinational mouthpieces and fluff outlets.

Sadly, every time I look at the most popular stories on Huffington Post, they are invariably about celebrities, Princess Kate's baby bump, the latest "Brangilina" news, etc. So, some of that garbage that pretends to be "news" is pandering to the tastes of the audience.


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