We were given this heads-up alert at Marc Morano’s ClimateDepot.com site on Monday: “Author Mark Hertsgaard & Others Interrogating Climate Cranks this Week”. Quoting the blogger at the original Planetsave site:
I also got word recently that Hertsgaard and a number of other climate activists are going to interrogate the climate cranks on Capitol Hill, at FOX News, at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, and other places this week. Looks like a fun and useful idea.
Fun and useful? Not really, when we see what actually happened when Hertsgaard confronted Sen Inhofe yesterday, Feb 15th, at Inhofe’s own Youtube site.
However, there is a bigger problem for Hertsgaard, when we reword a biblical phrase to say, “let he who is above reproach cast the first interrogation”.
This is the same Mark Hertsgaard who has questionable ties with anti-skeptic book author Ross Gelbspan, as I detailed in my article “Unending Problems with Accusations Against Skeptic Scientists, When Anyone Digs Into Them.”* Hertsgaard was also the “Reporter & Editorial Consultant” for the April 2007 PBS Frontline show “Hot Politics”, where viewers were treated to a few tantalizing global warming science assessments from skeptic climate scientists, followed immediately by Gelbspan’s insinuation that his investigative work exposed the scientists as corrupted well-funded frauds. While the scientists were speaking, a little tag at the bottom of the screen directed viewers to a PBS “Profiles of the skeptics” web page. On that page, Gelbspan was referenced twice about items that are guilt-by-association accusations at best, and were certainly worthy of hard follow-up questions that could have been explored in the broadcast by interviewer Deborah Amos.
The very first reference link at the bottom of that web page goes to ExxonSecrets.org, a site created by a former member of the enviro-advocacy group Ozone Action, which I described as the epicenter of the ’96-to-present smear of skeptic scientists in my July 2010 American Thinker article.
The PBS web page was written by Oriana Zill de Granados, who had a like-minded hit piece about skeptics called “The Manipulation of Science” at the ironically named Center for Investigative Reporting. Funny thing is, she wrote at length about a prominent 1998 NY Times article, but when she put a web link reference for it at the end of her piece, the link wasn’t to the original article, it linked to a reproduction of the article at Gelbspan’s own web site. Her Gelbspan link is followed by one to Mark Hertsgaard’s Vanity Fair article – the same problematic one I described in my “Unending Problems with Accusations Against Skeptic Scientists” article. I could probably write another two thousand words detailing the faults with Ms de Granados’ link reference choices, and about insinuations and troubling information sources within the NY Times article.
But my piece here is about Hertsgaard. Enviro-activists like him have long made unsupportable accusations. What happens when the tables are turned, with hard scrutiny of those accusations? Hertsgaard unwittingly opens the door to a Pandora’s box of interrogation aimed at him and many others who have portrayed skeptic scientists as corrupted by big oil interests.
Care to imagine a House investigation hearing in which Hertsgaard, de Granados and others are asked to explain the appearance of framing public-funded PBS programs to be biased against skeptic scientists? Or hearings in which Gelbspan and ex-Ozone Action employees like Al Gore’s spokesperson Kalee Kreider are asked to explain why the central bit of evidence of their skeptic scientist accusation is based on a widely quoted phrase – seen in Gore’s movie, and at numerous other places – sourced from a memo that has remained hidden from public view since 1991? This is exactly the GOP leadership opportunity I mentioned in my first RedState.com article. At the very least, the intended ‘victims’ of enviro-activists like Hertsgaard have every opportunity to ask their accusers some mighty rough questions.
That looks like a much more fun and useful idea.
*[9/18/14 Author’s edit: regrettably, the original “ClimateGateCountryClub.com” lapsed a few years ago, and the new domain owner placed a programmer’s file on it which prevents the Internet Archive system from viewing old web pages there, so my “Unending Problems with Accusations…” piece is lost until I can find another copy of it somewhere….]
Russell Cook’s collection of writings on this issue can be seen at “The ’96-to-present smear of skeptic scientists.” You may also follow him at Twitter via @questionAGW