The Secrecy of It All


Thank you for your candid answer.

If I read you right, in the fourth link there is this quote:

The documents reveal that Heartland […] plans to raise US$88,000 to help a former television weatherman set up a new temperature records website.

So this refers to Watts alright. But I’m not sure I recognize the smear in that sentence. If that’s all you can do to back up that

[T]he media-wide unabashed smear campaign against [Anthony Watts] for doing the right thing with data.

then readers might be tempted to believe that you are handwaving.

You may have read many things, Jeff, but you can’t say you quoted much to back up the claim that the media is smearing Anthony Watts.

I acknowledge this advice you gratuitiously provided:

If you said – Jeff, I’ve looked and there are no references, I would gladly look or even retract the article if needed.

If you already looked, I’m not sure why you’d “gladly look” again. Since it’s obvious to you that a smear campaign [is happening] and that you read about it before publishing this editorial, you have nothing to lose by issuing this challenge. I don’t doubt the possibility that somebody, somewhere, smeared Anthony Watts: I want to know what you read that made you believe this.

I can check alright. I can even report everything I find here. I could take Judy’s list if you want.

But first let me note that George Monbiot just commented on this sorry episode. Here’s how it begins:

Shocking, fascinating, entirely unsurprising: the leaked documents, if authentic, confirm what we suspected but could not prove. The Heartland Institute, which has helped lead the war against climate science in the United States, is funded among others by tobacco firms, fossil fuel companies and one of the billionaire Koch brothers.

Here’s how it ends:

This is plutocracy pure and simple. The battle for democracy is now a straight fight against the billionaires and corporations reshaping politics to suit their interests. The first task of all democrats must be to demand that any group, of any complexion, seeking to effect political change should reveal its funders.

Considering auditors’ dislike of secrecy, and nevermind the “democrats,” would you agree with this suggestion?

This time, I took more time to try to find a smear against Watts. Yet again, I found no occurence of “watt”. I did not find any occurence of “weatherman” either. Monbiot seems to have forgotten about the importance of this story.

To prevent some parsomatics, I do realize you could not have read Monbiot, Jeff. (For that subsequent task, we could simply take Judith’s list.) But before that, I quote this editorial, among other things, to substantiate my claim that

I really thought it was about the secrecy of it all.

So this quote shows that I am not alone in believing that last week’s hurly burly has something to do with secrecy.

Not that it’s our main issue, of course. The main issue is how the media smeared Anthony Watts, for which we have yet to have a quote appearing on this thread.

Since you provided me with such a free advice, I’ll return the gesture. If I were you, I’d rather find the quotes myself.

Thank you for your generosity, and for the true gentlemanship you are showing in a comment thread of an editorial talking about smearing campaigns,

Good evening,