Gelbspan’s Undisclosed Article Rewrite, and the Irony Therein

Back in my August 16 and November 18, 2013 blog posts, I described the manner in which elements of Ross Gelbspan’s 2010 article narratives about Dr Paul Epstein and a CNN editor did not line up right. On December 4, 2013 I had to write a blog post about how the Epstein / CNN references in his piece – a piece which had been otherwise basically unaltered since May of 2010 –  disappeared along with other material. All I could do at the time was speculate whether someone purposely deleted the material, or if it was just really clumsy handling of web content by him or an associate. Well, it’s most likely the latter now, but his latest rework of that piece only presents a new situation where he further undermines his own credibility.

The reason it looks like clumsy handling is because his piece seemingly reappeared back in March with what looked the missing Epstein / CNN references and the signature “I’m a reporter” line at the top. However, other obligations prevented me from checking further into the rest of it at that time. Being familiar enough with the problems of the piece overall, imagine my surprise when Gelbspan linked to it in his September 22, 2014 Facebook timeline post (full text here, click thumbnail below to enlarge).

Gelb-US press cov

While I more or less remembered that first sentence I highlight in green, I didn’t remember the second,

… this is by far the most dramatic and exciting story any reporter could ever want to work on.

So, I attempted to see where I missed it, given the sheer irony of how the story of the way the ‘industry-corrupted skeptic climate scientists’ accusation implodes around Al Gore and Gelbspan may instead be the most dramatic and exciting story any reporter could ever want to work on. Problem is, Gelbspan’s Facebook link to his full piece displayed an odd error message when I looked at it three days later, so I just used my computer’s history link to view the April 30, 2013 version. That sentence was not there, nor were parts of the other sentences seen in Gelbspan’s Facebook excerpts from the piece. But all of them were intact (with the two-word “any reporter” exception in the last sentence) in the March 28, 2014 Internet Archive version.

Plain and simple, either Gelbspan or an associate of his re-wrote a nearly four year old piece, repeating the same faulty narrative about the CNN editor, but minus 1526 words and 45 paragraphs, and with a new ending that fails to mention anything about the piece being originally from a 2010 presentation at Tufts University’s Climate Talks Project. Suffice it to say, the piece went through a major number of changes. But although the Epstein / CNN references are back in the current version, his highly questionable assertion about “the letters I’d received after that Washington Post piece were part of a coordinated campaign”, which I detailed in my 8/16/13 blog post, is still missing (click to enlarge).

HIO US Press Cov 10-15-13 & now

Gelbspan was a professional reporter and editor for around 30 years until he retired in 1992, and may not have been drastically out of line to claim the title almost two decades later, although “retired reporter” would have been a more accurate thing to say at the beginning of his piece. I’m no reporter and certainly am not a professional writer of any type, but I do feel an obligation to hold myself to particular standards of writing disclosures, going so far as to note in my 9/24/14 blog post that my very recent major Policy Brief is an updated secondary version I’d written four years earlier. Yet from Gelbspan’s Facebook excerpts of his piece a few weeks ago, uninformed readers would be led to believe it was a current piece.

If there is one particularly crippling fault in the entire man-caused global warming issue, it is the manner in which its promoters feel a compulsion to leave out important details. As in the ‘settled science’ is rife with unsettled contradictions, the accusation that skeptic climate scientists are corrupted by illicit money doesn’t have a shred of physical evidence to back it up, and one of the main promoters of the accusation is a person apparently plagued with credibility problems.