The ‘television editor told me “We did. Once.”’ Problem

My 11/8 blog piece recapped six problems seen with a single paragraph written by Ross Gelbspan in a 2005 Mother Jones article, and went on to tell about another of his major narrative derailments. But I mentioned there was one more big problem that needed a separate blog piece to examine it. That’s what this piece will cover. Continue reading

‘Industry PR Campaign sways US Opinion’; except practically nobody saw it

Ross Gelbspan’s “Snowed” article in the May/June 2005 issue of Mother Jones magazine described how a ‘misguided application of journalistic balance’ and ‘a decade-long campaign of deception, disinformation, and, at times, intimidation by the fossil fuel lobby’ was causing the media not to properly warn us about the perils of global warming. Accept his narrative without question, and it’s a rallying cry to solve the problem. But notice the errors in his article’s 5th & 6th paragraphs, and it makes you wonder how much more he gets wrong. (click to enlarge)

Gelb Snowed WFA Continue reading

Why Imply “found” = “enlisted” When it Clearly Means “discovered” in a Coal Association’s Annual Report?

The situation is as elemental as it gets: Ross Gelbspan wants the public to believe the fossil fuel industry conceived and implemented a plan to save its own skin, and to carry this out, they found scientists who would spout any skeptic notion they were paid to say. To hammer this home in a way ensuring no one questions it, he says this plan is declared just that way in a Western Fuels Association annual report. End of story. But there’s a critical unspoken stipulation here, that no one should read the actual report or see the context in which the specific word “found” appears. Continue reading