As Walter Russell Mead writes,“Now That It’s Over, The Grey Lady Sings:”
In one of the most embarrassing news stories I’ve ever seen in the mainstream press, the New York Times has a comprehensive report on the catastrophic meltdown in the public’s interest in global warming.
The only problem: nothing in here is news, if by news you mean ‘new’.
“Climate Fears Turn To Doubts Among Britons,” blares the headline.
The story begins:
LONDON — Last month hundreds of environmental activists crammed into an auditorium here to ponder an anguished question: If the scientific consensus on climate change has not changed, why have so many people turned away from the idea that human activity is warming the planet?
Last month? The conference was last month and we are only hearing about it now, at the end of this month?
It turns out, however, that by Times standards a report on a conference from last month is a late breaking newsflash. The main evidence that ace reporter Elisabeth Rosenthal has tracked down for her story about changing public sentiment comes from a BBC opinion poll from February.
The last I looked, we were approaching the end of May. This is deliberative journalism at its best: only ninety swift days between a BBC poll and the time that the New York Times thinks you are ready to hear about it.
Think of it as merely the latest example of “The News They Kept To Themselves.”
And speaking of Mead, don’t miss “The Top Ten Lessons of the Global Economic Meltdown” and “The Lost Decade,” Ross Douthat’s follow-up at the aforementioned Gray Lady.
(H/T: USS Neverdock.)