February 21, 2012

How Will AP’s Borenstein Respond to Peter Gleick’s Admission That He Stole Documents From Heartland?

The Associated Press’s Seth Borenstein, his wire service, and most of the globaloney-advocating establishment press have a problem.

Peter Gleick, described in a related UK Guardian story as “a water scientist and president of the Pacific Institute,” said last week that he “obtained” documents from the Heartland Institute about its strategy to, in part and in Borenstein’s words, (from his 1,000-word dispatch), “teach schoolchildren skepticism about global warming.” Now, Gleick has admitted that he stole them (Gleick’s description: “I solicited and received additional materials directly … under someone else’s name”). Oops. It get worse for Borenstein and the wire service on at least two levels.

First, Heartland claims, with others’ support, that a key two-page “2012 Heartland Climate Strategy” memo Gleick posted is a fake. Heartland’s contention seems reasonable to cap-and-trade supporter Megan McArdle at the Atlantic. McArdle listed seven good reasons to doubt the memo’s authenticity and followed that enumeration with a “section-by-section analysis of what makes me uncomfortable.” Friday afternoon, Ross Kaminsky at the American Spectator wrote that “all evidence so far supports Heartland’s emphatic assertion that the document is a forgery.” There is heavy suspicion is that Gleick himself wrote it.

Second, and arguably more problematic for Borenstein, one of his compadres in global-warming uber alles reporting, Andrew Revikin at the New York Times Dot Earth blog, has pointedly abandoned ship (bolds are mine):

Peter H. Gleick, a water and climate analyst who has been studying aspects of global warming for more than two decades, in recent years became an aggressive critic of organizations and individuals casting doubt on the seriousness of greenhouse-driven climate change. He used blogs, congressional testimony, group letters and other means to make his case.

Now, Gleick has admitted to an act that leaves his reputation in ruins and threatens to undercut the cause he spent so much time pursuing.

… Another question, of course, is who wrote the climate strategy document that Gleick now says was mailed to him. His admitted acts of deception in acquiring the cache of authentic Heartland documents surely will sustain suspicion that he created the summary, which Heartland’s leadership insists is fake.

One way or the other, Gleick’s use of deception in pursuit of his cause after years of calling out climate deception has destroyed his credibility and harmed others. (Some of the released documents contain information about Heartland employees that has no bearing on the climate fight.) That is his personal tragedy and shame (and I’m sure devastating for his colleagues, friends and family).

Spin that, Seth.

A search on Gleick’s name at the AP’s national site at 11:45 a.m. ET came up empty. This means that Borenstein has not only not addressed this matter for about 18 hours, he also kept Gleick’s name (and, upon further review, Gleick’s organization, the Pacific Institute) out of his original 1000-word report last week. That glaring omission relating to who obtained the documents and how — something any Journalism 101 student would know needs to be reported if known — causes me to believe that Borenstein, who infamously dismissed the Climategate emails showing that globaloney advocates were pulling their hair out behind the curtain because the world wasn’t cooperating with their models while publicly insisting on their “settled science,” already suspected that Gleick had credibility problems, and didn’t want to be caught giving a bad guy credit. This would mean that despite the suspicious source, Borenstein couldn’t resist taking gratuitous shots at Heartland.

That’s not journalism, Seth.

As they say, “Developing …”

Cross-posted at NewsBusters.org.

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