Journalism

Mann and Ward’s Kick in the Graun

…and now for the pièce de résistance of this three course feast of Guardian Newspeak: Michael Mann and Bob Ward claiming that Donald Trump is the new Stalin:

… a group of hardcore climate change deniers and contrarians linked to the administration is organising a petition in support of a new panel being set up by the National Security Council to promote an alternative official explanation for climate change.

The panel will consist of scientists who do not accept the overwhelming scientific evidence that rising levels of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases in the atmosphere are behind climate change and its impacts…

The creation of the new panel of climate change deniers, and the recruitment of supporters to provide it with a veneer of legitimacy, echoes the campaign by Joseph Stalin’s regime to discredit the work of geneticists who disagreed with the disastrous pseudo-scientific theories of Trofim Lysenko.

Most of the article is an attack on Myron Ebell of the Competitive Enterprise Institute and Professor William Happer,  who was hired by the National Security Council in September 2018 as deputy assistant to the president and senior director for emerging technologies, linking them with a long list of right wing, fossil fuel-funded foundations, think tanks and lobbyists who may or may not be involved in some way in Trump’s panel of scientists or the petition in their favour.

Nowhere in the article are the scientists on Trump’s panel named, but by following up the links one learns that they include Richard Lindzen, Judith Curry, and John Christy. Mann and Ward (or possibly the Guardian’s lawyers) were well inspired to hide their names in a link, since being compared to Lysenko (who, according to Eric Worrall at WattsUpWithThat, not only screwed up Soviet science for decades, but also had his opponents executed) might be considered actionable. That’s mainstream leftwing journalism for you: hide your nastiest unsupported accusations behind links. As my great grand uncle C.P. Scott didn’t say: “Comment is Freaky, but Facts are Shaky.”

Mann and Ward seem blissfully aware that their their methods – of trial by insinuation, guilt by association – are precisely – Stalinist. That’s how the thousands of traitors, revisionists and Trotskyists were trapped and eliminated.

That’s three articles I’ve written in twelve hours on three different articles in the Guardian: defending a venerable university’s right to censor unwelcome opinions on the grounds of “diversity of opinion”; calling on weather forecasters to temper their desire to tell the truth about tomorrow’s weather by “striking a motivating balance between hope and fear”; and comparing Trump to Stalin for seeking a variety of opinions outside the Consensus (something that Stalin was notorious for doing.)

As for the Guardian, there’s an important question hovering over this venerable, nearly two-centuries-old institution of British Liberalism: Is this shithole of insanity peopled by mental retards who deserve our sympathy, or are they really the proto-fascists they claim to be? I think we should be told.

16 thoughts on “Mann and Ward’s Kick in the Graun

  1. It’s an increasingly strange world. I used to be an avid Guardian reader, and I used to share its values (or so I thought). Today it is the mouthpiece for those I loosely (and to an extent inaccurately) term liberal fascists. Thought police on every corner. Tolerant of climate and religious intolerance, viciously intolerant of views that disagree with their agenda. Terrified of a diversity of opinion (to the extent that comments they don’t like will be removed from the online comment section of Guardian articles).

    C.P. Scott must be turning in his grave.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. The likes of Mann and Ward expect to get their own way on climate issues (real or fake) in perpetuity, and squeal if something looks like getting in the way. The whole landscape needs to change, which is what Trump is trying to address.

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  3. So Mann is projecting his inner tyrant, again.
    The correlation between Mann displaying his ignorance and Mann trying to silence those who disagree with his perception of the climate consensus is remarkable.

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  4. Mark. I am still a Guardian reader, but I read less and less of it as the years roll by. I have tried other newspapers but grow angry at much of the political slant within them. When the Guardian began its long slide to the depths of climate bias, and often downright stupidity, I reconciled my continued readership on the grounds of “the better you know your enemy”. But that excuse has grown rather lame recently (since we are deep inside enemy territory everywhere we turn – even weather forecasts are soon to be bestrewn with climate bombs). I skim read most of the Guardian’s content, and crank up my scepticism by reading this site and Bishop Hill (ignoring much of the politics). I probably wouldn’t continue reading the Guardian, but I get it free from Waitrose. I prefer to be driven to despair by a paper’s content than angered, and now and then I am rewarded by finding a well written, thought provoking and informative piece of writing. The Guardian continues to employ some good writers despite the opprobrium piled upon it. You just have to pick and choose with greater care.

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  5. Alan, I’m driven to reading the Telegraph (for free) instead of the Guardian, since for some inexplicable (or, at least, never explained) reason our local library stopped taking the Guardian and replaced it with the Telegraph. It annoys me just as much as the Guardian ever did, but in a different way…

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  6. Golf Charlie: Thanks. Catching up late in the week I did watch the interview with William Happer from December 2016 WUWT included and was duly impressed, again, by the good sense of one of the main drivers of the proposed Presidential Commission on Climate Security. So here it is

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  7. MARK HODGSON, ALAN KENDALL
    I too was a faithful Guardian reader for years. Should we form a self-help group, Ex-Graunians Anonymous?

    My long running commenting campaign at Komment Macht Frei was based on the illusion that if only their journalists, who were obviously well-meaning, though misguided, could be informed of their error, the paper would become sensible again. But of course the same insanity was taking hold at the New York Times, le Monde, and in all the centre-left parties in the western world. I see it as a personal failing of mine that I failed to persuade the editor and environmental journalists of this eminent organ of the error of their ways.

    By the way, there’s an excellent analysis of the Mann/Ward article at WUWT by Marlo Lewis, who is a colleague of Myron Ebell at the Competitive Enterprise Institute:
    https://wattsupwiththat.com/2019/03/22/ignorance-is-strength-dissent-is-stalinist/
    In theory I should be having nothing to do with an organisation devoted to promoting competitive enterprise. What’s wrong with me?

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  8. Geoff. Founding such an anonymous group would be somewhat difficult since everyone knows our names. Also Mark and yourself would appear to have successfully weaned yourselves off the necessity of a daily Grauniad fix, whereas Waitrose continues to be my narcotrafficker.

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  9. ALAN KENDALL
    No, I still get my daily Guardian fix via the internet.

    Last year I spent two weeks in a house that had the Guardian delivered in time for breakfast. What struck me leafing through the 60+ pages was that I couldn’t find all those climate change articles which make my day on-line. There were plenty of mentions of climate change, just no articles about what it is, and what needs doing about it. A typical article would be discussing some utterly trivial non-subject of interest to Guardian readers, like a video game character or a fashionable cocktail recipe or some arcane change in the marking system for GCSEs or something, and the journalist would interrupt herself with a remark like “I know it’s not important, given that climate change is going to destroy all life on the planet in twelve years time, but…” and go back to whatever trivia she was discussing.

    It’s one way of dealing with the tragedy of our human destiny, I suppose. What do you have to do at Waitrose to get a free Guardian?

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  10. Alan, we don’t have Waitrose where I live. Do Aldi or the Co-op offer the same perks?

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  11. Geoff. Waitrose offers one of a range of free newspapers when you make a £10 shop. So instead of making one large shop a week, I split it into many purchases so that I become eligible for a free paper each day. This also gets me out of the house and ensures I have some walking exercise each day.
    There is one thing I do not understand and that is the popularity of the Guardian. Waitrose is well known for attracting a solid middle class clientele yet it regularly runs out of Guardians. (According to my local manager it takes as many Guardians as copies of the Times). Also my town is overwhelmingly Tory. Very strange.

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  12. Interesting that they have to bring in Grantham attack dog, Bob Ward, to provide his expertise in smear and calumny.

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  13. Alan Kendall, your local Waitrose must account for a significant percentage of Guardian “sales”, even though it is given away free for the price of two Macdonalds Happy Meals and an extra coffee. Does the Business Section provide tips for economic marketing and management for failing publishers by experienced journalists?

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  14. GolfCharlie I don’t know about yours, but my Waitrose doesn’t sell Macdonalds Happy Meals and their coffee also comes free. I suspect many of my neighbours are shy Grauniad readers.

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