You are hereMother Jones: Breitbart Silent About Big Error on His Big Government Site

Mother Jones: Breitbart Silent About Big Error on His Big Government Site

By FZ - Posted on 19 September 2011

Will the right-wing gadfly get around to fixing a huge climate-change blunder by one of his writers?

—By Mark Follman

September 19, 2011- On September 6, an article on Andrew Breitbart's Big Government site announced that the overwhelming scientific consensus on climate change had been debunked once and for all. Nature, "the world's most cited scientific periodical, has just published the definitive study on Global Warming that proves the dominant controller of temperatures in the Earth's atmosphere is due to galactic cosmic rays and the sun, rather than by man," the article said. "One of the report's authors, Professor Jyrki Kauppinen, summed up his conclusions regarding the potential for man-made Global Warming: 'I think it is such a blatant falsification.'"

The article, written by "nationally recognized financial writer" Chriss W. Street, then revisited the smear campaign known as "Climategate" (which had implicated Nature) and asserted that the study was "a tectonic rejection by academia" of international efforts to combat climate change.

There was one little problem with the Big Government piece, though. Professor Jyrki Kauppinen, supplier of the "blatant falsification" comment, was not one of the study's 63 authors. And it turns out that the article's breathless summary of what the study shows is (shockingly!) flat-out wrong.

The quote from the non-author caught the attention of New York Times environmental writer Andrew Revkin, who sumbitted an error report about it at MediaBugs, a nonpartisan site that helps get errors in the news media corrected. (Disclosure: I'm one of the site's creators.) MediaBugs then alerted Breitbart to the mistake using Big Government's online feedback form, and also sought a response from him multiple times on Twitter. Breitbart has not responded and has ignored the mistake. (I also emailed Street for a response, to no avail.)

Breitbart's silence may seem unsurprising. Then again, accurate reporting is something that the right-wing media gadlfy has claimed to care a lot about lately. When the Huffington Post wrongly accused Breitbart of doctoring a video related to the debt-ceiling battle in August, he threatened war via Twitter, and then celebrated when HuffPo issued a retraction and apology. After publishing lewd photos that brought down Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-N.Y.) back in June, Breitbart elbowed his way to the front of a major press conference seeking vindication for his work. He boasted to the New York Times that political conservatives bring him scoops to publish because "They know I'm willing to march through the fire with them."


Mark Crispin Miller
Progressive Democrats of America