Archive for the 'the_media' Category

U.S. Media #fail on Quake, Tsunami, Fukushima Reactor Problems

Sunday, March 13th, 2011

Like most people, probably, my main reaction to recent events in Japan is horror and sympathy. (I say “most people”, and am pretty confident in that, but there are still the depressing people documented here and here to take passing note of.)

But a secondary reaction, also shared by many, was this: Man, when did the news media in this country get so incredibly crappy? Doc Searls wrote about this at Earthquake turns TV networks into print. Pretty much every US TV news outfit, from CNN on down, came off as horribly inadequate to actually talk about what was going on in an intelligent manner. Instead we got a breathless, poorly informed voiceover. The visuals were compelling, but I could see them online.

It wasn’t just TV that came off as inadequate. Print was bad, too. The earthquake hit at 9:46 p.m. California time, yet the next morning’s LA Times had nothing — literally nothing — on the front page about it. Nor did it have anything on the front page of the little mini news section (called “LATEXTRA”) that the paper began including a while ago. I always assumed the LATEXTRA section is there so that the paper can run last-minute news items, but apparently even that didn’t buy them enough time to deal in any depth with a story like this that hit at 9:46 p.m. Pacific time. There was one (1) item about the quake and tsunami in the paper: Inside the LATEXTRA section was a single brief item noting a few of the initial facts. I can imagine the conundrum the Times’ editors went through: All they had time to do was this embarrassingly minimal mention, which was going to be viewed as completely inadequate, and be completely out of date even before it arrived on readers’ doorsteps. But what was the alternative? To run literally nothing would almost have been more honest, but I guess that would have been even more embarrassing.

Now we’re witnessing the next phase in the ongoing #fail: Coverage of the Fukushima nuclear reactor problems. Breathless “ohmygod, meltdown!” chatter makes for drama and viewership, I guess. But I think conveying actual information would be a nobler thing for the media to aspire to. J.A.Y.S.O.N. turned me onto @arclight’s Twitter feed, which led me to this excellent item: Why I am not worried about Japan’s nuclear reactors.

Update: Perhaps not so excellent. Per this item at Salon:

Identified as an “MIT research scientist,” Dr. Josef Oehmen wrote the post over the weekend with the title, “Why I am not worried about Japan’s nuclear reactors.” It was a modified version of an e-mail he sent to family and friends in Japan on Saturday evening, according to the blog where it was originally posted.

Oehmen, it turns out, does work at MIT but has no special expertise in nuclear power. And his key claim — that “there was and will *not* be any significant release of radioactivity from the damaged Japanese reactors” — appears to have already been proven false…

So does Oehmen actually work at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology? Yes. But not in the nuclear engineering department. He works at an entity called the Lean Advancement Initiative, which focuses on business management issues. Is he a “research scientist”? Yes. But, again, not in any nuclear field. Oehmen’s research focuses on “risk management” with an eye to helping companies “take entrepreneurial risks.” He writes papers on things like “Human Resource Management in China.”

I e-mailed Oehmen to ask if he stands by the claims in the post. He referred me to the MIT press office, which in turn told me that Oehmen is not doing interviews.

The bottom line is that thanks to the Internet we’re better off than we used to be in information terms. But it’s still pretty shocking to be confronted with how far the old media I used to rely on have eroded. And when it comes to TV news on breaking stories, I’ll be going with the Al Jazeera English live stream in the future.

Update: Hiro pointed out this cool interactive graphic to me. Behold the Slider of Doom: Satellite Photos of Japan, Before and After the Quake and Tsunami. Nice jquery-based UI, dead-tree dudes.

Boehlert on Anonymous Insider on Fox News

Thursday, February 10th, 2011

I am shocked — shocked — to find out there is gambling going on in here! FOX NEWS INSIDER: “Stuff Is Just Made Up”

Jon and Stephen on Sarah and Sean

Wednesday, January 19th, 2011

Jon Stewart on the Palin “interview” by Sean Hannity:

The Daily Show With Jon Stewart Mon – Thurs 11p / 10c
Petty Woman
www.thedailyshow.com
Daily Show Full Episodes Political Humor & Satire Blog</a> The Daily Show on Facebook

Stephen Colbert on the same:

The Colbert Report Mon – Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
Mika Brzezinski Experiences Palin Fatigue
www.colbertnation.com
Colbert Report Full Episodes Political Humor & Satire Blog</a> Video Archive

Palin “Interviewed” by Hannity

Tuesday, January 18th, 2011

In the interest of granting Sarah Palin equal time (to demonstrate her putzitude):


But it’s not just her; this isn’t about her.

It’s also about Sean Hannity. He’s a putz, too.

Tucson Shootings + Projection + Epistemic Closure = Reality Fail

Monday, January 17th, 2011

Gregory Rodriguez, writing in the LA Times op-ed section today: Politics’ dark passions.

In the 1960s, Swiss psychiatrist Marie-Louise von Franz theorized that rather than face their defects as individuals, citizens or supporters of a particular cause, people project their worst flaws onto their political opponents. When a congressman yells “You lie” at the president, maybe hes revealing his own failings. “Political agitation in all countries,” Von Franz wrote, “is full of such projections, just as much as the backyard gossip of little groups and individuals.”

I’ve definitely noticed that tendency to project one’s own failings onto one’s political opponents. When combined with the tragic events in Tucson and an epistemically closed conservative-media echo chamber, the result is really kind of shocking.

Take this opinion piece by Charles M. Blow from the NYT: The Tucson Witch Hunt.

Immediately after the news broke, the air became thick with conjecture, speculation and innuendo. There was a giddy, almost punch-drunk excitement on the left. The prophecy had been fulfilled: “words have consequences.” And now, the right’s rhetorical chickens had finally come home to roost.

The dots were too close and the temptation to connect them too strong. The target was a Democratic congresswoman. There was the map of her district in the cross hairs. There were her own prescient worries about overheated rhetoric.

Within hours of the shooting, there was a full-fledged witch hunt to link the shooter to the right.

“I saw Goody Proctor with the devil! Oh, I mean Jared Lee Loughner! Yes him. With the devil!”

The only problem is that there was no evidence then, and even now, that overheated rhetoric from the right had anything to do with the shooting.

Except that the “giddy, almost punch-drunk excitement on the left” didn’t actually happen. Believe me; I pay attention to left-leaning chatter. And at least in terms of reasonably high-profile voices, there was nothing even remotely resembling a “full-fledged witch hunt to link the shooter to the right.” There were some irresponsible attempts to link the shooter to a particular political persuasion, but they were attempts by people like Glenn Beck, Sean Hannity, and Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-TN) to raise the possibility of links between Loughner and the left.

As described in an item at by Brian Beutler at TPM (How Glenn Beck And Fox News Successfully Painted AZ Shooter As Hitler, Marx Devotee), here’s Beck, speaking on his Fox News show the night of the shootings:

This kid thinks the Mars rover, the landing, was faked. He thinks George W. Bush was behind 9/11. He believes in big government solution. His favorite books include ‘The Communist Manifesto’ and ‘Mein Kampf’…. I could tell you right now this guy is a textbook study of everybody I’ve warned against. But I’m not going to do that.

Here’s Hannity a few hours later:

On YouTube, Loughner’s profile listed Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels’s ‘The Communist Manifesto’ and Adolf Hitler’s ‘Mein Kampf’ among his favorite books.

Here’s Sen. Alexander, the day after the shooting:

What we know about this individual, for example, is that he was reading Karl Marx, and reading Hitler, and burning the American flag. That’s not the profile of a typical Tea Party member if that’s the inference that’s being made.

I’m not saying that those statements are untrue in their specifics, or even that they’re necessarily beyond the pale in terms of misleading listeners in support of a particular agenda. But where are the equivalent statements from the left offering evidence of specific reasons to think Loughner was a Tea Party adherent? As far as I can tell, no one was actually saying that. On the contrary, all the lefty voices I saw were essentially unanimous in saying two things: 1) there is no reason to think Loughner was motivated by any particular political ideology, and 2) notwithstanding, the killings were still a chilling reminder of the worst-case scenario of violent political rhetoric taken to the extreme.

Steve Benen responded to Blow’s column with this: Where was Charles Blow getting his news?

The great irony of Blow’s column is his emphasis on supporting one’s assumptions with “evidence.” He argued, “[P]otential, possibility and even plausibility are not proof.” Those who hope to “score political points,” Blow added, did so “in the absence of proof.”

The problem, of course, is that Blow is guilty of his own allegations. He sees a “giddy” left, where none existed. He sees “punch-drunk excitement” among liberals on a “witch hunt,” but offers literally nothing by way of support.

Within the tightly contained maelstrom of self-reinforcing opinion represented by right-wing TV, radio, and blogs, any excess on the part of the capitalized “Left” and the evil Obama seems credible, I guess. Witness right-wing blogger Jim Hoft writing in his Gateway Pundit blog: If White House Was Surprised by Applause at Tucson Pep Rally… Why Did They Ask For It On Jumbotron? Hoft saw an image of the Jumbotron at the arena where Wednesday’s memorial event was held, in which closed captioning mentioned “[APPLAUSE]” (as closed-captioning is wont to do when an audience applauds), and misinterpreted it as stage direction from the Obama team (as in, “Okay, everybody. Applaud now!”). More at Media Matters: No, Jim Hoft, The White House Did Not “Ask For” Applause On Jumbotron.

Sigh. Is this really what self-styled “punditry” has come to? Look: Everyone has an opinion. But not all opinions are created equal. When you choose information sources based on a desire to confirm what you already know, rather than a desire to actually learn the truth, you can end up looking really foolish. There’s a lot of that going around lately.

Bernstein on the Right on the Left on Tucson: Internally Consistent, But Radically Wrong

Saturday, January 15th, 2011

I liked this item from Jonathon Bernstein: Palin, ‘blood libel’ and the old epistemic closure discussion.

I went through every post at National Review Online’s The Corner blog from the first news of the shootings through this morning. That’s a lot of stuff; numerous bloggers post quite a lot of items there, for those of you not familiar with it (and you should be! Read things from all over the place!).

What did I find?

First, I should say, a fair amount of shock, grief for the victims, and celebration of the heroic stories of those who saved lives in Tucson. Two reasonable posts about “tone,” one from Heather Mac Donald and one from Kathryn Jean Lopez and Seth Leibsohn.

But beginning very soon after the shootings, and continuing all week, the major theme has been resistance to what was presented as a systematic effort by liberals and the press to pin the attack on conservatives, and on Sarah Palin in particular. It is not presented as a story about specific politicians or pundits who made poor judgments. Nor is it presented as a reasoned discussion of whether extreme rhetoric can have unintended consequences. No; if you read just The Corner, what you’re left with is the impression that a monolithic, capitalized “Left” has been literally accusing Palin of murder.

Bernstein goes on to quote some really nasty, dishonest snark from old lies.com favorites like Jonah Goldberg and Rich Lowry.

He continues:

…my point isn’t so much that The Corner’s point of view is wrong, but that anyone reading just the Corner, or getting their news from such sources, would wind up with a massively distorted sense of what liberals were saying, and what the press was reporting. The conclusions that they would draw from that version of reality might be internally consistent, but would be radically wrong.

Yup.

Cooper vs. Berman on Obama’s Birth Certificate

Wednesday, December 1st, 2010

Fun stuff:

Staniford on the NYT on CERA on Plentiful Oil

Thursday, November 18th, 2010

Stuart Staniford (*swoon*) is disappointed in the journalistic standards at the New York Times: New York Times still Parotting CERA.

I guess the thing that bothers me is this: the piece reads to me as deeply and intentionally deceptive, while being skillfully crafted to avoid saying anything verifiably untrue.  The constant mixing of oil and gas as though the two situations are the same.  The cherry picked and misleading comparisons.  For example, “oil sands projects expanded so fast, they now provide North America with more oil than Saudi Arabia.” – Saudia Arabia has never been a large direct supplier of oil to North America – and so this is an irrelevant example intended to mislead someone who isn’t intimately familiar with the stats.  Clifford Krauss knows perfectly well that CERA has always said that oil will be plentiful and moderately priced in the near future.  There is nothing new about this in the last three years.  He knows that their track record of prediction in the 2005-2008 oil shock was dreadful.  But he says nothing to clue his readers into any of this context.

And whatever happened to at least nominal adherence to the rule of journalistic balance?  There isn’t even one quote from anyone who would dissent from the cornucopian point of view peddled in the article.

I have no idea what motivates the New York Times to publish this kind of dishonest propaganda masquerading as journalism, but it is extremely unhelpful.

If you prefer your propaganda masquerading as journalism straight, with no filter, you can read the original article here: There Will Be Fuel. The CERA Staniford refers to is Cambridge Energy Research Associates, an energy consulting firm with close ties to the oil industry and a history of making rosy predictions about our plentiful-fuel future that then fail to come true.

Stewart on Maddow

Saturday, November 13th, 2010

Jon Stewart manages not to throw up (barely) long enough to try to explain to Rachel Maddow why she’s a bad person for trying to be like Fox News (well, among a lot of other stuff):

Stanisford on Science (the Magazine)’s Climate Alarmism

Wednesday, November 10th, 2010

I’m posting this item mostly because I know it will be like catnip for shcb. Enjoy! From Stuart Staniford of the Early Warning blog: Climate Alarmism at Science Magazine?

NYT on the Other Neda

Sunday, August 1st, 2010

This story in today’s New York Times caught my attention: Mistaken as an Iranian Martyr, Then Hounded.

Iranian intelligence officials, Ms. Soltani said, pressured her to come forward publicly to show that she was alive and denounce the shooting as faked, and threatened her when she did not comply.

The Iranian secret police seem oddly inept in some of their propaganda efforts. There was that obviously photoshopped image of the rockets being test fired, for example, where you could clearly see where the billowing smoke clouds had been cloned to make it look like there were more rockets than there actually were. Or this story, in which they took an unrelated English-literature teacher and, after Western media sources mistakenly identified her as the woman shot and killed in that heart-breaking YouTube video, pressured her to participate in their weird propaganda effort to undercut the video’s impact.

These days Neda (the Neda who was not shot and killed), with the help of Amnesty International, has fled to Germany, where she has been granted political asylum. But she’s “haunted”, says the NYT:

“Both sides have destroyed my life, the Western media and the Iranian intelligence,” said Ms. Soltani, staring out the window of her apartment. “But I still have the hope that at least the media will realize what they have done.”

So: lessons for today:

1. Crappy journalism, even in the days of the Web when no one really expects journalists to have professional standards, has a price, and it’s paid by people like Zahra “Neda” Soltani.

2. The Iranian intelligence service are the Keystone Kops of government propaganda. But maybe they don’t care. Maybe, like the people pushing global warming denialism, it doesn’t matter if their shtick is ludicrous and transparent to anyone with an active bullshit detector. Because people with active bullshit detectors are not their intended audience. They’re looking for the low-hanging fruit: people who want to believe what they’re pushing, and won’t bother checking the facts.

Oil and Water

Sunday, May 30th, 2010

My big sister M’Liz sent me an email the other day. “I am surprised,” she wrote, “that Lies.com has not addressed the oil spill in the Gulf.” I guess she has a point; it’s the kind of thing I would normally say something about. I’ve been following the news (like everyone). The May 11 Senate hearing where executives from BP, Transocean, and Halliburton pointed fingers at each other was certainly a lies.com moment.

Since then there has been a parade of spin and counter-spin, with events in the Gulf providing an ongoing (and depressing) fact-check, culminating most-recently in the “top kill” failure, with Obama pronouncing the news “as enraging as it is heartbreaking.”

I’d like to talk to my brother-in-law Steve (M’Liz’s husband) about all this, partly because he works as a safety engineer for BP, and partly because he’s a really honest, decent, thoughtful kind of guy. But I haven’t had a chance to talk to him.

Joe Romm at Climate Progress reposted an interesting item today (I think it was originally written by Craig Severance, but it’s not completely clear to me which parts are Romm’s and which are Severance’s). Anyway: What will it take to end our oil addiction?

I also enjoyed reading self-described “modern day Thoreau” Barbara Tomlinson’s write-up of the training she received from BP as an oil-spill cleanup worker: Emergency vs. Post-Emergency.

Update: Also entertaining, in a depressing kind of way: Fishgrease: DKos Booming School.

Closer to home, I’ve been working as part of the effort to defeat Measure J, the local oil-drilling initiative placed on the ballot by Venoco. Steve McWhirter, a neighbor of mine and would-be politician (he was narrowly defeated in a run for city council last election, and says he’ll run again in November), forwarded the following video to me. It shows Tim Marquez, the CEO and majority shareholder of Venoco, talking about why Measure J would be such a great deal for Carpinterians:

Tim Marquez One on One Interview from YES on Measure J on Vimeo.

I think Marquez is probably a more or less decent guy, and that he honestly believes that what is good for Venoco (and himself) is good for Carpinteria. But as with my previous fisking of his ad in the local paper, I think he’s making misleading statements in an effort to get low-information voters to support the initiative.

The biggest issue I have with the video is when Marquez talks about environmental review. He says that even if Measure J passes, his project will still need to undergo “the same environmental review process” it would have faced without Measure J. That’s simply not true. Yes, there are a number of agencies that would need to approve the project either way. But if Measure J passes, the project will bypass the city’s review, as well as any oversight and mitigation measures the city might have imposed. That’s pretty much the whole point of Measure J.

When Marquez talks at 13:10 in the video about the “misperception out there; some of it’s intentional, some of it’s accidental” concerning the effect of Measure J on the environmental review process, he’s being disingenuous. Marquez has spent hundreds of thousands of dollars to create the misperception in the minds of voters that Measure J will not let Venoco bypass environmental review. (Other arguments I’ve heard from Measure J supporters: Measure J would merely initiate the environmental review process, the environmental review by the city has already been completed, and the project described in the initiative is the same as the environmentally preferred alternative in the city’s environmental impact report. All untrue.)

I think it’s human nature that the farther away someone is, the less likely we are to rank their concerns ahead of our own. That plays out in various ways: The image of an oil rig burning can be awe-inspiring, even beautiful to look at, except that people were killed and injured in that fire, and for them, and for their families, that image is associated with horrible suffering and pain. Should I not look at it?

Tim Marquez, and Venoco’s contractors (like Steve McWhirter) are just trying to put food on the table and help themselves and their families get ahead in the world; should I really be willing to tell them no, they don’t get to rewrite the city’s planning laws to place their own interests ahead of those of the community, generally?

M’Liz mentioned something else in her email to me. She said that the ongoing disaster in the Gulf might at least contain “some good news for Carpinteria in a small way,” in terms of the impact the story will have on the Measure J vote. I’ve heard the same thing expressed, quietly, by people in the No on J campaign. I confess there is a part of me that, while not actually rooting against BP in their efforts to stop the undersea gusher, takes a measure of grim satisfaction in their failure: See? That’s what I was talking about. You can’t trust these companies. It’s a reaction that reminds me of the emotional response I had while tracking the Iraq war body count: I hated the lies that led us to war, and sympathized with the victims on both sides, but there was still an element of satisfaction in seeing it go so wrong. See? That’s what I’m talking about. You can’t trust these politicians.

I’m not defending that reaction. I’m appalled that I feel it. It’s wrong. But it’s part of me.

I wish the Deepwater Horizon blowout never happened. I know that any impact it has on the politics of a little town 2,000 miles away is completely insignificant compared to the suffering it is causing, and will continue to cause, for those who are closer to it, for many years to come.

Assange on Colbert

Tuesday, April 13th, 2010

Keeping the ball rolling, here’s Stephen Colbert’s interview with WikiLeaks’ Julian Assange:

The Colbert Report Mon – Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
Julian Assange
www.colbertnation.com
Colbert Report Full Episodes Political Humor Fox News

Rachel Maddow Calls B.S.

Tuesday, April 6th, 2010

Here’s a fun clip from Rachel Maddow that focuses on how the “pimpgate” ACORN story and the “climategate” hacked-email stories were basically made-up controversies:

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Frum on the Passage of Health Care Reform as Conservatives’ Waterloo

Sunday, March 21st, 2010

I normally don’t agree with much (okay, anything) David Frum has to say. But this sounds like a pretty credible take on the relationship between Tea Party-era conservatism, right-wing talk radio, and Republicans in Washington: Waterloo.

When Rush Limbaugh said that he wanted President Obama to fail, he was intelligently explaining his own interests. What he omitted to say – but what is equally true – is that he also wants Republicans to fail. If Republicans succeed – if they govern successfully in office and negotiate attractive compromises out of office – Rush’s listeners get less angry. And if they are less angry, they listen to the radio less, and hear fewer ads for Sleepnumber beds.

Google Isn’t Not Being Evil by Pulling Lessig’s Webside Chat from YouTube

Wednesday, March 3rd, 2010

Apparently you used to be able to watch Lawrence Lessig give a very cool talk on copyright and free culture on YouTube, but now you can’t. Shame, that.

Fortunately, you can still watch it on blip.tv:

Romm on Boykoff on the Media on the “Controversy” Over Climage Change

Thursday, February 25th, 2010

I liked Joe Romm’s item on Max Boykoff’s presentation at the AAAS meeting in San Diego last week (Exaggerating Denialism: Media Representations of Outlier Views on Climate Change). In particular, I liked this graph of Boykoff’s, because I think it sums up a key problem with how the media has been covering this issue:

ClimateChangeReporting

Despite the high-profile complaining about the Himalayan-glaciers misstatement, the IPCC’s estimates of the likely impacts of global warming apparently are viewed by most experts in the field as actually being fairly conservative. (In the scientific sense, not the political sense. I.e., the IPCC is tending to be cautious in predicting how severe the impacts of global warming are likely to be.) The main story I’ve been hearing from those who keep close tabs on the actual scientists is that they’ve been freaking out over the last few years because as they get more data, they’re finding that far from overstating the dangers we face, previous estimates look more and more like they have been understating the danger.

But you wouldn’t know that from reading mainstream media coverage. Business-as-usual reporting, as successfully gamed by the fossil-fuel industry and their minions among high-profile conservatives, has focused on the controversy between the deniers on the one hand, and the already-fudged-in-the-direction-of-less-dire-outcomes IPCC estimates. The implication of that reporting is, “There are two sides, two points of view. One side says A, the other says B; the truth is probably somewhere in the middle.”

But that’s not how science works. If you’re a reporter covering science, you need to focus on what the scientists are saying. And that’s a very different picture (as Boykoff’s graph shows) than the one you get from assuming that the truth must lie somewhere between James Inhofe and the IPCC.

Romm’s Illustrated Guide

Wednesday, February 17th, 2010

From Joe Romm: An illustrated guide to the latest climate science.

Annual global temperature anomaly

It has lots of neat graphs for those who want pretty pictures, and links you can follow to the actual science for those who want to chew on the details. (You’ll need to click twice, since the first link in most cases is to an earlier item where he summarized a particular study. But from there you can find links to the original papers, some of which are behind paywalls.) The thing I like most about it is how it demonstrates that there are many different reinforcing lines of evidence that the globe is warming. The evidence doesn’t consist of a handful of cherrypicked stolen emails containing intemperate language, or a few carefully selected assertions from a lengthy UN report. It is a whole body of actual science, published in reputable journals, representing research by hundreds of different teams approaching the problem from different directions, using different techniques, all arriving at a similar conclusion. That’s what an actual scientific consensus looks like, and when you ignore it, you put yourself in the same category as toddlers who believe they can wish some unpleasant fact away, that they can cover their eyes and thereby make it so no one else can see them.

We live in a free society, in which people get to speak their minds regardless of the care they have taken in arriving at their conclusions. But free speech isn’t free. As a society we pay what I’ve come to think of as a “bullshit tax” every time someone who is demonstrably wrong publicly proclaims their demonstrably wrong views. When a Fox News anchor crows, “Here’s your 24 inches of global warming, Al Gore!”, we as a society pay a price. When a commenter on a blog constructs an argument that follows some esoteric detail down a conspiracy theory rabbit hole and eventually proclaims, “See? That’s why I don’t believe the science,” we pay a price.

Tea Party activists aren’t the only outraged taxpayers. I’m outraged that we as a society are paying this bullshit tax. I don’t want to do away with free speech, but I am deeply resentful of those who use their freedom to impose this tax on the rest of us.

Telegenic Blondes

Friday, February 5th, 2010

Jenny McCarthy believes that MMR vaccines’ preservatives caused her son to be autistic, and that her changing his diet cured him. She has written best-selling books in which she advances these claims, and appears in front of millions of TV viewers at every opportunity to make the case. And apparently a lot of parents believe her, such that vaccination rates have fallen in the US, and lots of babies (including those whose parents choose to vaccinate them, based on information obtained from more credible sources than former Playboy models and TV personalities) are at increased risk as a result.

Sigh.

It’s not that complicated. There’s this thing called science. And it has a specific process you go through to evaluate claims like this. And the scientists have done it. And Jenny McCarthy is wrong.

There was a decent op-ed by Michael Fumento in the LA Times this morning talking about this: The damage of the anti-vaccination movement. So go read that, even though it will probably make you angry. And if it doesn’t, I bet this will:

Aaaahhhh!!

Anyway, if I’m going to subject you to telegenic blondes trying to indoctrinate you with their views about science, let’s close on a more positive note: ZOMGitsCriss on the evidence for evolution:

Hail Fail

Thursday, January 21st, 2010

Continuing the streak of posting about the climate (or at least about the weather): Hail Fail.

Icemaker-Hail

On Wednesday afternoon, when hail fell on Forney, photos came in showing hail nearly the size of a golf ball.

As photos came in to isee@nbcdfw.com, one photo caught our attention. The photo, from “Tyler,” clearly shows ice cubes from a refrigerator. We especially liked the scattering of ice cubes on the ground. Nice touch!