Archive for June 22nd, 2014

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The Post-Dispatch ain’t what it used to be

June 22, 2014

I can recall when I stopped reading George Will’s columns in the late 70s because he argued against the Carter administration’s plan to de-regulate U.S. airlines. I thought that was fairly clueless attitude but, that said, I think Mr. Will has written many good columns since then.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch, on the other hand, hasn’t done so well over the years. It’s always been a fairly liberal paper: someone once wrote a letter to the P-D editor in the 80s claiming that the paper wouldn’t endorse Jesus Christ for office if he ran as a Republican. I found that letter pretty amusing.

But the Post-Dispatch’s announcement on Thursday (6/19) that it was dropping Mr. Will’s column was done for the wrong reasons, I think, and marks a new low for the paper. (My emphasis below.)

Editor’s note: Michael Gerson replaces George Will

Dear Post-Dispatch readers,
Starting today, Washington Post columnist Michael Gerson replaces George Will on Thursdays and Sundays.

Mr. Gerson, who grew up in St. Louis and still has family here, is a former speechwriter and top aide to President George W. Bush. […]

The change has been under consideration for several months, but a column published June 5, in which Mr. Will suggested that sexual assault victims on college campuses enjoy a privileged status, made the decision easier. The column was offensive and inaccurate; we apologize for publishing it.

Here’s Mr. Will’s column in The Washington Post: Colleges become the victims of progressivism. Read it for yourself and decide whether it’s offensive. It probably offends a few government bureaucrats and some university administrators (another type of bureaucrat) but I’d say that was about all the people who should be offended.

Not that there’s anything wrong with offending people occasionally, mind you. As Samuel Johnson said, "Every man has a right to utter what he thinks truth, and every other man has a right to knock him down for it."

There’s been some buzz about the P-D’s decision. David Bernstein has a piece about it (also in the Post): (Mis)reading George Will.

And here’s Mr. Will being interviewed by CSPAN about these events. Let him speak for himself. Then you can go knock him down, if you like.

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A difference of opinion

June 22, 2014

The critical word there being ‘opinion’.

Jeff sends a link to this article about a professor studying climate change who recently lost a fellowship post at the Institue for Policy Studies. This is not a Free Speech issue; Mr. Rossiter isn’t being persecuted by the government. It’s just an interesting illustration of group think and political correctness.

RTWT.

EXCLUSIVE: Prof Fired For Calling Global Warming ‘Unproved Science’ Stands Firm

American University statistician tells The Fix: Belief in climate catastrophe ‘simply not logical’

If one would have asked statistician Caleb Rossiter a decade ago about global warming, he says he would have given the same answer that President Barack Obama offered at a recent commencement address.

“He castigated people who don’t believe in climate catastrophe as some sort of major fools,” Rossiter says of the president’s speech, adding he would have agreed with the president – back then.

But Rossiter would give a different answer today.

“I am simply someone who became convinced that the claims of certainty about the cause of the warming and the effect of the warming were tremendously and irresponsibly overblown,” he said in an exclusive interview Tuesday with The College Fix. “I am not someone who says there wasn’t warming and it doesn’t have an effect, I just cannot figure out why so many people believe that it is a catastrophic threat to our society and to Africa.”

For this belief – based in a decade’s worth of statistical research and analysis on climate change data – Rossiter was recently terminated as an associate fellow at the Institute for Policy Studies, a progressive Washington D.C. think tank.

Rossiter wrote an op-ed for The Wall Street Journal titled “Sacrificing Africa for Climate Change,” in which he called notions of climate catastrophe “unproved science,” and shortly thereafter received word from the institute that his position was terminated. […]

Over the years, he’s broken a few students’ hearts when they learn of this truth.

“I have had students who are very strongly pro-the global warming movement in my classes, of course, because most young people have heard this already,” he said. “And when I have them actually do the study, and take apart an IPCC [International Panel on Climate Change] claim, sometimes they break into tears, and they say ‘I can’t believe this is the only class I’ve ever been in in which anyone has ever told me there is even an issue.’”

“I always enjoy that but, I would enjoy it the other way, too,” he said. “I always really push them to evaluate, dig down and learn the arguments of the other side- that is part of education.” […]

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