Monday, August 06, 2007

Right. Rupert Murdoch Won't Screw Up The WSJ....

Exhibit 1, from the formerly respected London Daily Times:
Walking does more than driving to cause global warming, a leading environmentalist has calculated.

Food production is now so energy-intensive that more carbon is emitted providing a person with enough calories to walk to the shops than a car would emit over the same distance. The climate could benefit if people avoided exercise, ate less and became couch potatoes. Provided, of course, they remembered to switch off the TV rather than leaving it on standby.

The sums were done by Chris Goodall, campaigning author of How to Live a Low-Carbon Life, based on the greenhouse gases created by intensive beef production. “Driving a typical UK car for 3 miles [4.8km] adds about 0.9 kg [2lb] of CO2 to the atmosphere,” he said, a calculation based on the Government’s official fuel emission figures. “If you walked instead, it would use about 180 calories. You’d need about 100g of beef to replace those calories, resulting in 3.6kg of emissions, or four times as much as driving.

“The troubling fact is that taking a lot of exercise and then eating a bit more food is not good for the global atmosphere. Eating less and driving to save energy would be better.”

Mr Goodall, Green Party parliamentary candidate for Oxford West & Abingdon, is the latest serious thinker to turn popular myths about the environment on their head.
Note the doubleplusgood trick Murdoch's editors pulled here: not only do they reinforce myths regarding global warming...that it's non-existent, that it's not human-related, that more carbon is emitted by cows and trees (later in the article)...and couples it to the opinions of a Green Party candidate, thus ensuring that both sides of the issue have to be circumspect in how they handle this story, the Greens being the leftist, environmentally correct peace party.

So make it a double slam against lefties, with a small hit to the "no global warming" crowd of right-wingers.

Now, it's bad enough that the Wall Street Journal editorial page is practically a recruiting poster for the John Birch Society, if this is the kind of irresponsible, slanted reporting that we can expect from a Murdoch regime, swallowing some knucklehead's claims whole without pointing out even some of the more obvious flaws in his conclusions (for example, what guarantee does Goodall have that people who walk more eat more meat? In fact, observation indicates just the opposite: people who walk more tend to eat healthier meals), and just transcribing whatever diatribe du jour is fashionable.

UPDATE: Yea. Whoops!
[Q]uestions were immediately raised about the Special Committee when Reuters reported that one appointed member was not only a personal friend of Murdoch's, but he also ran a computer education foundation that had received $2.5 million from Murdoch's News Corp. That represented a rather obvious conflict of interest for someone who was supposed to be independent from News Corp.

Worse, the Special Committee is going to be chaired by a far-right GOP yes man who not only faithfully regurgitates Republican talking points in print for a living, but who in early 2003 predicted the fighting in Iraq would be "relatively inconsequential," and who months later declared that America had won the Iraq war in "a cakewalk."

That's who Murdoch has tapped to protect the Journal's editorial integrity? Good luck. I mean, was Sean Hannity not available?