How one man fed the world his rotten Apple

I’ve been reading a fair bit about the latest twist in this Apple / Foxconn controversy, but this account of how an unrepentant Mike Daisey duped everyone into believing his fabrications is by far the most insightful:

“This is how Daisey perpetrated his con since “The Agony and the Ecstasy” premiered in early 2011: He took a vacation to China, hacked together a story out of some sensational lies then paraded them around like the world owed him a favor. While we were too busy wallowing in self-recrimination to check if what he said was true, he used his fake facts to leverage himself into the position of the world’s most prominent Apple critic, appearing on MSNBC and “Real Time with Bill Maher,” and writing an op-ed in the New York Times. In the process he debased anyone who actually cared about the true injustice of Apple’s manufacturing process. Daisey’s lies hurt labor organizations like SACOM by giving their critics ammunition to ignore their real complaints. He cynically warped the stories of Chinese workers to promote his campaign, and trivialized the work of journalists who actually do real reporting on the issue.”

via How I Was Duped By Mike Daisey’s Lies.

Weathermen, scientists and the lack of uncertainty about climate change

Traversing the snake pit of flaws and functional shortcomings that is the media’s ability to effectively communicate any message that veers from a position of so-called common sense or conservative opinion (note the little c) is a fun, if often fruitless, game. While such an exercise brings many opportunities for raging rants, getting to the root cause of why they are so fundamentally useless at their, almost, singular role in society is surprisingly difficult.

In the case of climate change and, in particular, how it relates to the decidedly un-warm weather in the UK, you can hardly be surprised that such noteworthy columnists as (ahem) Gerald Warner and Janet Daley get confused about the science when, reportedly, so do the meteorological magnates across the pond.

In a survey of U.S. weathercasters, 41% said their biggest obstacle to reporting climate change was “scientific uncertainty”. I’m sure many of the most vocal ‘sceptics’ (as they like to be called) in the media would agree. This appeal to doubt as justification for their failure would be more understandable if another survey didn’t show that 96% of climatologists agree that man is having an impact on global warming.

To see the bizarre discrepancy in acceptance of AGW (human-caused global warming) between climate scientists and those who could arguably be called their most public voice, I’ve cobbled together this graph based on the results from a number of surveys*…

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Stupid journalism

This is just shamefully idiotic (via Media Matters):

Washington Post reporter Michael Fletcher, in an online Q&A:

non-election question: Given Liz Cheney’s sudden prominence (man, nepotism in DC never ceases to amaze me), I’m curious as to why none of you reporters are asking her questions re: her recent comments about Obama’s trip to Dover. She said that Bush routinely made the same trip and didn’t “stage photo ops.” A) she flat out lied – Bush never went to Dover, B) he couldn’t have had photos taken because of the Pentagon policy at the time and C) Mission Accomplished, anybody? Ultimate photo op. What gives? Or is being related to Dick sufficient to protect her from questioned?

Michael A. Fletcher: If we begin questioning Liz Cheney that way, then we would have to do the same with conservative (and liberal) commentators who make all kinds of charges every day. It is their way of making a (great) living. Some comments, I like to think, sink under their own weight.

That’s the whole fucking point you dickhead.

Fortunately, British journalism doesn’t suffer from such nonsense

…Though I’m glad somebody’s keeping an eye on it, just in case.