Shocker: MSM fakes information in “mutant shark” story to promote climate-alarmist agenda

Posted by: Phineas on January 5, 2012 at 1:26 pm

**Posted by Phineas

I knew it! I just had a feeling there was something funny going on here!

Remember the story about hybrid sharks I posted about the other day? I mocked it for it’s use of weasel words to scare the reader and push a climate-alarmist, pro-AGW agenda. The story was cited by several news outlets under different bylines (I quoted the original AFP report by writer Amy Coopes), but a Business Insider story by Dina Spector carried (for a while) an even more lurid headline:

“The World’s First Hybrid Shark Is Another Scary Sign That Global Warming Is Real”

At Watt’s Up With That, a commenter wrote directly the researcher cited in the articles, Jess Morgan, to ask her if she really said anything about shark hybridization being possibly related to global warming/climate change. Here’s her answer:

Quote not correct – I have now stated numerous times that it is extremely unlikely that climate change caused the hybridization event – however, the hybrid-Australian blacktips are now being seen further south of their known range (Australain blacktips have a tropical distribution) in cooler waters suggesting that the hybrids may have a wider temperature tolerance than their parents (ie the hybrids may be better adapted to handle changing water temperatures). That long statement is being condensed and printed as your quote below.

(Emphasis in the WUWT post)

Well, well, well. As Arte Johnson might have said, “verrry interesting… but shtinky!” Whether Spector or Coopes or someone else was the original source, and whether the misrepresentation of Morgan’s words was deliberate or unintentionally born of a do-gooder’s enthusiasm, what might have been an interesting bit of scientific reportage was transformed into street-corner preaching for the Cult of Anthropogenic Global Warming, agenda journalism of the worst sort.

It’s a prima-facie example of what Professor Bob Carter has called “noble cause corruption,” the perversion of of scientific (and other) ethics in the service of some cause or vested interest, rather than empirical truth:

Such corruption arises from the belief of a vested interest, or powerful person or group, in the moral righteousness of their cause. For example, a police officer may apprehend a person committing a crime and, stuck with a lack of incriminating evidence, proceed to manufacture it. For many social mores, of which “stopping global warming” and “saving the Great Barrier Reef” are two iconic Australian examples, it has become a common practice for evidence to be manipulated in dishonest ways, under the justification of helping to achieve a worthy end. After all, who wouldn’t want to help to “save the Great Barrier Reef”?

And this is yet another example that journalists are no more immune than cops or scientists — or anyone. It also serves as a healthy reminder to us all to read critically and, when possible, do like the commenter at WUWT and go straight to the source when something catches our eye, rather than relying on authority.

Be sure to read the whole post at WUWT. At the end, you’ll see Business Insider was forced by all the embarrassing questions to change both its headline and article text.

PS: As of this writing, AFP/Yahoo has not corrected the text of the article I originally quoted. Also, be sure to check out Bob Carter’s excellent critique of the “science” behind the theory of dangerous man-caused climate change, “Climate: The Counter-Consensus.”

(Crossposted at Public Secrets)

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6 Responses to “Shocker: MSM fakes information in “mutant shark” story to promote climate-alarmist agenda”


  1. This is why I call the AGW crowd a “cult” and they continue to act like one. They are biased the same way the MSM is biased to present the news with a liberal bias. It isn’t intentional and they think they are doing their job fair but their internal biases prevent them from being objective.

    FYI, I have a couple of posts (here and here) that you might want to check out if you are interested in more skeptical AGW thinking. The first one shows why AGW is wrong and I use their own temperature data to prove it. the second link gives instructions so you can look at the GISS website to plot weather station data in your local area. Again, this disproves the AGW hypothesis.

    Great post Toldjah!

  2. Libertarian Advocate says:

    Phineas: Linked this post here

  3. Tex says:

    Climate research has been so corrupted by a large percentage of Liberal “scientists” who have deleted/altered/added/corrupted/massaged/enhanced/minimized/maximized the data in an effort to obtain the results that also support their political leanings, that no one could even possibly know if global warming is present, and if present, whether its man-made or natural.

  4. Kate says:

    Why am I not surprised??? Why, oh why don’t we have a 60 Minutes report on it???? Of course, we all know why, but they have been successful at fooling a lot of ignorant children in public schools all over the world.

  5. Drew the Infidel says:

    If the sale of shotgun shells and the issuances of marriage licenses increase at the same time, you do not necessarily have a correlation.

  6. Carlos says:

    Well, knock me over with a feather! Whooda thunk those religious zealots would manipulate data and made false attributions? That’s never happened before in the history of AGW hysteria.