Monday, June 30, 2014

Real Science: 'My Rebuttal to PolitiFact'

A climate science blogger who writes under the pseudonym Steven Goddard, sent out a blistering response to last week's PunditFact piece on Fox News Channel show host Stephen Doocy.

Goddard made public the email he sent to PolitiFact writer Jon Greenberg.  Here's the first part:
Politifact accused Steve Doocy of being a liar,  for accurately reporting on a blog post made on my blog (stevengoddard.wordpress.com) which showed how NASA has altered the US temperature record over time.

Politifact’s claim is the result of a failure to understand the topic, for the following reasons.
Sour grapes, right?

Not so fast.  It appears PunditFact conflated two different issues, and one of the persons quoted going against Goddard's conclusions, Anthony Watts, has since reversed himself.  Plus the basic criticism, that NASA has adjusted the temperature record, isn't contested despite the "Pants on Fire" rating.  Read Goddard's letter for the details.

Clearly, it's appropriate for PunditFact to revisit the issue and amend its fact check.  The question is whether PunditFact will bother.

Place us firmly in the skeptics' camp on that one.


Jeff Adds:

It's worth noting Watt's reversal was unequivocal (emphasis in original):
All of that added up to a big heap of confirmation bias, I was so used to Goddard being wrong, I expected it again, but this time Steve Goddard was right and my confirmation bias prevented me from seeing that there was in fact a real issue in the data and that NCDC has dead stations that are reporting data that isn’t real: mea culpa.
It's dishonest for PolitiFact to present Watt's original position without updating their story to reflect his further investigation into the matter. It would be reasonable to expect an update from an outfit that claims to help you "sort out the truth" of an issue. But PolitiFact appears to have less interest in uncovering the truth than they do in advancing an agenda.

Update July 3, 2014
PunditFact responds, sort of, and we clear away PolitiFact's smoke.


Clarification 4:02 a.m. EDT, July 1, 2014:  Substituted "an update" for "that" in the last paragraph.

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