Andrew Revkin’s Climate Centrism


I.

In his 2001 book, The Skeptical Environmentalist: Measuring the Real State of the World, Bjorn Lomborg argued that the real state of the world’s environment was better than what the major environmental organizations and scientists have reported. To support this claim, he asserted that the threat of global warming was exaggerated by environmentalists and scientists, that steep cuts in fossil fuel consumption and greenhouse gas emissions would be worse than the effects of global warming, that fewer people in the world were starving and even fewer would be malnourished in the future, that the rate of species extinctions is small, and that acid rain is not harmful.[1]
In his next book, Cool It: The Skeptical Environmentalists Guide to Global Warming (2007), Lomborg again claimed that global warming is no catastrophe, and questioned whether “hysteria” about global warming and “headlong spending on extravagant CO2-cutting programs at an unprecedented price is the only possible response … in a world where billions of people live in poverty [and] where millions die of curable diseases.”[2]
If you read closely, you can identify a major fallacy that Lomborg has successfully repeated and exploited for nearly a decade; the fact is that no prominent environmental organization or climate scientist has ever asserted that “the only possible response” to man-made global warming is to reduce greenhouse emissions to the exclusion of efforts to reduce poverty or cure disease. This is a straw man, a device that is a mainstay of Lomborg’s presentations. Nor has Lomborg ever argued, to my knowledge, that in order to cure disease and fight poverty today, nation-states should stop fighting illegal and illicit wars, and reduce military spending. Suspiciously, Lomborg argues only that we should divert spending from climate mitigation efforts to increase spending on disease and poverty. Although his appeal to fix poverty and to cure disease in this context is about as substantive as a politician kissing a baby, it is why Lomborg has attracted the news media’s attention, and why his books have been favorably reviewed in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post, and other major news organizations.   
Lomborg’s influence on the climate-change debate would be pernicious enough if his analysis were merely limited to his core claims—(a) that global warming is indeed happening though it is not a catastrophe, and (b) we therefore should not prioritize the reduction of greenhouse emissions since other human needs require that focus. An additional problem arises, however, in Lomborg’s claims to have substantiated his lynchpin assertion—that global warming is not a catastrophe. To do this, he argues that the major projected impacts of global warming, including those pertaining to sea-level rise and human health, are exaggerated by reputable scientists and environmentalists, and that he alone provides the antidotal facts.
It is my contention, with extension documentation, that Lomborg’s efforts to substantiate his central claim—that global warming is no catastrophe—are riddled with misleading claims and non-existent evidence.[3] It is my additional contention that, historically, an unsupported reckless thesis has not been a barrier to entry to favorable reviews at the New York Times if it can facilitate the Times’ editorial policy of positioning itself as a “centrist” participant in debates about controversial issues of major public importance.   
II.
In our 2004 book on the New York Times, Richard Falk and I began the chapter on editorial policy at the Times as follows:
In recently published memoirs about his half-century at the New York Times, Arthur Gelb, a founding editor in 1944 of an in-house newsletter called Timesweek, tells about taking “Timesweek into the field of investigative journalism.” Gelb wrote: “My first target was the cafeteria, often maligned by the staff for its practice of serving reheated leftovers—especially knockwurst and sauerkraut—and day-old bread. I thought such an exposé would bring both plaudits for Timesweek and culinary improvements; but I miscalculated.” As the cafeteria investigation began, Gelb was summoned by the publisher, Arthur Hays Sulzberger, who lectured the twenty-year-old copy boy about editorial policy at the Times. “Well young man,” Sulzberger said, “I hear you’ve assigned a story on complaints about the food served in the cafeteria…. Timesweek, up to now, seemed to have been guided by the same principles as the Times, and you should have learned that we are not a crusading newspaper.”
Finding out that the Times is not a crusading newspaper is part of the learning curve for reporters at the paper. Gelb recounted how in the 1960s, Clifton Daniel, the Times managing editor, “once halfheartedly warned me to keep my crusading spirit under control, but I pretended not to hear him.” In 1970 “the most momentous story” of Gelb’s tenure as metropolitan editor—a major exposé of the New York City Police Department, which began in part with information provided to the Times by Frank Serpico—might not have been investigated and published because one of Gelb’s assistant editors told the investigating reporter at the outset (while Gelb was on vacation) “not to bother” since “The Times was not interested in ‘crusading’ stories.” The reporter, David Burnham, continued his investigation anyway, and the Times eventually published it with Gelb’s support.
In his memoirs of the New York Times, John Hess, a former Times reporter, suggested an investigation of housing corruption in New York City in the 1950s to the Times city editor, Frank Adams, who rejected the proposal, telling Hess “the Times is not a crusading newspaper.”
In addition to its reluctance to pursue worthwhile investigations, from bad cafeteria food on up, the Times sees itself as a centrist newspaper that favors no political party or ideology. Gelb tells how his friend, Abe Rosenthal, a top editor in the 1960s, frequently pleaded with the paper’s bureaus and desk editors to keep the paper from drifting to the left:
 
Over and over, he [Rosenthal] alerted editors to watch the daily copy for editorializing and—most particularly—warned about keeping the paper from moving to the left of center. Center, he insisted, was where the paper must always be.
 
Hess gives some insight into how Rosenthal’s remonstrations were put into practice:
 
Back home, the country was shaken by the police riot at the [1968 Democratic] convention in Chicago. Editor [Abe] Rosenthal changed what [Times] reporter Tony Lukas witnessed [at the convention] from [police] “brutality” to “overreaction.” When Harrison Salisbury complained on behalf of his staff at the convention that Abe was “taking the guts out of the story,” Rosenthal retorted that he was taking out “the goddam editorializing.”[4]
 
These anecdotes give insight into editorial policy at the Times, and provide context for the questions posed below, including whether Andrew Revkin, as the principal global warming reporter at the Times for the past ten years, has “taken the guts out of the [climate-change] story” by downplaying the published peer-reviewed science (especially when those reports began to describe increasingly ominous environmental impacts of man-made warming), whether the internal institutional mandate at the Times to remain “centrist” was the setting that prompted Revkin to assess Bjorn Lomborg’s 2007 book, Cool It, as a “centrist” text, and whether Revkin’s own carefully crafted “centrism” on climate change enlightened readers about the published climate science or distracted them from it.   
While journalistic “centrism” may sound reasonable in principle, its real-world application to issues of major importance, such as war and climate change, is demonstrably pernicious. We can illustrate this point, again as a contextual matter, by looking at the relatively recent use by the Times of the so-called “liberal hawks” as “centrist” commentators on U.S. policy toward Iraq in 2002–2004. We can then assess the use of the “skeptical environmentalist” as a similarly deployed centrist symbol on global warming, not as a mechanism to report essential facts or inform readers on the merits of the issue, but as a means of positioning Revkin and the Times between what Revkin inappropriately describes as two extremes in the climate debate.
III.
Two of the “liberal hawks” that the Times featured in the run-up to the U.S. invasion of Iraq were Michael Ignatieff, who at the time was director of the Carr Center for Human Rights at Harvard University, and Kenneth Pollack, a former intelligence analyst in the Clinton administration, and author of the fall 2002 book, The Threatening Storm: The Case for Invading Iraq.
Like the “skeptical environmentalist,” the two components of the label, “liberal hawk,” offset one another, leaving neither the liberal aspect nor the hawk aspect as singularly liberal or hawkish to an extreme. Thus the liberal Harvard human-rights hawk, and the liberal Clinton-administration hawk, both of whom supported an invasion of Iraq, personified the Times own “centrism” on the issue; accordingly, the Times heavily featured both Ignatieff and Pollack, in effect, as alter egos of itself. The situation is similar with respect to the alleged “centrism” of the “skeptical environmentalist,” where the skepticism of the environmentalist, and the environmentalism of the skeptic, are mutually offsetting aspects; ergo, Lomborg’s “centrism”; ergo, Lomborg’s favored status by Revkin at the Times.
Things get worse, however, when we get to more substantive aspects. For example, in a January 2003 cover story for the New York Times Magazine titled, “American Empire: Get Used To It,” Ignatieff wrote (about the merits of the threats by President Bush to invade Iraq): “The United Nations lay dozing like a dog before the fire, happy to ignore Saddam, until an American president seized it by the scruff of the neck and made it bark.” Ignatieff also wrote (parentheses in original):
Being an imperial power, however, is more than being the most powerful nation or just the most hated one. It means enforcing such order as there is in the world and doing so in the American interest. It means laying down the rules America wants (on everything from markets to weapons of mass destruction) while exempting itself from other rules (the Kyoto Protocol on climate change and the International Criminal Court) that go against its interest.[5]
The undiluted jingoism is no different than what Fox News and the Wall Street Journal editorial page generate on a near-daily basis; the difference being the seemingly paradoxical “liberal” standing of the pro-war, human rights hawk from Harvard. Note also the consistent strain of thought that rejects both consensus international law as it pertains to the prohibition against force and the consensus international science as it pertains to the Kyoto Protocol (as a first step toward reducing greenhouse emissions).
Ignatieff went on to reiterate his dismissal of international law, human rights, and global environmental institutions, while demeaning European allies. Keep in mind that Ignatieff is not being merely descriptive here, nor is this a parody of right-wing support for an invasion of Iraq; Ignatieff is delineating the principles upon which he supports an invasion: 
The Americans essentially dictate Europe’s place in this new grand design. The United States is multilateral when it wants to be, unilateral when it must be; and it enforces a new division of labor in which America does the fighting, the French, the British and Germans do the police patrols in the border zones, and the Dutch, Swiss and Scandinavians provide the humanitarian aid.
This is a very different picture of the world than the one entertained by liberal international lawyers and human rights activists who had hoped to see American power integrated into a transnational legal and economic order organized around the United Nations, the World Trade Organization, the International Criminal Court and other international human rights and environmental institutions and mechanisms…. A new international order is emerging, but it is designed to suit American imperial objectives. America’s allies want a multilateral order that will essentially constrain American power. But the empire will not be tied down like Gulliver with a thousand legal strings.[6]
 
Ignatieff wrote three cover stories for the New York Times Magazine about U.S. military policy toward Iraq,[7] with the third one titled, “Lesser Evils,” published on May 2, 2004, when Ignatieff advocated preventive detentions of U.S. citizens in response to another terrorist attack like 9/11, and “coercive interrogations” of detainees in U.S. custody. This was four days after CBS News broadcast for the first time, on April 28, photographs of tortured Iraqi detainees, including a hooded Iraqi standing on a box at Abu Ghraib prison. In “Lesser Evils,” the director of the Carr Center for Human Rights, in a section titled “Torture,” wrote (parentheses in original): “Permissible duress might include forms of sleep deprivation that do not result in lasting harm to mental health or physical health, together with disinformation and disorientation (like keeping prisoners in hoods) that would produce stress.”[8]
Ignatieff also espoused “trafficking in evils” as part of U.S. counterterrorism policy. While writing that “defeating terror requires violence,” Ignatieff argued “it may also require coercion, secrecy, deception, even violation of rights.” These methods, according to Ignatieff, are the “lesser evils” in the war against terrorism, about which Ignatieff wrote:
Thinking about lesser evils is unavoidable. Sticking too firmly to the rule of law simply allows terrorists too much leeway to exploit our freedoms. Abandoning the rule of law altogether betrays our most valued institutions. To defeat evil, we may have to traffic in evils: indefinite detention of suspects, coercive interrogations, targeted assassinations, even pre-emptive war. These are evils because each strays from national and international law and because they kill people or deprive them of freedom without due process. They can be justified only because they prevent the greater evil. The question is not whether we should be trafficking in lesser evils but whether we can keep lesser evils under the control of free institutions. If we can’t, any victories we gain in the war on terror will be Pyrrhic ones.[9]
Ignatieff’s three cover stories in the New York Times Magazine totaled about 21,000 words, which is the equivalent of writing an Op-ed page column once a week for seven months. It’s not likely that the Times was uncomfortable with what Ignatieff was writing.
IV.
The views of Ignatieff’s liberal partner in war agitation, Kenneth Pollack, were almost as disturbing. Not long after publication in September 2002 of Pollack’s book, The Threatening Storm: The Case For Invading Iraq, the Times reviewed it twice within three days. In the first review, Jack Matlock, a former U.S. ambassador to Moscow, wrote: “This book makes the best case possible for an invasion of Iraq.”[10] In the second review, Richard Bernstein of the Times wrote: “In ‘The Threatening Storm,’ Kenneth M. Pollack makes what is very likely the best and strongest case that can be made for invading Iraq.”[11]
A few months later, in February 2002, Bill Keller, then a featured Op-ed page columnist who would soon become executive editor of the New York Times, and in one of his columns titled, “The I-Can’t-Believe-I’m-a-Hawk Club,” wrote: “Kenneth Pollack, the Clinton National Security Council expert whose argument for invading Iraq is surely the most influential book of this season, has provided intellectual cover for every liberal who finds himself inclining toward war but uneasy about Mr. Bush.”[12] 
Pollack, in fact, made no good case for invading Iraq. Essentially he argued that Iraq had a robust nuclear-weapons program, citing Iraqi exiles and defectors as well as Western intelligence agencies as sources. Pollack’s thin case of an imminent Iraqi nuclear threat led him to conclude that an invasion was “the only sensible course of action left to us.”[13] Presumably persuaded by Pollack, Keller echoed: “We reluctant hawks … are hard pressed to see an alternative [to invasion] that is not built on wishful thinking.”[14]
Furthermore, the Times did not stop at merely promoting Pollack’s book; it also gave Pollack unusually generous access to its Op-ed page to make “the case for invading Iraq.” While the normal amount of space for an Op-ed piece is about 800 words, the Times published lengthy Op-ed pieces by Pollack on September 26, 2002 (1,371 words), January 27, 2003 with Martin Indyk (1,345 words), and February 21, 2003 (1,760 words).
Pollack’s Op-ed pieces argued (a) that Iraq had a nuclear–weapons program, and “there is every reason to believe that the question is not one of war or no war, but rather war now or war later—a war without nuclear weapons or a war with them” (September 26, 2002); (b) that “now the United States is firmly in the ‘inspections trap,’ and our French and German allies appear determined to keep us there … along with their fellow travelers in Moscow and Beijing, [who] are likely to seize on Mr. Blix’s report to insist on delaying any military operation to enforce Iraq’s disarmament” (January 27, 2003); and (c) “yes, we must weigh the costs of a war with Iraq today, but on the other side of the balance we must place the cost of a war with a nuclear-armed Iraq tomorrow” (February 21, 2002).
Unshaken by Pollack’s mistaken pre-invasion assertions about Iraq’s nuclear-weapons capabilities, which in addition to being speculative and undocumented at the time are now known to have been completely wrong, in June 2003 (three months after the U.S. launched the invasion of Iraq in March 2003), the Times published a 1,900-word Op-ed piece by Pollack titled, “Saddam’s Bombs: We’ll Find Them.”[15]
V.
As Bill Keller’s hint about “intellectual cover” suggests, the Times is self-conscious about how it positions itself on issues of major importance. Judging by its content, the Times’ still appears to be seized by the “non-crusading” and “centrist” mandates of several decades ago. To my knowledge, editorial policy at the Times hasn’t changed in any significant sense since Adolph Ochs bought the Times in 1896, and set “impartiality” as the paper’s editorial policy.[16] One area where the influence of the “non-crusading centrism” stricture has been evident in recent years, in my view, is at the climate beat by Andrew Revkin, whose approach to the issue is summarized briefly below.  
In his review of Bjorn Lomborg’s book, Cool It: The Skeptical Environmentalist’s Guide to Global Warming, Revkin began as follows:
 
For many years, the battle over what to think and do about human-caused climate change has been waged mostly as a yelling match between the political and environmental left and right. The left says global warming is a real-time crisis requiring swift curbs on smokestack and tailpipe gases that trap heat, and that big oil, big coal and antiregulatory conservatives are trashing the planet. The right says global warming is somewhere between a hoax and minor irritant, and argues that liberals’ thirst for top-down regulations will drive American wealth to developing countries and turn off the fossil-fueled engine powering the economy.[17]
 
Note that Revkin wrote this article in November 2007, which means that it post-dated the publication of the four assessment reports by the IPCC, which reported in its 2001 assessment that “most of the observed warming over the past 50 years is likely to have been due to the increase in greenhouse gas concentrations,” and in its 2007 assessment that “most of the observed increase in global average temperatures since the mid-20th century is very likely due to the observed increase in atmospheric greenhouse concentrations.”[18]
 
Given the 2001 and 2007 unanimous scientific assessments among hundreds of scientists and every state participant in the IPCC, there is virtually no claim worthy of credible mention by a New York Times reporter that man-made global warming is a hoax. Yet Revkin uses the “hoax” claim to fix the right-wing position in the left-right “yelling match,” with the policy implications of the IPCC assessment reports occupying the left-wing position, since IPCC-generated scenarios project unprecedented warming in the twenty-first century without swift curbs on man-made greenhouse emissions.[19]
 
Revkin then situates Bjorn Lomborg’s Cool It within the “centrist camp” between the two extremes. Revkin does this on a superficial basis, given that Lomborg concedes that man-made global warming is not a hoax (which moves him away from the right-wing camp) though he argues that the world should not prioritize the reduction of greenhouse emissions (which moves him away from the left-wing camp). Thus, based on Lomborg’s opportunistic positioning, but not on the merits of Lomborg’s reckless claim that we should not bother much with reducing greenhouse emissions, Revkin positions him as a global warming centrist:  
  
In this same centrist camp [with Newt Gingrich, Ted Nordhaus, and Michael Shellenberger] sits Bjorn Lomborg. A Danish statistician, Mr. Lomborg has made a career out of challenging the scariest scenarios of environmentalists and argues for a practical calculus weighing problems like poverty, disease and climate against one another to determine how to invest limited resources.
 
Revkin is also not straightforward in assessing Lomborg’s Cool It in this manner since, for one thing, Lomborg’s “practical calculus weighing problems like poverty, disease and climate against one another to determine how to invest limited resources” is Revkin’s euphemistic way of referring to Lomborg’s clear opposition in Cool It to a focus on greenhouse emissions reductions in response to global warming. Lomborg’s actual position, which Revkin does not actually spell out, is thus not moderate or centrist on man-made global warming.    
 
Also, Revkin’s comfortable assertion, which he did not qualify, that Lomborg “has made a career challenging the scariest scenarios of environmentalists” about global warming, was written either in a state of unawareness or indifference to the highly authoritative scientists’ rebuttals to Lomborg in Scientific American in January 2002 under the title, “Science Defends Itself Against The Skeptical Environmentalist,” and to the equally authoritative rebuttals organized by the Union of Concerned Scientists and Grist in fall 2001.[20] Furthermore, Revkin apparently did not bother to check Lomborg’s highly problematic factual assertions while “challenging the scariest scenarios of environmentalists” about global warming; in fact, a similar challenge to environmentalists and scientists is apparent in Revkin’s own work on global warming.  
 
VI.
 
In January 2007, even before Lomborg’s Cool It was published in fall 2007, Revkin wrote an article titled, “A New Middle Stance Emerges in Debate over Climate,” which began: “Amid the shouting lately about whether global warming is a human-caused catastrophe or a hoax, some usually staid climate scientists in the usually invisible middle are speaking up.”[21] Once again, is it appropriate for a New York Times reporter to give equal weight to persons in the “shouting match,” who argue that man-made global warming is a “hoax,” with environmentalists and scientists who argue, based on scientific evidence, that it is very likely to be a major catastrophe?  
 
It is in fact unclear whether Revkin values published peer-reviewed reports as evidence of the likely impact of man-made climate change. In a July 2008 article titled, “Climate Research + Media Focus = Whiplash,” Revkin seems to explain the relative absence of published peer-reviewed science in his coverage of global warming. He begins the post to his Dot Earth blog: “I have a story in this week’s Science Times section examining the whiplash created by blow-by-blow media coverage of scientific findings on global warming questions.”[22] In his print article, “Climate Experts Tussle over Details; Public Gets Whiplash,” Revkin exaggerates the complexity involved in reporting published climate science for the high-end readers of the New York Times; why not just report it, as opposed to psycho-analyzing the impact of straight news on the Times readers? My sense with Revkin is that given the increasingly dire news reported in the published science, a straightforward reporting of it would be seen as “crusading” and “non-centrist” on behalf of climate “alarmism,” and thus not suitable for the Times. So Revkin finesses the published science, including with occasional articles about the difficulty of reporting it.
 
An article that Revkin wrote for his Dot Earth blog in October 2007 titled “The ‘Porn’ Factor in the Climate Fight,” is a case in point. In this piece, Lomborg refers to the alleged phenomena of environmentalists “yelling fire,” the “shouting” between environmentalists and those who argue that global warming is a hoax, and “the durable, but largely invisible, ‘middle stance,’” a category wherein two weeks hence Revkin would deposit Lomborg’s book, Cool It. Revkin also wrote (parentheses in original):
 
Last year, when a progressive British think tank analyzed that country’s press coverage of global warming (which has long tended toward the “end is nigh” approach), it concluded that the result was “tantamount to climate porn, offering a thrilling spectacle but ultimately distancing the public from the problem.”[23]
 
Presumably, Revkin is primarily referring here to the climate coverage of the British newspapers the Guardian and Independent, which is focused to a fair degree (far more than Revkin) on covering important published studies and papers.
 
Furthermore, Revkin inaccurately refers here to an analysis by a progressive think tank of British press coverage of global warming—the analysis was commissioned by the British think tank (the Institute for Public Policy Research) and conducted by a consulting firm, Linguistic Landscapes. In a point of analysis apparently favored by Revkin, the firm identified “alarmist” reporting of climate change as one type of reporting on the issue, and described it as follows:
 
Alarmism
Climate change is most commonly constructed through the alarmist repertoire—as awesome, terrible, immense and beyond human control. This repertoire is seen everywhere and is used or drawn on from across the ideological spectrum, in broadsheets and tabloids, in popular magazines and in campaign literature from government initiatives and environmental groups. It is typified by an inflated or extreme lexicon, incorporating an urgent tone and cinematic codes. It employs a quasi-religious register of death and doom, and it uses language of acceleration and irreversibility.   
 
Revkin views this analysis as a valid summary, and not as a caricature, for example, of how the Guardian and Independent report and comment on climate science. The reference to the “porn factor” in the British press coverage of global warming immediately followed in the consultants’ report:  
 
The difficulty with it is that the scale of the problem as it is shown excludes the possibility of real action or agency by the reader or viewer. It contains an implicit counsel of despair?“the problem is just too big for us to take on”. Its sensationalism and connection with the unreality of Hollywood films also distances people from the issue. In this awesome form, alarmism might even become secretly thrilling?effectively a form of “climate porn”. It also positions climate change as yet another apocalyptic construction that is perhaps a figment of our cultural imaginations, further undermining its ability to help bring about action.[24]
 
Rather than being distracted by the necessity of maintaining a centrist image, or how the public will react to press coverage of the scientific findings about global warming, it seems to me that the Times’ reporter on global warming should report global warming news, including as published in the peer-reviewed science journals?whether the facts and scientific evidence cause alarm or not, and perhaps they should. Furthermore, having read the coverage of global warming by the Times, the Guardian, and the Independent on a regular basis for years, the Times and Revkin do less well than the other two and their reporters, if the objective is to inform readers. Finally, the Times’ adherence to a late nineteenth century editorial policy has prompted it to badly serve its readers about two of the most important issues of the first decade of the twenty-first century—the U.S. invasion of Iraq and man-made global warming. In doing so, it has aided the career and boosted the influence of the “centrist” Bjorn Lomborg, who argues prominently even today that the world needn’t focus on reducing greenhouse gas emissions to respond to global warming.
 
Howard Friel is author of The Lomborg Deception: Setting the Record Straight about Global Warming (Yale University Press, 2010), and with Richard Falk of The Record of the Paper: How the New York Times Misreports US Foreign Policy (Verso, 2004), and (with Falk) of Israel-Palestine on Record: How The New York Times Misreports Conflict in the Middle East (Verso, 2007).    
       


[1] Bjorn Lomborg, The Skeptical Environmentalist: Measuring the Real State of the World (Cambridge, U.K.: Cambridge University Press, 2001), 4.
[2] Bjorn Lomborg, Cool It: The Skeptical Environmentalist’s Guide to Global Warming (New York: Knopf, 2007), ix.
[3] See Howard Friel, The Lomborg Deception: Setting the Record Straight about Global Warming (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2010).
[4] Howard Friel and Richard Falk, The Record of the Paper: How The New York Times Misreports US Foreign Policy (New York: Verso, 2004), 88-89. Written in 2004, when the quiescent but always evident scandals of the Bush administration were permitted to blossom, the Times has since published a number of important investigative stories, including several related to the March 2003 U.S. invasion of Iraq, which the Times supported in its news and editorial pages throughout 2002 and 2003. This established pattern at the Times of supporting an illegal war at first, then exposing its mistakes and flaws when the inevitable atrocities happen and the quagmire sets in, has been a consistent pattern of war coverage across several decades at the Times.   
[5] Michael Ignatieff, “The American Empire: The Burden,” New York Times Magazine, January 5, 2003,
[6] Ibid. 
[7] “The American Empire: The Burden” (6,800 words), New York Times Magazine, January 5, 2003: “Why Are We In Iraq? (And Liberia? And Afghanistan?)” (7,400 words), New York Times Magazine, September 7, 2003; “Lesser Evils” (7,000 words), New York Times Magazine, May 2, 2004.
[8] Michael Ignatieff, “Lesser Evils,” New York Times Magazine, May 2, 2004.
[9] Ibid.
[10] “Deterring the Undeterrable,” New York Times, October 20, 2002.
[11] “Making a Case for a U.S. Invasion of Iraq,” New York Times, October 22, 2002.
[12] “The I-Can’t-Believe-I’m-a-Hawk Club,” New York Times, February 8, 2003.
[13] Kenneth Pollack, The Threatening Storm: The Case for Invading Iraq (New York: Random House, 2002), 424.
[14] “The I-Can’t-Believe-I’m-a-Hawk Club,” New York Times, February 8, 2003.
[15] “Saddam’s Bombs: We’ll Find Them,” New York Times, June 20, 2003. For more in-depth analysis about the Times’ editorial policy and the Times’ use of “liberal hawks” in the context of the invasion of Iraq, see The Record of the Paper, 46–87; 88–120.
[16] Friel and Falk, The Record of the Paper, 89-90.
[17] “Challenges to Both Left and Right on Global Warming,” New York Times, November 13, 2007.
[18] 2007 IPCC Assessment Report, Working Group I, Summary for Policymakers, 10, at http://www.ipcc.ch/pdf/assessment-report/ar4/wg1/ar4-wg1-spm.pdf.
[19] 2007 IPCC Assessment Report, Working Group I, Summary for Policymakers, 13-14.
[20] See “Misleading Math about Global Warming: Science Defends Itself Against The Skeptical Environmentalist,” Scientific American, vol. 286, no. 1, January 2002; “Background: UCS Examines The Skeptical Environmentalist,” Union of Concerned Scientists, 2001; “Something Is Rotten in the State of Denmark: A Skeptical Look at The Skeptical Environmentalist,” Grist: Environmental News and Commentary, at http://www.grist.org.
[21] “A New Middle Stance Emerges in Debate over Climate,” New York Times, January 1, 2007.
[22] “Climate Research + Media Focus = Whiplash,” New York Times, July 29, 2008.
[23] “The ‘Porn’ Factor in the Climate Fight,” New York Times, October 31, 2007. 
[24] “Warm Words: How Are We Telling the Climate Story and Can We Tell It Better?,” 7, issued by The Institute for Public Policy Research, August 2006.

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