MODIFIED LIMITED HANGOUT. The Boston Globe came half-clean yesterday in the matter of that James M. Taylor column seeking to debunk global warming. The paper published a letter from Harvard professor John P. Holdren noting that Taylor's professional affiliation, Environment & Climate News, is "a publication of the ultra-conservative, antiregulation Heartland Institute, where Taylor works."
That's good as far as it goes. But as Media Log revealed last week, the Heartland Institute isn't just a right-wing think tank - it also includes among its directors current and retired officials of such oil- and automobile-industry giants as ExxonMobil, Amoco, and General Motors, companies that directly benefit from any seeds of doubt they are able to sow with regard to global warming.
If the Globe wants to run stuff from right-wing organizations, that's its business. But if it publishes propaganda bought and paid for by industry, it has an obligation to disclose that to its readers. (Actually, it shouldn't run such garbage in the first place. And yes, there are some perfectly respectable scientists it could turn to for an independent anti-global-warming perspective.)
The Globe still owes an apology to its readers.
ANOTHER SIDE OF REAGAN. Check out Greg Palast's Ronald Reagan obituary. The headline: "Killer, Coward, Con-Man; Good Riddance, Gipper ... More Proof Only the Good Die Young." It lacks the mythic sweep of Hunter Thompson's kiss-off to Richard Nixon. But there's nothing in Palast's screed that's even remotely inaccurate.
Good grief. If it were me I would have waited a week, but what the hell.