Is Sarah Palin’s WaPo Climategate Op-Ed A Necessary Evil?


Palin_385x185_656313aSo the Washington Post has opted to run another Sarah Palin op-ed piece, this one about Climategate. The piece is a re-working of something Palin posted on her Facebook page last week and the Post is apparently drawing the ire of some readers for running it as noted by its own media reporter Howie Kurtz on Twitter.

Here is the gist of the op-ed, which honestly is not saying much that hasn’t been said (and refuted) in harsher terms by many others in the past few weeks (Gawker gives a great debunking of the whole thing here):

“Climate-gate,” as the e-mails and other documents from the Climate Research Unit at the University of East Anglia have become known, exposes a highly politicized scientific circle — the same circle whose work underlies efforts at the Copenhagen climate change conference. The agenda-driven policies being pushed in Copenhagen won’t change the weather, but they would change our economy for the worse…This scandal obviously calls into question the proposals being pushed in Copenhagen. I’ve always believed that policy should be based on sound science, not politics.

Leaving aside the irony of Sarah Palin calling for “sound science’ vs plain old politics(!), there remains the question of whether WaPo is really just traffic-baiting by publishing the piece, (which is pretty clearly ghost-written, but as Kurtz points out that is not a new thing where politicians and op-eds are concerned).

Choire Sicha at the Awl won’t link to the op-ed directly because “they shouldn’t be rewarded with the clicks, which is pretty much what this is about, I figure.” Which, of course is what it’s about. Also, what I assume Bono’s (arguably less damaging) op-eds at the NYT are about. Also, what 75% of the internet is practically about these days. Also, in the larger sense why Sarah Palin was tapped to be Vice President in the first place, John McCain wanted the attention and the votes of a certain portion of the population.

The other week the Washington Post announced it was closing its New York, Chicago, and Los Angeles bureaus, a decision which could ostensibly leave this country with one national newspaper. If by printing a Sarah Palin op-ed they are somehow able to up their traffic or ad rates or something, than I think it may just be a sort of necessary evil. You know, like slide shows and the like.

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