As we in the Reality Based Community grow terminally frustrated over ostensibly real news that is mostly fake, while ostensibly fake news (e.g., The Onion, John Stewart) is essentially real, this essay by David Roberts has been getting some blogospheric attention. I commend it unto you, but I wouldn't be Cervantes if I didn't at least have a quibble.
There's one thing we haven't learned from climategate (or death panels or birtherism). U.S. politics now contains a large, well-funded, tightly networked, and highly amplified tribe that defines itself through rejection of "lamestream" truth claims and standards of evidence. . . .
Politicians and the political press have tried to accommodate the shibboleths of the right as legitimate positions for debate. The press in particular has practically sworn off plain judgments of accuracy or fact. But all that's done is confuse and mislead the broader public, while the tribe pushes ever further into extremity. The tribe does not want to be accommodated. It is fueled by elite rejection.
At this point mainstream institutions like the press are in a bind: either accept the tribe's assertions as legitimate or be deemed "biased." Until there is a way out of that trap, there will be more and more Climategates.
Excuse me, but if they just go ahead and label these people as crazy, then why should they care if the same people deem them "biased"? They've already said those people are nuts, get it? So at that point, who is in a trap?
The reason they don't do it is not because they don't want Rush Limbaugh and Sarah Palin to call them "biased." It's because their corporate masters won't let them.