D’oh! “Fake news” has apparently struck again at the New York Times this week – this time over a leaked climate science report that, well, wasn’t so leaked.
In fact, the report has been available to the public for as many as seven months.
The New York Times – which is featuring a marketing campaign called “The truth is more important now than ever” – claimed Monday that it was publishing a secret climate-change report because there’s concern President Trump will try to suppress it.
But scientists called out the “newspaper of record” when they noticed the report, known as the National Climate Assessment, was actually available for public comment for several months. The report was a project of the U.S. Global Change Research Program.
The Times’ story is headlined, “Scientists fear Trump will dismiss blunt climate report.” It claimed the report “has not yet been made public” but “a copy of it was obtained by The New York Times.”
The Times also said “those who challenge scientific data on human-caused climate change” are concerned that the report will be released to the public.
Robert Kopp, one of the lead authors of the climate report and a climate scientist at Rutgers University, was puzzled when he saw the Times’ story about his findings, which were made public last December.
Kopp tweeted: “It’s not clear what the news is in this story; posted draft is public review draft from Dec, and WH review hasn’t yet missed Aug 18 deadline.”
Kopp told Fox News the climate draft was published on the Environmental Protection Agency’s website in January 2017 but was later taken down. He said it was still online at the Internet Archive’s site.
Another scientist and author of the climate report cited by the Times, Katharine Hayhoe, tweeted that it was “already accessible to anyone who cared to read it during public review & comment.” She also added: “Side-by-side comparison shows that @nytimes has public review version of our new climate sci report – so, no leak. It was available to all.”
Hayhoe noted that anyone who wants to access the draft may request it from the National Academy of Sciences.
White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said Tuesday that the Times story is “disappointing, yet entirely predictable.”
“As others have pointed out – and the New York Times should have noticed – drafts of this report have been published and made widely available online months ago during the public comment period,” she said. “The White House will withhold comment on any draft report before its scheduled release date.”