National Post apologizes for "denier" smear

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The National Post withdraws any allegation that (UK astrophysicist) Dr. (Nigel) Weiss is a global warming “denier” and regrets the embarrassment caused him by (a) … Feb. 2 column and a further column on Feb. 9.

Canada’s National Post newspaper deserves some credit for finally issuing the correction and apology exerpted above. Columnist Lawrence Solomon had embarrassed Dr. Weiss, and the Post, with an unfounded allegation that Weiss denies that humans are responsible for climate change. Solomon then went on a week later to exacerbate the libel by reaffirming his mistaken position, despite having received a letter from Dr. Weiss setting the record straight.

We could complain that this apology took an inexcusably long time to write. We could complain that the Post is still carrying the original columns online – without (as of this writing) providing related links to the correction.

But the otherwise unconscionable delay suggests that the Post struggled with this – and they should be encouraged for having overcome that struggle. Given the Post’s enthusiasm for climate change denial in the past – given Solomon’s own mutli-part feature aggrandizing “deniers” even when several of his subjects did not, in fact, deny climate change – it is refreshing to see the paper admit that taking such a position would cause a right-thinking person embarrassment.

We can’t tell for sure whether it’s the Post’s own writers or the paper’s legal advisors who finally figured it out, but it’s a step in the right direction.

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