Climate Skeptics Try To Spin Penn State Exoneration of Dr. Michael Mann Into “Whitewash”

Climate Skeptics Try To Spin Penn State Exoneration of Dr. Michael Mann Into “Whitewash”
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Penn State University’s inquiry into climate scientist Dr. Michael Mann’s conduct surrounding the emails stolen from the Climate Research Unit at East Anglia University concluded there is no evidence to substantiate the claims made by the right-wing media against Mann.

The Penn State panel cleared Dr. Mann of any wrongdoing in three of the four areas it probed, recommending only that a separate panel of faculty members pursue a follow-up investigation into the allegation that Dr. Mann “engaged in, directly or indirectly, any actions that seriously deviated from accepted practices within the academic community for proposing, conducting or reporting research or other scholarly activities.”

Dr. Mann’s response to the outcome:
“This is very much the vindication I expected since I am confident I have done nothing wrong.

I fully support the additional inquiry which may be the best way to remove any lingering doubts. I intend to cooperate fully in this matter – as I have since the beginning of the process.”

Pete Altman over at NRDC’s Switchboard blog notes: “That’s about as close to a silver bullet as you are going to find in terms of shooting down the conspiracy theorists who are touting their ‘climategate’ nonsense.”

Altman notes that Professor Mann has “has been the victim of an extended vicious and unfounded smear campaign.”

But none of that seems to sink into the brain of the self-titled “Junkman,” Steven Milloy, who instead screams “whitewash” and accuses Penn State of ignoring allegations that were never under question.  Milloy would rather Penn State investigate whether global warming is real to suit his own fantasies that there is a debate on that question.  He just can’t stand the fact that a formal inquiry launched by a prestigious university didn’t end up the way he wanted it to.

Compare Milloy’s headline “Penn State primes for the Climategate whitewash” with that of many mainstream outlets covering the Penn State inquiry:

Climategate melts away: Global warming expert exonerated – Kansas City Star.

Panel Absolves Climate Scientist – The New York Times.

US ‘climategate’ scientist all but cleared of misconduct – New Scientist.

‘Climategate’ inquiry shows scientist didn’t falsify data – Montreal Gazette.

Milloy wasn’t the only one to try to spin Penn State’s exoneration of Mann into something it isn’t.  Witness:

Fox News: Penn St. Investigating Scientist Over Research Misconduct

Wall Street Journal:School to Probe Climate Scientist

James Delingpole at The Telegraph: Michael Mann as innocent as OJ – possibly more so – finds internal Penn State investigation

The right wing outlets who screamed bloody murder over “Climategate” just can’t seem to handle the outcome of the inquiry that found no evidence of the data tampering or interference with information requests that they hoped would emerge.  They can’t tolerate the fact that Dr. Mann was vindicated.  So they resort to spin. 

Why am I not surprised?

Climate Skeptics Try To Spin Penn State Exoneration of Dr. Michael Mann Into “Whitewash”
Brendan is Executive Director of DeSmog. He is also a freelance writer and researcher specializing in media, politics, climate change and energy. His work has appeared in Vanity Fair, The Huffington Post, Grist, The Washington Times and other outlets.

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