Here's a dirty little secret about The New York Times: It likes to leak things. Important things. Things that change the course of the public conversation. From the Pentagon Papers to the ruined terrorist-surveillance programs of the Bush era, the Times has routinely found that secrecy is a danger and sunlight is a disinfectant.
Until now. A troublesome hacker recently released e-mails going to and from the Climate Research Unit at the University of East Anglia in Britain, e-mails that exposed how the "scientific experts" cited so often by the media on global warming are guilty of crude political talk, attempts at censoring opponents and twisting scientific data to support their policy agenda.
The e-mails prove just how dishonest this left-wing global warming agenda truly is. And now suddenly, The New York Times has found religion and won't publish these private e-mails. Environmental reporter Andrew Revkin, who's more global warming lobbyist than reporter, quoted -- sparsely -- from the e-mails, but declared he would not post these texts on his "Dot Earth" blog on the Times website: "The documents appear to have been acquired illegally and contain all manner of private information and statements that were never intended for the public eye, so they won't be posted here."
That rule didn't apply to things like the disclosure of the SWIFT global bank monitoring program against terrorists.
Unlike our secret terror-fighting efforts, there is no grave matter of national security to protect here. There is only a danger of shredding the undeserved reputation of some global-warming alarmists as nonpartisan, nonideological, just-the-facts scientists with no preconceived environmentalist or statist agenda.
The networks also have ignored this emerging scandal with all the ignorance they could muster. But in the seven days after The New York Times revealed the existence of an NSA program to monitor communications to terrorist cells abroad, the three networks ran a combined 23 stories about the program, more than one story, per network, per night.
Revkin's story in the Times did have some truncated quotes with ridiculous details. In a 1999 e-mail exchange about charts showing apparent climate patterns over the last two millenniums, Phil Jones of the CRU said he had used a "trick" employed by another scientist, Michael Mann, to "hide the decline" in temperatures.