WikiLeaks: Media double standards and hypocrisy

The point is being made on a number of blogs such as PowerLine (Hat tip: Bishop Hill), but it is worthy of being made here too. Why is it the Climategate emails were not published by the New York Times because they were allegedly ‘acquired illegally’, yet that same paper is poring over the WikiLeaks data and publishing the diplomatic cables without hesitation?

Some people say this points to media double standards and that it’s a clear example of hypocrisy. They’re right. This episode should remind people that entities like the New York Times are nothing more than biased viewspapers.

The Climategate emails undermined the man made climate change agenda the NYT had long been advancing, so it spun the line it was taking some mythical high ground by not publishing the emails leaked from CRU and reporting information that weakened the anthropogenic global warming narrative. That concern does not apply in the case of the cables sent by US diplomats and representatives. So irrespective of the fact the cables came into the public domain in the same way the Climategate emails did, the NYT is happy to put its circulation interests first.

Forget the notion of papers reporting the news. Only a tiny percentage of their content is derived from investigation and examination. The vast majority of content is cut and pasted from press releases issued by political parties, special interest groups, companies and organisations. The papers are merely the delivery mechanism of propaganda and spin and follow their own agenda. If the content they receive questions their agenda be assured it will not be published.

2 Responses to “WikiLeaks: Media double standards and hypocrisy”


  1. 1 Tufty 29/11/2010 at 5:02 pm

    Interesting post. It still surprises me how much bias there is in organs such as the NYT. There is something immature about bias – you expect a mature business such as the NYT to have outgrown it.

  2. 2 Rereke Whakaaro 30/11/2010 at 4:12 am

    If you shift perspective slightly, and think of US State Department in terms of a large business corporation – a computer manufacturer or an oil company – and you consider the Embassies as being like local country offices, then the content of the leaked cables starts to read like frank emails discussing competitive strategies and business negotiations.

    Of course, if this leak occurred in a business context, a few people might feel embarrassed when they need met their “client”, and a few deals might fall through.

    But because all companies have frank emails that they would not want in the public domain, such things are soon forgiven and forgotten.

    It is therefor of little consequence, which is why the NYT feels safe in reporting it.

    The ClimateGate story led to significantly more unforeseen outcomes. There was no obvious script that the NYT could follow, so they reported nothing.


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