Think Progress’s Double-Standard

I notice that Think Progress is drawing attention to Senator Jim Inhofe (R-OK)’s comparison of the public relations effort promoting the global warming theory to Adolf Hitler’s “Big Lie.”

For those unfamiliar with the “Big Lie,” Think Progress describes it as “telling lies ‘so colossal’ that no one would believe ‘others could have the impudence to distort the truth so infamously.'”

It took a while to figure out who Think Progress is quoting there, but a little digging revealed the sentence directly above is Think Progress quoting Wikipedia quoting Adolf Hitler.

(It’s hard to imagine that I’ll ever quote any combination as dubious as that ever again.)

To the best of my knowledge, Think Progress hasn’t said anything about global warming theory marketers comparing global warming skeptics to holocaust deniers.

For example: CBS’s Scott Pelley doing it (here or here), Nature doing it to Bjorn Lomborg (see here), folks doing to the Competitive Enterprise Institute’s Iain Murray (see here), or various other examples (see here, here, or here, among others).

Addendum, 7/26/06: I’m getting e-mail on this — folks saying I have been too nice. I’m told I neglected to mention the bloggers’ “Digital Brownshirt Alliance,” formed after Al Gore complained about Internet-based activists on the right. Said Gore in 2004: “The [Bush] Administration works closely with a network of rapid response digital Brown Shirts who work to pressure reporters and their editors…” (See here, here, here. or here, among other blogs, for more details.)

Mr. Gore has made Nazi analogies on other occasions as well.

And then there are those who noted that climate scientist James Hansen, in his “my employer is censoring me” complaint (not that he phrased it so) compared our own U.S. government to Nazi Germany.

From the Washington Post’s February 11, 2006 article “Censorship Is Alleged at NOAA“:

James E. Hansen, the NASA climate scientist who sparked an uproar last month by accusing the Bush administration of keeping scientific information from reaching the public, said Friday that officials at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration are also muzzling researchers who study global warming.

Hansen, speaking in a panel discussion about science and the environment before a packed audience at the New School university, said that while he hopes his own agency will soon adopt a more open policy, NOAA insists on having “a minder” monitor its scientists when they discuss their findings with journalists.

“It seems more like Nazi Germany or the Soviet Union than the United States,” said Hansen, prompting a round of applause from the audience. He added that while NOAA officials said they maintain the policy for their scientists’ protection, “if you buy that one please see me at the break, because there’s a bridge down the street I’d like to sell you.”

NOAA Administrator Conrad C. Lautenbacher denied Hansen’s charges, saying his agency requires its scientists to tell its press office about contacts with journalists but does not monitor their communications.

“My policy since I’ve been here is to have a free and open organization,” Lautenbacher said. I encourage scientists to conduct peer-reviewed research and provide the honest results of those findings. I stand up for their right to say what they want.”

It occurs to me that if Dr. Hansen does not like his employer’s rules, he is free to seek employment elsewhere.

This is not Nazi Germany or the Soviet Union, after all.

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