Friday, January 11, 2013

Today in cognitive dissonance

Hey, boys and girls! Let's see if we can help the Fair 'n' Balanced Network answer these adjacent questions from the top stories on the homepage!

First up: Why are so many people avoiding vaccinations?

Two words are at the top of most American’s minds this winter: flu season.

Yes, it's a double-dip Forbidden Lede, and yes, it has a booted apostrophe that would make even the gentlest descriptivist tear their hair out, but let's get to the point:

... with numerous websites, blogs, and podcasts perpetuating false information about the flu vaccine online, it’s easy for people to doubt the vaccine’s safety or believe it was not tested accurately.

Got it. Because shady, dishonest websites are peddling bogus information to terrify and anger the rubes, right? On to our next question!

2012 was a scorcher, but was it the warmest year ever?

Now let's not always see the same hands.

A report released this week by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Agency (NOAA) called it "the warmest year ever for the nation." Experts agree that 2012 was a hot year for the planet. But it’s that report -- and the agency itself -- that’s drawing the most heat today.

... But NOAA has adjusted the historical climate data many times, skeptics point out, most recently last October. The result, says popular climate blogger Steve Goddard: The U.S. now appears to have warmed slightly more than it did before the adjustment.

"The adjusted data is meaningless garbage. It bears no resemblance to the thermometer data it starts out as," Goddard told

... Climate change skeptics such as blogger and meteorologist Anthony Watts are unconvinced.

"Is history malleable? Can temperature data of the past be molded to fit a purpose? It certainly seems to be the case here, where the temperature for July 1936 reported ... changes with the moment," Watts told

And the answer to "Heat Data Cooked?" No, but s
hady, dishonest websites are peddling bogus information to terrify and anger the rubes.

Our friends at Fox seem to have done Orwell one better here: Four legs good, four legs bad!

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