Sunday, November 07, 2010

The Future That Might Have Been, Or: How Fox News North Planned To Target David Suzuki

A sad story in which Donna Laframboise, once journalist for the National Post, and now a free-lance climate change denier here, is courted by Kory Teneyke of SunTV, and then discarded in the aftermath of his departure.

It comes in two parts--part 1 and part 2-- which I will excerpt with comments. It begins with Donna describing one of the bogus CRU Hack related pseudo-scandals she "researched" back in April:

Among the avalanche of e-mail that followed was one from a person of indeterminate gender whose first name was Kory. A third party (also a stranger to me), thought perhaps I could recommend clear-thinking journalists for a project Kory was working on. Was I available for coffee?

My last journalism job had been as an editorial writer and columnist for the National Post. Laid off back in 2001 along with 130 others, I’d called it quits. The Canadian media landscape is small and cliquish. Newsrooms are miserably managed workplaces where people hate their lives. I said sayonara.


In the end, however, Donna met with this "brash young man with a pinstripe suit". At a Starbucks, no less. Which tells you something right there, doesn't it? With these Conservative Muckety-Mucks, its always "heart on the right, coffee mug on the left." Because who really wants to drink the plonk that passes for coffee at Tim's if they've ever lived somewhere that serves something better? Hmm? If Tim's coffee were wine, it would be the kind of wine rummies drink under the bridge. Better by far is the gay coffee you can buy downtown in any decent sized Canadian Metropolis.

But in any case, Kory wanted Donna to function as an in-house climate change denier for Fox News North, writing a column every week for the Sun Chain of newspapers and discussing that column on one of FNN's talk shows.

Kory responded to my really, I’m not a television person protestations with assurances that it would be OK. At the beginning, few people would be watching anyway, he insisted. He was sure that, with a bit of practice, I’d do fine.

Interesting timing here: this discussion takes place in early (the first Friday of) May, 2010, while Kory is still working at CBC (which he didn't leave until June).

[Teneycke's]one firm directive was that I should challenge David Suzuki. I hadn’t thought much about Suzuki before that conversation, but Kory’s instinct was correct. Although Suzuki tells us constantly that he’s a scientist, he’s actually a preacher who espouses environmentalist views with religious fervour.

Now that's revealing: Fox News North was to have a reporter on staff who was specifically tasked with hassling Canada's best-known environmentalist. There are shades of Marc Morano and the U.S. denialist movement, who have concentrated their fire so largely upon Michael Mann, in this; and shades of the UK movement too, who went after Phil Jones almost exclusively during CRU Hack. But of course it all goes back to Alinsky: personalize, demonize. Anyway:

The conversation touched briefly on our respective backgrounds. He’s a prairie boy from Saskatchewan. I’m the daughter of a Northern Ontario auto mechanic. Neither of us has ever moved in private-school, trust-fund circles. But thanks to our rural roots, we both possess a restricted firearms license.

Just a note: if you ever run into Kory Teneycke, he may be packing heat. If I'd known that earlier, I might have been nicer to him. Also, it sounds like Canadian newspapers these days are paying somewhere around $500 per column. No wonder journalists hate their lives. (Although, note to anyone suing, or planning to sue, Ezra Levant: Kory was in the end willing to cut Donna a check for $4,200 per month)

Anyway, Donna signs on with FNN, and spends the summer losing weight for TV and boning up on Suzuki. Then, in September, it all turns to crap:

A few moments later I was advised that, well, global warming had been a personal interest of Kory’s but things have now changed. The news director told me I could perhaps write for Quebecor occasionally. He didn’t explain what would possess me to imagine that this offer is genuine when the previous one evidently was not.
[...]
Let us just say it looks like I’ll be seeing Quebecor in small claims court. (Stayed tuned.)

Donna is promising a part 3 in which she explains why Quebecor "lost its nerve". She mentions Atwood, but I think I should get at least a brief shout out. We shall see.

23 comments:

Steve V said...

Good stuff BCL!

Dave said...

Good indeed! I'm actually very interested in her part 3.

WhigWag said...

"A left-wing American lobby group, together with novelist Margaret Atwood, slew the unicorn before it even found its feet."

Yeah, like that's what's happened. With astute observations like that on, um, her prospective employer, I can only surmise that her insights into the scientific community are equally penetrating.

Holly Stick said...

Why hire her when they can have Levant frothing all over the screen about "ethical" oil?

dizzy said...

Raz is writing a book on the IPCC.

Her web section "Global Warming 101" consists in its entirety of this --
We can't predict next summer's
weather reliably.
But we claim to know - within a few degrees - how hot it will be 100 years from now.
[with illustrations]
http://noconsensus.org/globalwarming101/weather.php

But she did some good work on the Paul Morin case in the early 90s--
http://web.archive.org/web/20000307000735/http://www.ilap.com/raz/laframboise/full_texts/morin/gpmorin.htm

office said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Tof KW said...

About this line in her story:
"Although Suzuki tells us constantly that he’s a scientist, he’s actually a preacher..."

Dr David T Suzuki is a geneticist who received his doctorate from the University of Chicago. Last time I checked, genetics was an integral field of biology. Oh, and I spent some time in the lab with fruit flies myself, so I knew all about his DTS gene too (and how he named it).

Paul S said...

No need to "target" David Suzuki, but it is decades past time that pointed questions were asked of him. He's a super nice guy but he's peddled some very dubious "science" over the years.

Questioning authority figures is always a good idea.

Holly, tarsands oil is ethical oil; thanks for pointing that out on this thread.

Holly Stick said...

Paul, you are lying as usual. Oil is not ethical and tar sands oil is dirtier than most.

Provide some concrete examples of "dubious science" peddled by Suzuki, you repellant smearer.

Gene Rayburn said...

Hey we got Paul S saying tar sands twice. Maybe we can get him to not drag his knuckles when the company comes over.

Sorry Paul S noone believes your "ethical oil" bit. If's its so safe and just like yogurt like the commercials say, then go and have a cup of it with strawberries and tell us what its like.

Do you always believe what the television tells you Paul S?

Paul S said...

Oil is not ethical and tar sands oil is dirtier than most. - Holly Stick

Shriek! Shriek!

Our tarsands are the largest provider of excellent paying jobs for First Nations people in Canada.

Of course the tar sands are ethical, even the Dalai Lama says so.

Provide some concrete examples of "dubious science" peddled by Suzuki, you repellant smearer. - Holly Stick

Extinction rates is one Suzuki peddles. He promotes alarmist claptrap on the subject and has never been called on it. There are many other examples.

Sorry Paul S noone believes your "ethical oil" bit. - Gene

Sure, Dippers like yourself don't believe it but you are in the minority, and for good reason.

That's why Obama will approve the Keystone pipeline and why hysterical rants such as yours never gain any traction with the general public.

Holly Stick said...

"concrete examples" not vague crap.

Paul S said...

Concrete example? Sure.

David Suzuki used to go around saying that two to three species an hour were going extinct for a total of 27,000 extinctions a year.

Can he name even 100 of these extinctions? Nope. Why? Because it is a made up statistic used to foster hysteria.

Suzuki also peddles the statement that sea level rise is accelerating, when the truth of the matter is that two different measurement systems are being compared (tidal gauge vs satellite measurements).

I'd type more but back to work it is.

Gene Rayburn said...

I'm a dipper? What the hell?

Has Paul S gone mad?

Gene Rayburn said...

Thanks for the vague uncited concrete proof Paul S. Back to work for you to find some real concrete proof.

Tof KW said...

For the 27,000 species lost per year, I think Paul is referring to this:

PBS - Evolution (series) 'The Current Mass Extinction'

"The background level of extinction known from the fossil record is about one species per million species per year, or between 10 and 100 species per year (counting all organisms such as insects, bacteria, and fungi, not just the large vertebrates we are most familiar with). In contrast, estimates based on the rate at which the area of tropical forests is being reduced, and their large numbers of specialized species, are that we may now be losing 27,000 species per year to extinction from those habitats alone."

This number was from a study by Edward Wilson, attempting to determine how many species we are losing per year due to human activity. Incidentally, there were at least 3 other high-profile studies which have placed this number much higher.

Paul; David Suzuki isn't 'peddling' this statement, rather informing the scientifically illiterate about what researchers think is happening with biodiversity and human industrialization of the planet.

Now please don't come back and tell us this research is wrong based on some wingnut post you read from Free Republic or Free Dominion ...OK?

Holly Stick said...

How about a reference, Paul, so we can find out what Suzuki based his numbers upon and when he used such numbers, if in fact he ever did use the numbers you claim he did.

Meanwhile, about species going extinct (a space added after some slashes)

http://cms.iucn.org/about/work/ programmes/species/
species_programme/

"...About 1.9 million species have been identified, out of what scientists estimate is a total of around 15 million species on earth. (Microbes account for the anonymous bulk.) There is a spectrum of opinion about the broad risks facing species. Under the natural order of things, some scientists argue, 15 species would go extinct annually. Instead, they are disappearing at a rate estimated at 100 to 1,000 times that. Scientists dub the current loss the Sixth Great Extinction Event. No. 5 was 65 million years ago, when the dinosaurs perished..."

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/09/30/ world/30nations.html?_r=1

ridenrain said...

Dr. Fruit fly and James Cameron refuse to debate such issues with actual climatologists like Dr. Tim Ball. They keep saying it's proven and Suzuki goes on to demand people who disagree should be put in jail.
The media should keep pushing Suzuki. He's thin skinned, insecure and easy flustered. His tantrums when people disagree with him are also funny as hell.

ridenrain said...

By the way.. the market for hot air "carbon credits" is at an all time low. Now would be the time for all those teachers and government union pension funds to corner that market. literally pennies on the ... pennies.

Paul S said...

I'm a dipper? What the hell? - Gene

I'm wrong Gene?

This number (27,000) was from a study by Edward Wilson, attempting to determine how many species we are losing per year due to human activity. -T of KW

It's a guesstimate, pure and simple. Unsupported by any hard evidence except voodoo mathematical models that don't stand up to any level of scrutiny. This is what Dr. Suzuki has been peddling.

Instead, they are disappearing at a rate estimated at 100 to 1,000times that. - Holly Stick

Except they aren't HS.

Scientists dub the current loss the Sixth Great Extinction Event. - HS

No, "scientists" don't say any such thing. A few cranks on the fringe do but that's it.

If background extinction rates were rapidly rising, so would foreground extinction rates.

And of course, as we know from proper scientific studies, this is not the case.

Tof KW said...

Again no references from the tinfoil-hat brigade ...yawn.

Holly Stick said...

Show us the peer-reviewed papers that prove the high rate of extinction is not occurring, Paul. What credible scientists dispute it?

Gene Rayburn said...

Yes Paul S, you are wrong about my leanings and pretty much everything. But keep trying. One day you'll get a gold star!