NYT Admits Its Front Page Climate Change Article Was Wrong

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Michael Bastasch DCNF Managing Editor
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The New York Times issued a correction to its Tuesday front page article, now admitting that the government climate report it “obtained” had actually been publicly available online for months.

“An article on Tuesday about a sweeping federal climate change report referred incorrectly to the availability of the report,” TheNYT wrote in its correction issued Wednesday morning. “While it was not widely publicized, the report was uploaded by the nonprofit Internet Archive in January; it was not first made public by The New York Times.”

TheNYT ran a front page article Tuesday claiming to have exclusively obtained a draft climate report that “directly contradicts claims by President Trump and members of his cabinet” on global warming.

Unnamed scientists told TheNYT they feared the Trump administration would suppress the climate report. The report is part of the National Climate Assessment that’s released to the public every four years.

Climate scientists that worked on the report, however, were quick to point out it’s been online since January. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration published a copy of the report online in March.

The Daily Caller News Foundation pressed TheNYT on this, but reporter Lisa Friedman insisted the report was not publicly available.

After hours of criticism, TheNYT quietly switched copies of the climate report from a “third order draft” to a “fifth order draft,” which has not been made public and is under review by the White House.

Scientists familiar with both drafts said there was no substantive difference between them. TheNYT formally issued a correction to its front page article Wednesday morning.

“It was uploaded to a nonprofit internet digital library in January but received little attention until it was published by The New York Times,” the corrected NYT article reads. The article still reports some scientists “were concerned that it would be suppressed” by Trump.

However, four unnamed co-authors of the draft climate report told the Associated Press that they “have not heard of or witnessed any attempt by the White House to suppress or censor the scientific document.”

“It was under the radar and we were fine about that,” one scientists told the AP.

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