What do Climategate and ACORNgate have in common? Answer: They'll never catch on. I finally "get" it---the news is what the news outlets tell you it is. And if they say it's Jon and Kate, then like it or lump it. There's no real traction to Climategate and ACORNgate, as far as I can see. (Who are Jon and Kate anyway? They're always looking at me from the magazine rack at CVS.)
I ruined Thanksgiving dinner by bringing to the table a Wall Street Journal article on the hacking of a server of the University of East Anglia's Climate Research Unit. I got through the first paragraph and my 26-year-old son cut me off: "I don't need to listen to this crap." It got messy after that. I never got to paragraph two.
If there is anything nefarious afoot in the research cathedrals of the world---any evidence contradicting Michael Mann's hockey stick graph, any quiet Wite-Out of a Medieval Warm Period, any collusion to squelch contrary evidence, any cynical redefining of "peer review" to keep inconvenient truth from appearing in scientific publications, any conspiracy to overstate man-made contribution to climate change---it's safe in my house. If a tree falls in the woods and nobody wants to hear about it, it didn't fall.
If it really happened that employees at the ACORN office in Baltimore unwittingly advised two freelance journalists on how to get federal monetary assistance for a brothel, how to cover the sex trafficking of under-aged El Salvadoran girls, how to get tax credits for said girls, how to register their sex ring as a legal business ("performing artist"), it's safe at my house.
I remember the days when newspapers used to trip over themselves to scoop a juicy scandal. Those were the good old days. Now they trip over themselves to scoop selective scandals. Like Jon and Kate, I guess. Whoever they are.
To hear commentaries by Andrée Seu, click here.