Green Hell Blog 
Wednesday, Nov 25th, 2009
Below is a text of the letter sent to clark Hoyt, the public editor (ombudsman) for the New York Times:
Shouldn’t Andrew Revkin haved recused himself from his Nov. 21 front-page article, “Hacked E-mail Is New Fodder for Climate Dispute “?
First, as Revkin briefly acknowledges in the article, he is part of the story. Isn’t it a breach of journalistic ethics for a reporter to report on a story of which he is part?
Moreover, his story to a great extent defended his sources. It’s one thing to rely on sources; it is quite another to defend them at the expense of unbiased and accurate reporting about them.
This is not an innocent faux pas either.
Revkin tried to whitewash the significance of the story — including distracting readers away from the embarrassing/incriminating contents of the files and, instead, focusing them on the alleged hacking.
Finally, as we will report tomorrow, there seems to have been no “hack” at all.
The files appear to have been accumulated in preparation of a possible court-ordered FOIA release on a server to which the public had access. It is not “hacking” to access files that are publicly available. It may have been unwise/improper to store the file on a public server, but that is a different matter. There is no evidence that anything illegal occurred in the release of the files.
The hacking allegation, of course, was a terrific distraction device.
Perhaps a journalist more interested in unbiased reporting and less interested in defending his personal relationships with the subjects in the e-mails and his personal pro-climate alarmist agenda would have investigated and caught this. But then Andrew Revkin was the wrong man for the job.