Last week, Gregg Easterbrook wrote an appallingly stupid review of Al Gore’s An Inconvenient Truth. I mean appallingly stupid. Read it and see if you think I’m exaggerating.

I decided to ignore it.

For better or worse, others did not. Media Matters dismantled the review in one of the longer pieces I’ve seen it run. You would think there’d be nothing left but rubble, but The Editors find a few more tottering pieces to smash. As always, their work is quotable:

Most people aren’t authorities on climate science, or on much of anything, but that’s not some horrible moral failing. Most people don’t want to read all the way to chapter 9 of some assiduously dry science policy document; and, let’s face it, most people are full of weird ideas about shit they don’t know anything about. I know I am. The problem is that — for reasons I can’t begin to understand — Easterbrook is sitting in the chair that should be occupied by someone who knows what the hell they are talking about.

Why on earth would Slate allow a steaming pile like this to be published? Surely someone at least read it?

Maybe not. At a recent talk at New York University, Slate editor Jacob Weisberg said this:

Another aspect unique to Slate is that its editors don’t believe in fact-checking. "We think it makes authors lazy and careless," says Weisberg. "We like writers to be responsible for their facts. And we’ve also discovered that on the Internet, and particularly since the advent of blogging, mistakes get found out very quickly. So there’s a huge disincentive to making mistakes." (via BTC News via Atrios)

Marvel at it. Savor it.

So there’s "huge disincentive" for Easterbrook to make mistakes? Now that he’s made, and been called out on, about 500 in one article (to say nothing of his previous work) … when can we expect these disincentives to arrive? I’ll hold my breath.

(Hey, and let’s not leave behind a post on Easterbrook without his greatest hit:

Intelligent design is a sophisticated theory now being argued out in the nation’s top universities. And though this idea assumes existence must have some higher component, it is not religious doctrine under the 1986 Supreme Court definition. Intelligent-design thinking does not propound any specific faith or even say that the higher power is divine. It simply holds that there must be an unseen intellect imbedded in the cosmos.

Well played, Gregg.)