Seriously, what is the difference between blogging and journalism?  My answer is at the end.  Your comments are welcome, as always.

The climate misreporting of the day goes to ABC News’ Senior White House Correspondent Jake Tapper and the AP’s Dina Cappiello.  Tapper’s blog today runs the sensational but untrue headline:

Obama Administration Memo Warns of Harm to Economy if Greenhouse Gases Regulated through Clean Air Act

Tapper then asserts, very incorrectly

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The White House has not yet decided to go forward with the [endangerment] finding. There is a 60-day comment period following the finding. As part of this process, the Obama administration requested comment from various departments and agencies on the endangerment finding, which is where the memo came from.

In fact, the White House decided to go forward with the endangerment finding weeks ago.  The 60-day comment period is for public comments, and the memo ain’t part of that process.  But otherwise, the paragraph is spot on!

[If you want to know why I moderate this blog, read Tapper’s comments.]

The AP story ran a similarly inaccurate headline:

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White House memo challenges EPA finding on warming

Rather than wasting your time with any further discussion of their misreporting, let’s just see what OMB director Peter Orszag has to say.  The OMB is the source of this “White House memo” and apparently journalists don’t interview sources anymore.  Orszag explains on his blog:

Media reports today are suggesting that OMB has found fault with EPA’s proposed finding that emissions of greenhouse gases from motor vehicles contribute to air pollution that endangers public health and welfare.  Any reports suggesting that OMB was opposed to the finding are unfounded.

The quotations circulating in the press are from a document in which OMB simply collated and collected disparate comments from various agencies during the inter-agency review process of the proposed finding.   These collected comments were not necessarily internally consistent, since they came from multiple sources, and they do not necessarily represent the views of either OMB or the Administration.  In other words, we simply receive comments from various agencies and pass them along to EPA for consideration, regardless of the substantive merit of those comments.  In general, passing along these types of comments to an agency proposing a finding often helps to improve the quality of the notice.

Perhaps more importantly, OMB concluded review of the preliminary finding several weeks ago, which then allowed EPA to move forward with the proposed finding.   As I wrote on this blog on April 17, the “proposed finding is carefully rooted in both law and science.”  I also noted: “By itself, the EPA’s proposed finding imposes no regulation.  (Indeed, by itself, it requires nothing at all.)  If and when the endangerment finding is made final, the EPA will turn to the question whether and how to regulate greenhouse gas emissions from new automobiles.”

The bottom line is that OMB would have not concluded review, which allows the finding to move forward, if we had concerns about whether EPA’s finding was consistent with either the law or the underlying science.  The press reports to the contrary are simply false.

I was going to say that the difference between journalism and blogging is checking your sources.  But that’s not quite right.  Bloggers check sources all the time.

No, I think the difference is that bloggers don’t pretend to be journalists….