Catching up with inaccuracy

In an editorial on Thursday, the Metrowest Daily News unloaded on President Trump for his embarrassing stance on climate change, which the newspaper said prompted scientists to leak a draft government report detailing the negative impact of rising temperatures and sea levels out of fear the administration would suppress it.

“The changes are already real and the future risks potentially catastrophic. The whole world knows it, and the vast majority of the world is trying to address it. That Trump is not, and that government scientists feel the need to leak their findings in fear of what the president might do against the nation’s best interests, is damning,” the editorial said.

While the Trump administration’s skepticism about climate change is real, the suggestion that the president was trying to suppress the report is false. Indeed, the draft report was posted online in January. It just didn’t get much attention until Tuesday, when the New York Times ran a story that detailed how it had obtained a copy of the report, “which has not yet been made public.” The story also quoted unidentified scientists saying they feared the report would be suppressed or changed by the Trump administration.

A correction was added to the end of the story on Wednesday saying its description concerning the availability of the report was inaccurate. “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,” the correction said.

A Boston Globe story on Thursday about the report’s findings concerning New England included details about the Times correction and omitted suggestions that the report might be suppressed.

Erik Wemple of the Washington Post highlighted the Times correction and some of the changes the New York Times made to its original story. He also suggested the correction should have been more prominently displayed. “Given the magnitude of the screw-up, it should sit atop the story, surrounded by red flashing lights and perhaps an audio track to instruct readers: Warning: This story once peddled a faulty and damaging premise.”

White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders issued a statement saying, “It’s very disappointing yet entirely predictable to learn The New York Times would write off a draft report without first verifying its contents with the White House or any of the federal agencies directly involved with climate and environmental policy. As others have pointed out – and The New York Times should have noticed – drafts of this report have been published and made widely available online months ago during the public comment period. The White House will withhold comment on any draft report before its scheduled release date.”

BRUCE MOHL


BEACON HILL

Jamie Hoag says states must step up on public corruption, and urges more authority for the State Ethics Commission. (CommonWealth)

MUNICIPAL MATTERS

Ashkenazy Acquisition Corp. unveils a new design for Boston’s Faneuil Hall Marketplace. (Boston Herald)

WASHINGTON/NATIONAL/INTERNATIONAL

FBI agents under the direction of special counsel Robert Mueller III conducted a pre-dawn raid last month at the house of President Trump’s former campaign chairman, Paul Manafort. (Washington Post)

US Sen. Edward Markey says President Trump’s “reckless threats” against North Korea could accidentally trigger a nuclear war. (Boston Herald)

Former New Hampshire senator Gordon Humphrey is urging the creation of a special commission to determine Trump’s mental health. (Boston Globe)

ELECTIONS

US Rep. Niki Tsongas decides to call it quits after this term, setting off what could be a major scramble for a rare open seat. (Boston Globe) Who will run for her seat? (Lowell Sun)

Fight among Democrats in California is a warning for the national party. (New York Times)

BUSINESS/ECONOMY

Montilio’s Bakery and O’Brien’s Bakery announce a merger. (Patriot Ledger)

HEALTH/HEALTH CARE

The New Hampshire attorney general’s office files suit against Purdue Pharma over false claims about the effectiveness of Oxycontin and its potential for addiction. (Eagle-Tribune) In the recent print issue of CommonWealth, US Rep. Katherine Clark went after Purdue for its “greed and recklessness.”

Lowell-area opioid addiction efforts are lauded. (Lowell Sun)

State officials launch an advertising campaign urging people not to drive while stoned. (Boston Globe)

Attorney General Maura Healey’s office decides not to prosecute officials at North Adams Regional Hospital for failing to provide adequate public notice of their plan to shut down in 2014. (Berkshire Eagle)

North Shore Medical Center cuts the size of its expansion in Salem. (Salem News)

TRANSPORTATION

Service at the RIDE, the T’s paratransit service, is improving but still not where it should be. (Boston Globe)

ENERGY/ENVIRONMENT

A leaked power contract between Hydro-Quebec and the province of Ontario may provide some hints about the utility’s pricing of electricity for Massachusetts. (CommonWealth)

CRIMINAL JUSTICE/COURTS

Seven teenage boys all under the age of 18 are facing charges of assault and kidnapping in connection with attacks on a pier at Squantum Point Park next to Marina Bay. (Patriot Ledger)

County jails across New England are profiting from President Trump’s crackdown on immigrants. (WGBH/New England Center for Investigative Reporting)

Police are investigating why someone snapped the necks of three baby goats in North Brookfield and West Brookfield. (Telegram & Gazette)

MEDIA

Fox News host Eric Bolling files a $50 million defamation lawsuit against the Huffington Post contributing reporter who wrote that Bolling sent lewd pictures of male genitalia to coworkers. (Associated Press)