Washington Post fact-checker Glenn Kessler uses a “Pinocchio” scale to assign a level of egregiousness to lies he uncovers, with four Pinocchios as the maximum … until now. Secretary of State John Kerry earned himself the full complement two weeks ago from Kessler for bragging about his management of the first global-warming hearing in the Senate, a hearing that he not only didn’t arrange but didn’t even attend. Kessler dug deeper on the tall tales emanating from the event, and found that one of the real organizers has been lying about what took place in the hearing in order to aggrandize himself and make it seem a lot more dramatic than it was.
Kessler covered the claim from former Senator Tim Wirth in the first column:
Then came Hansen’s testimony on June 23, 1988, before the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee. That hearing was chaired and organized by then-Sen. Timothy Wirth (D-Colo.), who later told an interviewer that, for a bit of stage effect, he chose a particularly hot day in the summer—it turned out to be a record high–and left the windows of the hearing room open the night before. Thus witnesses were sweltering and wiping their brows as they testified about global warming.
But as it turns out, this was entirely fantasy, except for the coincidental hot weather that day:
But Hansen says it did not happen that way. “Yes, the ‘window open’ bit is fiction,” he wrote an e-mail. “As for June 23 being chosen because it is the hottest day in climatology, I assume that is nonsense — I have not checked Washington’s climatology but the hottest day normally is some weeks after the beginning of summer, not two days. I love Tim and his wife Wren, but he just made these up later to make it seem interesting.”