A few days ago I wrote about a couple of pretty dreadful articles at WUWT. They were a distortion of an article in The Conversation by Lawrence Torcello.
The WUWT articles misreprented Lawrence Torcello's article. They went further than that. As I wrote in that previous article, WUWT organised a hate mail campaign - led by Christopher Monckton and Anthony Watts.
It worked. Graham Readfearn at deSmogBlog reported that Dr Torcello received upwards of 700 hate emails and telephone calls. Some examples:
“DIE you maggot"
“Fortunately, your kind will be marched to the wall with all the other leftist detritus”
...Others accuse Torcello, an assistant professor at Rochester Institute of Technology’s Department of Philosophy in the west of New York State, of being a fascist, Stalinist and a Nazi.
...At one point, he says he picked up his phone to be told that soon he would be “paid a visit”.
One email told Torcello — in customary all-caps angriness — that he was a “FAGGOT” and that global warming was “A LIE STRAIGHT FROM THE JEWS”.
Oh I don't imagine it was just WUWT that caused the barrage of hate, however this is not atypical of what you can read on Anthony Watts' blog. WUWT certainly played its part. The overall tone there is one of antagonism towards anyone who argues that something needs to be done to mitigate climate change. Anthony likes to organise a lynch mob from time to time.
In his article, Lawrence Torcello wrote: "an organised campaign funding misinformation ought to be considered criminally negligent." An organised campaign of harassment and vilification against climate philosophers and climate scientists should also be against the law.
One more thing. In my article I surmised that Anthony wrote his piece without reading Lawrence Torcello's article. Otherwise he was admitting to being part of an organised campaign funding misinformation. In the deSmogBlog article, I noticed that Lawrence Torcello is quoted as saying:
Now it is clear that the bloggers misrepresenting my views knew exactly what they were doing with the scandalous headlines and crafted misquotations. Even when they linked to my article, they felt secure in the judgement that their audience wouldn’t read it.
The sort of people that Anthony Watts aims to attract to his blog are mindless louts who'll use any excuse to fire off hate mail. You can see this tendency daily in the comments at WUWT - sometimes overtly, sometimes more muted but always there in the background. See the comments archived here and here for examples.