Who is John Collins Rudolf? And why is he questioning the shape of the earth?

Apparently, he’s a free-lancer for the New York Times, a generally straight-up environmental reporter – and today, he is Ken Cuccinelli’s publicist.

Cuccinelli is Virginia’s wingnut attorney general, who has decided to make a name for himself by filing baseless lawsuits against climate scientists, running to the courthouse before the ink was even dry on the Affordable Care Act, and strongly suggesting — before walking it back — that President Obama was born outside the United States.

Today, for some reason, the New York Times has seen fit to profile Cuccinelli because of his lawsuits against climate scientists, and not until paragraph 24 do we find out that repeated investigations about the fake “Climategate” scandal have found absolutely no evidence of wrongdoing.  Instead, we get puff piece paragraphs like this:

Although cast by his foes as an angry ideologue, Mr. Cuccinelli, 42, was amiable and upbeat in discussing the litigation. He ruefully acknowledged the backlash against his investigation of Dr. Mann. “I can tell you that out of all the things we’ve done in this first year in office, none has attracted more vitriolic assault,” he said.

He described the inquiry as a legitimate function of his office. “I would expect any attorney general sitting in this chair to do the same thing,” he said.

Is what he says true?  Well, Rudolf won’t tell us: he will, however, tell us that “critics say” that what Cuccinelli claims is untrue.  And of course we get a whole lot of potted paragraphs speculating about the political impact of what he is doing.

He said, she said.  Cuccinelli says that climate scientists are misusing money; “climate experts” say that they are not.  Cuccinelli says that data from Russia concerning earth temperatures has been doctored; the head of the World Meterological Organization says that this is wrong.  Who is to know?

Meanwhile, the planet melts….

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About Jonathan

Jonathan Zasloff teaches Torts, Land Use, Environmental Law, Comparative Urban Planning Law, Legal History, and Public Policy Clinic – Land Use, the Environment and Loc…

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