By Dan Kennedy • The press, politics, technology, culture and other passions

The silencer is silenced

The 24-year-old Bush campaign operative who tried to silence one of the world’s leading climate scientists has resigned after it was learned he’d lied about having received a journalism degree from Texas A&M University. The New York Times has the story (picking up on a blogger), which, as of this writing, is the lead item on Romenesko.

Never mind the specific details of the case about George Deutsch, which are bad enough. Think about what it means that Karl Rove and company would send an arrogant twit like Deutsch — even if he wasn’t a liar — to NASA in order to make sure that publicly paid-for science conformed to the White House’s political needs. I’m afraid that we’ve almost become accustomed to such things, but we shouldn’t.

James Hansen, the scientist whom Deutsch had targeted for telling inconvenient truths, finally popped up for his long-delayed interview on WBUR’s “On Point” last week. You can listen to it here.

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  1. Anonymous

    What I like the best is that this little rat has been refusing all interview requests made via email or phone. Like cockroaches, goons like this scatter and hide as soon as the first ray of sunlight hits them.

  2. John Galt

    Where, in the sludge and filth they breed in alarming numbers.

  3. Anonymous

    It’s just not that he didn’t graduate with a journalism degree. He didn’t graduate, period.

  4. Neil

    The Globe published a letter last Friday claiming that NASA’s policy that their scientists only present the evidence, and keep out of the job of figuring out what to do about it, is the correct one.But Ashbrook’s (aka “Mr Interrupt Guy”) interviews with Andrew Revkin the NYT reporter, and Hansen explore the issue in depth, and it’s hard to avoid the conclusion that the administration is trying to muzzle scientists who want to publicize alarming info about global warming.Apparently it was Ashbrook’s request for an interview with Dr. Hansen in December that was turned down, that started this hoohah. Revkin says that Leslie McCarthy, a NASA flack, said Deutsch said that NPR was “the most liberal media outlet in the country” (as if this were a reason to deny Ashbrook’s interview request?), and that his (Deutsch’s) job was to “make the President look good.” What a travesty that a pipsqueak like Deutsch should be in a position to be able to silence a scientist like Hansen.

  5. Anonymous

    More than a travesty – it’s probably a crime. If there isn’t a federal statute against muzzling government scientists for political purposes, there needs to be.

  6. Anonymous

    Perhaps Deutsch can become Brownie’s new press liarison.

  7. Mike Stucka

    I’m working on “The Republican War on Science.” A flawed book, but not fatally so. It mentions this joker and far, far more. I think a critical read of this book would provide the American public with aHey! “American Idol” is on! GTG.

  8. John Farrell

    It would be interesting to delve further and find out whether this guy was recommended to the Bush Admin by the dudes at the Discovery Institute.Would not surprise me one bit.

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