Dead Fish Wrapper Publishes Column With Known Lies and Misstatements

Today, the Dead Fish Wrapper proves once again that it doesn't like to let the facts get in the way of an inflammatory columns with lies and misstatements if it promotes a liberal agenda. Today's example is a column from the Washington Post written by Laurie David (wife of comedian Larry David) entitled Science a la Joe Camel (to which the Fish Wrapper ads its own subtitle of "Deep-pocketed corporate interests are targeting the kids in our classrooms with junk science").
For those not aware of the story, here's a brief synopsis. The company that produced Al Gore's schlockumentary "An Inconvenient Truth" offered to give the National Science Teachers Association 50,000 copies of the DVD to distribute to its teachers. The NSTA, citing a 2001 policy prohibiting endorsements of any product or message by an outside organization, politely refused the offer. David, not willing to accept that fact that maybe her precious global warming hype DVD wasn't more important than consistency in enforcing a five year old policy, went on a rant, a.k.a today's column. She dives right in to the conspiracy theory:

Accepting the DVDs, they wrote, would place "unnecessary risk upon the [NSTA] capital campaign, especially certain targeted supporters." One of those supporters, it turns out, is the Exxon Mobil Corp.
That's the same ExxonMobil that for more than a decade has done everything possible to muddle public understanding of global warming and stifle any serious effort to solve it. It has run ads in leading newspapers (including this one) questioning the role of manmade emissions in global warming, and financed the work of a small band of scientific skeptics who have tried to challenge the consensus that heat-trapping pollution is drastically altering our atmosphere. The company spends millions to support groups such as the Competitive Enterprise Institute that aggressively pressure lawmakers to oppose emission limits.
It's bad enough when a company tries to sell junk science to a bunch of grown-ups. But, like a tobacco company using cartoons to peddle cigarettes, Exxon Mobil is going after our kids, too.

Well, I guess you'd have to think about this: who do you want influencing your kids? Exxon Mobil, or people like Laurie David and Al Gore that try to scare everyone with unscientific hype?

In the past year alone, according to its Web site, Exxon Mobil's foundation gave $42 million to key organizations that influence the way children learn about science, from kindergarten until they graduate from high school.
And Exxon Mobil isn't the only one getting in on the action. Through textbooks, classroom posters and teacher seminars, the oil industry, the coal industry and other corporate interests are exploiting shortfalls in education funding by using a small slice of their record profits to buy themselves a classroom soapbox.

Can you believe it?!? Contributing all that money to science education. The nerve of those people! But wait; look what other evil things these companies do:

The education organization also hosts an annual convention -- which is described on Exxon Mobil's Web site as featuring "more than 450 companies and organizations displaying the most current textbooks, lab equipment, computer hardware and software, and teaching enhancements." The company "regularly displays" its "many . . . education materials" at the exhibition. John Borowski, a science teacher at North Salem High School in Salem, Ore., was dismayed by NSTA's partnerships with industrial polluters when he attended the association's annual convention this year and witnessed hundreds of teachers and school administrators walk away with armloads of free corporate lesson plans.
Along with propaganda challenging global warming from Exxon Mobil, the curricular offerings included lessons on forestry provided by Weyerhaeuser and International Paper, Borowski says, and the benefits of genetic engineering courtesy of biotech giant Monsanto.

But I thought genetic engineering was a good thing for liberals?
On Tuesday, (11/28) the NSTA put out a press release, and Ms. David's real problems became clear. As she stated in her rant:

While NSTA and Exxon Mobil ponder the moral lesson they're teaching with all this, there are 50,000 DVDs sitting in a Los Angeles warehouse, waiting to be distributed.

However, according to the NSTA:

During conversations with Ms. David's representative we suggested making the DVD available via alternative means of distribution (e.g. by providing a mailing list of our members to producers, announcing its availability in our publications, etc.). It appears that these alternative distribution mechanisms were unsatisfactory.

In a Science magazine article on Thursday (11/30), David admits that yes, they did offer an alternative; she just didn't like it.

David says NSTA's imprimatur was essential and that buying a mailing list is a nonstarter. "You don't want to send out a cold letter, and it costs a lot of money," she says. "There are a thousand reasons why that wouldn't work."

So, what David is so upset about is that 1) the NSTA wouldn't write a cover letter endorsing the movie (even though they've had a policy in place for five years prohibiting endorsements of any product or message by an outside organization), and 2) the NSTA wouldn't pay to mail 50,000 DVDs (why should they, when it wasn't the NSTA's idea in the first place?).
The article continues with a little more even-handed approach than what you will find anywhere in the MSM.

In a sharply worded op-ed in the 26 November Washington Post, David accused NSTA of rejecting her offer of 50,000 DVDs so as not to offend ExxonMobil, which has given NSTA $6 million over the past decade to help it promote science education. Although the money has paid for such motherhood-and-apple-pie reform efforts as creating a network of science contacts at schools around the country, David told Science that she finds it "shocking" that NSTA would have ties to a company "that has spent millions misinforming the public about global warming."
Not surprisingly, NSTA sees things differently. "We don't do mass distributions for anybody; we don't send our members material that they haven't asked for," says NSTA's executive director, Gerald Wheeler. As for the association's corporate ties, Wheeler freely acknowledges that 16% of NSTA's $23 million a year budget comes from businesses, including 3.7% from the oil and gas industry. "We're working hard to get corporate America engaged in reforming STEM [science, technology, engineering, and mathematics] education," he says. "And in no case has anybody asked us to say anything [on their behalf], which we would never agree to do, anyway."
Wheeler says NSTA has no desire to suppress information about global warming. Just last month, for example, NSTA's newsletter for middle school teachers ran a five-page article on the topic and mentioned Gore's movie in the first paragraph. He says NSTA has also offered to post a link to the movie on its Web site and to announce the availability of the DVD in a weekly e-mail letter and a monthly publication. In addition, David could put the DVD directly in teachers' hands by buying NSTA's mailing list, at $130 per 1000 names.

So yet again, the NSTA offers alternatives that would - and have - give the movie more visibility to its members, and it wasn't good enough. And liberals say they're tolerant of opposing views...
Meanwhile, Al Gore, not wanting to let David get the better of him in the misinformation department, had this to say on The Tonight Show:

Well, one of the producers, Laurie David, said to the science teachers association, 'we've got all these DVDs.' And they declined, and the word that came back was that their corporate board of advisors had some members that objected to it. And you'll have to ask them about it, but ExxonMobil is on their board.

Here is a list of the NSTA board. Do you see any Exxon Mobil people on it?
So let's review the timeline:

  1. 11/26 - Washington Post publishes David's column.
  2. 11/28 - NSTA puts out press release providing the truth
  3. 11/30 - Science article is published, where Ms. David admits that she didn't tell the whole truth.

And yet, on 12/2, the Fish Wrapper publishes only the original column, without bothering to provide both sides of the story. Surprising? No, not at all.
Like I always say, don't let the facts get in the way, fellas.

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