Readers may recall this oh so terrible squashing of free speech by the White House limiting NASA public employee Dr. James Hansen’s ability to talk to the media. It seems that the issue has been repeated today, but there’s a twist.
From the Wikipedia entry on James Hansen:
In 2007, Hansen has stated that in 2005 NASA administrators had attempted to influence his public statements about the causes of climate change. Hansen said that NASA public relations staff were ordered to review his public statements and interviews after a December 2005 lecture at the American Geophysical Union in San Francisco. NASA responded that its policies are similar to those of any other federal agency in requiring employees to coordinate all statements with the public affairs office without exception. Two years after Hansen and other agency employees described a pattern of distortion and suppression of climate science by political appointees, the agency’s inspector general found that the NASA Office of Public Affairs had mischaracterized the science of climate change intended for the public.
In June 2006, Hansen appeared on 60 Minutes stating that the George W. Bush White House had edited climate-related press releases reported by federal agencies to make global warming seem less threatening. He also stated that he was unable to speak freely without the backlash of other government officials, and that he had not experienced that level of restrictions on communicating with the public during his career.
Apparently it is only “censorship” if done by a Republican White House, as this story about the EPA today demonstrates oh so clearly:
From E&E Greenwire: http://www.eenews.net/Greenwire/2013/02/21/2
Agency openness a likely confirmation issue if McCarthy is nominated
“That effort has required EPA to set some rules when it comes to its scientists’ ability to interact with reporters. EPA funnels all media requests through its Office of Public Affairs — a practice McCarthy defended as necessary to ensure agency employees don’t speak outside their expertise.“
I’m sure the same people like CBS’s Scott Pelley, NYT’s Andrew Revkin, Democracy Now, and others who jumped on the censorship bandwagon of that “limit to ensure agency employees must funnel through the press office” will jump right on this new revelation with the EPA.
Brian Angliss, who told us back then how the affair played out might have some new insight on this EPA issue.
h/t to Chris Horner
- Top NASA Sci-Guy Arrested (foxnews.com)
- NASA’s James Hansen, a muse to Eco-Terrorists?! Morano on Fox News: ‘NASA’s resident ex-con James Hansen is inspiring these people to potential acts of eco-terrorism’ (climatedepot.com)
- Quote of the Week – NYT on James Hansen & Bill McKibben’s ‘boneheaded’ efforts (wattsupwiththat.com)