Oh, no! Yet another writer has been swept up in a “pay-for-play” scandal, and again, a right-of-center one. “A Columnist Paid by Monsanto,” declared the headline of a Business Week “news analysis.”
But I knew this was a hit piece packed with more falsehoods than the New York sewer system has rats – because The Bad Guy was me.
The witch hunt has been ongoing, but my eventual involvement began when Doug Bandow lost his column after acknowledging to Business Week that he’d written pieces for pay for notorious lobbyist Jack Abramoff. Bandow was long a critic of environmental activists, and when he went down a light bulb lit up over their heads.
They realized they might eliminate more of their critics by simply accusing them of being paid corporate shills, and then siccing the media on them to see what they could dig up. They assembled an “enemies list,” giving it to reporters at publications including the New York Times and Business Week. I have locked horns with green groups for the past 15 years and earned a spot on that list.
I was first called by a Times reporter in late December, who accused me of writing a pay-for-play column. I flatly and truthfully denied it. The reporter was flummoxed, having nothing more than an accusation to work with. She kept digging but found nothing.
Michael Fumento is a, journalist, and attorney specializing in science and health issues as well as author of BioEvolution: How Biotechnology is Changing Our World .
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