Factual · Powerful · Original · Iconoclastic
Paul Thacker writes in his Jan. 26 article centering on Fox columnist Steve Milloy:
"Earlier this month, BusinessWeek Online reported that, in 1999, Scripps Howard columnist Michael Fumento received $60,000 from Monsanto, one of the biotech companies he later covered in his columns, to help pay his salary at the Hudson Institute and to cover some of the overhead of his book BioEvolution. Fumento had not disclosed the Monsanto money to Scripps Howard." But the book grant was made in 1999 and covered me for a year, while I began my Scripps column in 2003. So the statement as presented is false and misleading. Until BusinessWeek Online invented the rule and applied it retroactively, it would never have occurred to anyone including Thacker that it would be a violation of journalistic ethics to not disclose a book grant in columns that appeared four, five, and six years later. If so, I'd like Thacker to announce exactly what the cut-off point is and who declared it as such. I care neither for ad hoc nor retroactive rules.
Regarding my being on the advisory board of The Advancement of Sound Science Coalition, I had already written books or op-eds favoring every position the Coalition took so it was natural they should invite me and I should accept. But I was just a name on a list, providing no advice and receiving no compensation. The day Mr. Milloy told me it received tobacco money and asked if I wanted to resign I said yes. I have never received tobacco money or support of any kind either directly or funneled through any organ.