Jon Wiener's article and letter is insulting to historians and is bad journalism. Had he chosen to set forward his views on tobacco litigation as an opinion piece, things could have been set in the right direction. But when he starts with a biased premise, as he acknowledged in his letter, and then tries to support his case by dragging in historians, he is dead. He insults the historians he doesn't like as unprincipled money-grubbers. He insults the historians on his own preferred side of the fight by incorrectly implying that their historical accuracy is secondary to some moral goal in their work.
This all reminds me of people who think that the science of climate change is good science if it supports the starting theory that the earth is warming and man is to blame. Bad science to these people is when you choose no moral starting point and try to let the data and observations lead you to a conclusion.
Please give us better journalism.
Mar 10 2010 - 10:08pm