In Fact... | The Nation


In Fact...

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Chris Floyd writes: It's no mystery why the Bush Administration
engineered the ouster of Robert Watson as chairman of the
Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change in April. The White House had
received an unsigned "recommendation" from ExxonMobil that Watson, who
has been outspoken in the fight against global warming, had to go. But
many were puzzled by the White House arm-twisting on behalf of Watson's
replacement: Indian environmentalist R.K. Pachauri, who is a strong
backer of the Kyoto treaty and even voiced approval of a campaign to
boycott ExxonMobil. Why embrace such a candidate? Perhaps because
Pachauri is something of an oilman himself. In January 1999 he was
appointed to a three-year term on the board of Indian Oil Corporation
Ltd. Pachauri's Tata Energy Research Institute has also formed a
partnership with Monsanto to develop genetically modified mustard oil
and collaborated with the Global Technology Strategy Project, an
"environmental" group sponsored by BP Amoco, Toyota--and Mobil. Finally,
as a member of a panel investigating India's Dabhol Power Plant, he
voted against setting up a judicial inquiry into alleged illegalities
involving government officials and the developer--a little ol' Texas
company called Enron.


Schmidtgate began when mediawhoresonline.com published a link to a
Susan Schmidt article in the March 20 Washington Post on special
prosecutor Robert Ray's final Monicagate report. MWO regards Schmidt as
hopelessly biased against the Clintons and in favor of their
prosecutors. Seeing her Ray piece as a typical example of her bias, MWO
urged readers to contact Schmidt. MWO then published an e-mail from one
of the letter writers, claiming Schmidt had forwarded his letter, with a
snide comment, to his immediate supervisor and the president of the
college that employs him. Shortly thereafter another letter writer, an
attorney at a prominent New York City law firm, gave a similar account
of Schmidt's forwarding his letter to his supervisors. The Post's
ombudsman, Michael Getler, then wrote a piece titled "Uncivil Wars"
(April 21) focusing on the bad manners of some letter writers to the
Post rather than on the substance of the complaints. Getler's only
reference to the Schmidt matter came at the end, where he claimed that
"too much" of the e-mail sent to Schmidt "falls into the crude to
obscene bracket." So the Post has failed to take a position on the issue
of one of its reporters trying to get letter writers fired because she
didn't like the tone of their criticisms. The ombudsman declined to
respond to an extremely polite e-mail inquiring about his silence.

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