Last week Senators Olympia Snowe and Jay Rockefeller sent a letter to ExxonMobil’s new CEO demanding that the company stop funding non-profit groups that question global warming alarmism, singling out both CEI and Tech Central Station (now TCS Daily) for particular criticism. This heavy-handed effort to stifle free inquiry marks a new low in the debate. TCS editor Nick Schulz responds:
It is particularly troubling that Sen. Rockefeller would target the freedom of speech of others. He has enjoyed exercising his free speech rights for many years as a longtime benefactor of the Washington Monthly, a magazine on the left. It seems free political speech is fine and can be supported by those with an interest in public policy outcomes, provided they espouse only views that Sen. Rockefeller agrees with.
There are dozens of organizations and publications on the political left that receive advertising, sponsorship and other dollars from firms, organizations, labor unions, foundations and individuals with public policy agendas in Washington. For government officials to single out TCS because of its advertising support by one firm should be deeply disturbing to anyone who cares about free speech, regardless of political orientation.
Just as ABC News’ Bill Blakemore doesn’t like the idea of balanced reporting on global warming, Senators Snowe and Rockefeller don’t like the idea of free and open public debate. One wonders why they would need to resort to threats and censorship if, as they say, the science is so overwhelmingly on their side.