FAIR (Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting), one of the most interesting magazines out there, has a new article on the “Rachel Carson is evil/DDT will save the planet” insanity in the media.
I think they pretty much sum up why an idea that is unsupported by facts has such staying power:
“At one level, these articles send a comforting message to the developed world: Saving African children is easy. We don’t need to build large aid programs or fund major health initiatives, let alone develop Third-World infrastructure or think about larger issues of fairness. No, to save African lives from malaria, we just need to put our wallets away and work to stop the evil environmentalists”
BTW, this month’s FAIR issue also has stats for the frequency with which think-tanks are used as sources in the media. Given that astroturf groups like AFM are fronted by conservative think tanks, and used as means to spread the lies about Carson, thought that would be of interest.
(thanks to Deltoid for pointing me to the FAIR article.)