07 February 2006

Nasa PR

A large number of bloggers this week have been all over the situation at NASA public affairs, where at least one presidential appointee has been attempting to silence any scientist that wants to report on things - like global warming - that don't fit well with the president's unreality-based worldview. (See my post earlier this week for links to some of the commentary.)

Blogger Nick Anthis reported yesterday that 24-year old Bush appointee and would-be scientific censor George Deutsch, who has been at the center of the scandal, did not actually graduate from college as his resume claimed. Today, the New York Times confirmed Mr. Deutsch's lack of degree. The Times also reports that Deutsch responded to this revelation by falling on his sword and resigning. One down, and an unknown number of unqualified political hacks to go.

Of course, this whole thing with Deutsch is just an amusing sideshow when viewed in light of the overall pattern of distorting science. It does, however, raise an important question: how did he get hired in the first place? Aside from his White House connections, Deutsch's only remotely relevant qualification was his alledged journalism degree. He has no background in science. His non-college experience is working on the Bush re-election campaign. The journalism degree seems to be it. Apparently, being an administration bootlicker is such a great qualification that nobody bothered to verify anything else.

Patronage - Gotta love it.
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