After long delays, GMU has come down with a self-contradictory whitewash on the plagiarism case against climate delusionist Edward Wegman. One committee conceded plagiarism on a paper that had already been retracted by the journal in question, and recommended a reprimand, while another cleared Wegman of all charges, against the judgement of every external expert who’s looked at the case, and in the face of copious evidence of direct cut-and-paste copying.
With this and the Cato takeover, I think those both on the left and parts of the right who have presented views extremely critical of the “Kochtopus” network can rest their case. Any institution that relies on Koch Brothers money, whether it presents itself as a university, a thinktank or a grassroots organization, has to be regarded as a propaganda outfit.
That’s true, even if, as in the case of Cato and GMU, some genuine and valuable research is produced. The use of genuine material as a cover for industry propaganda is now a well established technique – the most famous blogospheric example was that of Tech Central Station.
For people working at Koch-controlled organizations who value a capacity to undertake independent research and to maintain a credible claim to independence, this is a big problem. Not everyone is in a position to write a presignation letter like that of Julian Sanchez, but the alternative of staying on is not particularly attractive either.
fn1. Which I will claim as an excuse for posting this several weeks after the event