Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Tea, Tobacco, and Science - Brendan P. Foht - National Review Online

Link: http://www.nationalreview.com/articles/342622/tea-tobacco-and-science-brendan-p-foht

The paper is, at best, mediocre muckraking, and despite being published in a peer-reviewed journal, it does not rise even to the level of shoddy science. Its authors, three members of the Center for Tobacco Control Research and Education at the University of California, San Francisco, arrived at the supposedly scientific conclusion that "the Tea Party has been influenced by decades of astroturfing by tobacco and other corporate interests." Unsurprisingly, commentators on the left were delighted to find an academic study — peer-reviewed, no less! — to give a gloss of science to their partisan opinions about those with whom they disagree. Also unsurprisingly, tea-party spokesmen voiced more skepticism about the paper's findings. Tim Phillips, president of Americans for Prosperity, one of the groups profiled in the paper, told Fox News, "If you're going to have a conspiracy theory, at least try to make it pass the laugh test."

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