Columbian Watch does itself a great disservice with the blog’s modest tagline: “Keeping an eye on the Worst Little Newspaper West of the Mississippi.” CW’s scope is actually much larger… and it is surely one of the best researched, best written political blogs in the state. I’ve bookmarked it, and so should you.
For example, take today’s latest installment in CW’s multi-part expose on the exploits of Vancouver’s M.J. Murdock Charitable Trust, and the right-wing faux-think-tanks it funds. Amongst the Murdock Trust’s beneficiaries are a rogue’s gallery of Washington state propaganda mills, including the Evergreen Freedom Foundation, the Washington Policy Center, and yes… Seattle’s very own
Archbishop Wilberforce Discovery Institute.
The battle over so-called “Intelligent Design,” the far right’s latest attempt to shove their religion down our throats, is not being advanced by lone fundamentalist lunatics showing up at school boards. It is being financed and promoted by wealthy right-wing foundations, none more so than Washington’s own Discovery Institute, headquartered in Seattle.
“Intelligent Design” has become such a focus for the Discover Institute, that they have actually created a separate division devoted to the cause, the Orwellian-named Center for the Renewal of Science and Culture.
And the “Center for Science and Culture” found its target last year in Clark County by publishing an anti-evolution screed in The Spring Hill Review, which Clark County residents may recognize as the free “arts” tabloid they find lying around auto-body shops and elsewhere:
Curiously, guess who wrote that screed? None other than (un)Sound Politics co-conspirator Seth Cooper. (Who, to his credit, did root for the Eagles in the Super Bowl.) Ah, what a tangled web we weave.
The whole point of CW’s expose is summed up nicely in the closing paragraph of the first installment:
Philanthropy has a long history in this country, but someone is going to have to explain to me how it constitutes “charitable giving” to support the overtly political operations of EFF, and perhaps more importantly, how progressives are going to convince the media to stop giving EFF and their funders a free ride.
In fact, just the other day I nearly choked when I heard Paul Guppy introduced on KUOW as being from the “non-partisan, free-market think tank, the Washington Policy Center.” Um… doesn’t that description imply that it is partisan towards free-market policies?
These fake think tanks have been setting the terms of the debate in our state for far too long. We need to either convince the MSM to cover these jokers as the propagandists they really are… or we need to create our own “non-partisan progressive think tank.”
Anybody have a couple million dollars lying around?