Fumento gets himself fired

When I criticised Michael Fumento‘s innumerate writing about the Lancet study he responded with this:

You can blog all you want, but my next column is also on this. It goes out to over 350 newspapers

Not any more:

Scripps Howard News Service (SHNS) announced
Friday that it severed its relationship with Michael Fumento — a
senior fellow at the conservative Hudson Institute — for not
disclosing he had taken payments in 1999 from agribusiness giant
Monsanto. The payments were revealed by BusinessWeek Online, which also broke a similar story revealing columnist Doug Bandow receiving payments. Copley News Service subsequently dropped Bandow.

In a statement released Friday, SHNS Editor and
General Manager Peter Copeland said Fumento “did not tell SHNS editors,
and therefore we did not tell our readers, that in 1999 Hudson received
a $60,000 grant from Monsanto.” Copeland added: “Our policy is that he
should have disclosed that information. We apologize to our readers.”

SHNS sent out an advisory to subscribers last night
that read: “The Jan. 5 column by Michael Fumento about new
biotechnology products from Monsanto should have included more
information. We believe the column should have disclosed a $60,000
grant from Monsanto that Fumento received in 1999 for a book about
biotechnology. Fumento’s column will no longer be distributed by
Scripps Howard News Service, but is available from Michael Fumento at
fumento(at)pobox.com or www.fumento.com.”

In his Jan. 5 column, Fumento wrote that the St.
Louis-based Monsanto has about 30 products in the pipeline that will
aid farmers “but also help us all by keeping prices down and allowing
more crops to be grown on less land.” He said he was only writing about
Monsanto “because their annual report was plopped onto my lap while I
was hunting for a column idea.”

Maybe Tracy Spenser could sign up with SHNS instead?


  1. #1 Martin Wisse
    January 14, 2006

    So if you’re a completely science ignoramus, you can make 660 grand just by saying DDT is wonderful? Bloody hell, does it never depress you to see idiots like this get so much money?

  2. #2 Robert S.
    January 15, 2006

    Nice of Fumento to provide an endcap to National Unethical Writers Week.

    Read the Editor & Publisher article, which includes his cheerleading for Monsanto as well as remarks about Cindy Sheehan:

    “Arrest her? Goodness, no!” Fumento declared. “That’s her exit plan from the fence. Leave her there [chained to the fence] and maybe the crows will do the world a favor and eat her tongue out.”

    Charming fellow.

  3. #3 Dr. Free-Ride
    January 15, 2006

    Do we know whether Monsanto was paying him to be innumerate?

  4. #4 z
    January 15, 2006

    Fractal-like, we see the nutbar right is similar at all scales of study.

  5. #5 SayUncle
    January 15, 2006

    He tried that 350 newspapers makes him more important thing during his dust up with rich hailey. Then someone pointed out that the comic Marmaduke must be far more important.

  6. #6 Jim Norton
    January 15, 2006

    So wht is Steven Milloy still empolyed? He would seem to be the worst of the bunch.

  7. #7 mndean
    January 16, 2006

    There is more to the story than just this – I read a diary on Kos (called A Million Tiny Strands) that traced links from Monsanto and Exxon to the right wing think tanks to anti-environmental “news agencies” like CNS News (the recent attempt to swift-boat Congressman John Murtha originated here). A very incestuous little circle of folks. Somehow, I don’t think facts are of much use to them.

  8. #8 Paul Riddell
    January 16, 2006


  9. #9 Lurker
    January 17, 2006

    This could be Fumento’s biggest rake of all. 🙂

  10. #10 Nabakov
    January 18, 2006

    Couldn’t have happened to a nicer person.

    And still making my mind up about the new home here Tim. Sure you’ve got more of a critical mass backing up your code behind the scenes but it lacks the spacious retro-moderne feel of the old pad. Not to mention that ole bikini bottom logo.

  11. #11 Jack Strocchi
    January 20, 2006

    Fumento always acted like an a******e and now this proves that he was one.

  12. #12 Glenn
    January 21, 2006

    The real question now is, who ELSE is fumento taking kick-backs from?

    Ok, well more like who ISNT fumento taking under-the-table cash from at this point.

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