John Tirman comments on Neil Munro’s misconduct:
One quick note about the Soros bugaboo. I commissioned L2. It was commissioned in Oct 2005, with internal funds from the Center for International Studies at MIT, of which I am executive director. The funds for public education (not the survey itself) came from the Open Society Institute in the following spring, long after things had started. Burnham did not know this (Roberts was not much involved at this point.) MIT was providing funds, that’s all he knew or needed to know. There were other small donors involved too. I told this to Munro on the telephone and in an email. He nonetheless implied that Soros money had funded the survey from the start, possibly at Soros’ behest. That is a disgraceful lie, and Munro knows it.
This timing also underscores another Munro falsehood: the attempt to influence 2006 congressional elections. We began in Oct 05 with the intention of getting the survey done in winter and results out in spring. The violence was so severe that the survey could not be conducted until late spring, and then at great peril. About two months for data entry, analysis, writing, peer review, etc. We decided to delay the release if too close to the election, setting our own deadline of Oct 14. It was never intended to influence the congressional election, though there is certainly nothing wrong in a democracy with wanting the public informed.
Munro also knew this and fabricated a tale to make this sound like a political gambit from the start. These are just two aspects that I know first hand. Munro’s behavior–screaming at me on the telephone, demanding to know if any donors were Muslims, etc.—signalled his intentions from the start. This is a bad actor and is a disgrace to the newsletter where the diatribe appeared.
The NEJM article is far more important and interesting. This is where debate should be focused, not a blatant hatchet job by a guilty malcontent and one “source.”