Wednesday, December 9, 2009

The Myth of Neutral Academic Peer Review Exploded by Gary North

A generation ago, Daniel Ellsberg stole thousands of documents from the Rand Corporation, photocopied them, and gave them to the New York Times, which began publishing them. Ellsberg was prosecuted by the government. So was the Times. The defendants won.

Only after the Times broke the story did the mainstream press pick up on it. The Times got its scoop, and the Nixon administration had no way to stop it. This led to Nixon's decision to stop the leaks with the Plumbers squad. That led to his defeat.

The Pentagon Papers did not directly undermine Nixon. He was re-elected in 1972 by a landslide. But the papers reinforced seeds of doubt about the war in Vietnam. Four years later, President Ford pulled the plug on the war.

What made this possible? Ellsberg's theft, the photocopy machine, and the decision by the Times to publish the papers.

Fast-forward a generation. Because of the World Wide Web, the stolen "Climategate" emails were on-line within hours. The mainstream media did their best not to promote the story, but it could not be stopped.

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