Well, the newest minion into the hall of fame is none other than Neil deGrasse Tyson! That's right, despite having no relationship with Big Ag, Monsanto, or a job associated with them in any way--Neil is being called an ignorant shill all over the place. Let's take a look at some of the examples:
At SFgate, in response to: Neil deGrasse Tyson tells GMO-haters to ‘chill out’, we have the erudite "eru" with this claim:
But wait, there's more! The notorious FoodBabe thinks this:
Is he hiding under a rock and playing dumb? Or just placating to the big food and chemical companies?Yes, Neil is playing dumb. Of course. It couldn't be that he's looked at the evidence and the claims. A number of scientists have offered to help her understand--well, a lot of things--but she's not really interested in their help. Kevin Folta has had this experience:
Fans of the FoodBabe have a lot of things to say about this.
That's just the current page--there are 907 comments, and remember--they delete the scientists.
Now, I don't really think Chuck Norris is going to "drop kick this bozo". But, it's not the first time in the last couple of weeks that there has been a call to violence on this topic. Some of you may know that Mike Adams had a bizarre call to list folks who he thinks are enemies of humanity, who should be...well...let's hear from him, via Mike Adams, Monsanto, Nazis, and a Very Disturbing Article:
This official ceremony sends a message to the world, and that official message from the nation of Germany to the rest of the world says that it is the moral right — and even the obligation — of human beings everywhere to actively plan and carry out the killing of those engaged in heinous crimes against humanity.This was followed up by a Monsanto Collaborators hit list. It has been taken down, but you can find reports of it all around the tubz. Here's one example: Are these science writers and publications facing death threats for covering GMOs? Although that piece comes from a site primarily for science journalists, the list also included scientists and folks you may know like Steve Novella and Orac. In some cases it was also bundled with anti-vax rhetoric. Orac's designation was "Key perpetrator of the poisoning of hundreds of millions of children with GMOS and vaccines".
Since that site is no longer available, Neil won't be making the list. But I'm sure there are a lot of folks who want to see him on it--as we can see from the discussion around the internet. And don't pretend it's only one site--everywhere this story appeared there were similar types of responses. Not all of them are frothing rabid people with spelling challenges. For some, the name calling and lying is enough.
As a new Monsanto Minion, though, he's in good company. You know who else has been called that? Elizabeth Warren. That's right--the Organic Consumers' Association awarded her the title. Activists subsequently pulled a stunt at the Congressional Offices to present these awards.
Part of me thinks it's amusing that Neil deGrasse Tyson and Elizabeth Warren get the same treatment I do around the web. But seriously--cut this shit out. This Monsanto mania is really becoming pathological. This unhinged lashing-out at people who have evaluated the science and come to the conclusion that GMOs are not the spawn of Satan is really nuts. Let's make a few things clear. You'd think this would be obvious to the reality-based community, but apparently it's not.
- Because someone disagrees with you doesn't mean they are paid by Monsanto.
- Because someone writes about GMOs does not mean they are a shill or a troll.
- We all know "industry talking points" is code for shill. Cut that shit out too.
- Stop pretending you don't know this crap is going on, and get a grip.
- You have to excommunicate these fringy nutbags from this cause. They are making you look insane if you align with the anti-GMO stuff. Some of them are writing the legislation. Troofers make terrible allies, as do AIDS-deniers and anti-vaxxers.
- Start looking at quality information. I cannot understand why people keep clinging to the fringiest outliers on this topic--if you did the same thing on climate change you'd be laughed right off this site.
It's really frustrating to see scientists, doctors, and science writers get this kind of treatment. And so far, as Ezra Klein notes, the left hasn't been over-run by this fringy bunch. Why Neil deGrasse Tyson's dismissal of anti-GMO concerns matters:
GMOs are actually an example of liberalism resisting the biases of its base. Though there's a lot of mistrust towards GMOs and fury towards Monsanto among liberals, the Democratic Party establishment is dismissive of this particular campaign.But I know some of you are trying.
It's could hurt the party's chances if this unleashes on Hillary, as I've already noted. Do you think attacks like this on Elizabeth Warren are helpful?
And if people weren't so clouded by the fog of misinformation on this subject, I'd think they'd be stunned to realize what it looks like to be a scientist on this side of this issue. If nothing else comes from this Tyson episode, a close-up realization of that would be worth it to me. Look in the mirror.