George W Bush wins an award!

He should be so proud — he has taken first place in the 2007 Jefferson Muzzle Awards. These are awards given for “egregious or ridiculous affronts to free expression in the previous year”, and little Georgie won it for:

For its unprecedented efforts of discouraging, changing, and sometimes censoring the reports and studies of government scientists in order to make them more supportive of political policies, a 2007 Jefferson Muzzle goes to… the Bush Administration.

It’s a well deserved honor. The description goes on to list several specific instances of Bush administration manipulation of scientific assessment, particularly in areas of climate and environment where scientific conclusions conflict with Republican bidness ties.


  1. says

    Bush’s anti-scientific stance has been unrelenting. Add this to the list.

    It only took his “Human-animal hybrid” and “gross abuses of medical science” comments to entirely lose confidence in the Bush administration. Even more so than the Iraq fiasco and scandals too numerous to count.

    Just remember the scandalous misinformation the administration is passing around regarding alternative fuels and refusing to revise CAFE standards…

  2. Efogoto says

    A quick check of their archive shows that he won the top spot last year as well. He’s a repeat champion!

  3. Kseniya says

    This behavior is a hallmark of his administration. What amazes me more than the fact that the executive branch so cavalierly undermines, misuses and corrupts the science advisory process is that so few citizens seem to know or care.

  4. Kaleberg says

    Shouldn’t these be called the Lysenko awards? Lysenko was Stalin’s pet geneticist. He had his own version of intelligent design loosely based on Larmarckism, but built around the ideology of the Communist Party. Any geneticist who didn’t want a one way trip to Gitmo knew how to skew his or her results. Of course, this set Soviet science back by a generation or two, but that was a small matter.

  5. Baratos says

    I agree with Kaleberg. When I read what the award was called, I thought it had something to do with horses.

  6. CL says

    Shouldn’t these be called the Lysenko awards?

    Kaleberg–perhaps Bush’s own award should be called that, but there’s a lot more than Lysenkoism that the Jefferson Center gives Muzzles for.

    (I should note that I’m not exactly impartial here. I’m a student at UVA Law, and I’ve participated in the First Amendment Clinic that the Center sponsors. My personal favorite muzzle is the one going to the FCC, as I helped draft an official comment on the rule at issue and have a pretty good idea just how wrong they got it.)

    And while the administration may have gotten a Muzzle twice in a row, they’ve got a ways to go before they can match Rudy Giuliani–he’s the only person to have gotten a “Lifetime Achievement” award.

    Hmm. I’ve been reading Pharyngula for probably close to two years now, and I think this is the first time I’ve commented. Turns out it’s a painless process!

  7. Ex-drone says


    I guess I need to remind you. If you are going to blog about this story, then Administration policy is that you can identify the award but not provide any corroborating data on its purpose. Also, you can acknowledge that you have an opinion about the award, but you are prohibited from expressing it. Let’s get with the program, son.

  8. kmarissa says

    Disclaimer: thread derailment.


    As a recent UVA Law graduate, I wanted to say hi :) I had O’Neil’s (Director of the TJ Center, which gives out the Jefferson Muzzle Awards) First Amendment and the Arts seminar, and it was one of my favorite law school classes.