MLB Breaks Bread with the NRDC

by Jason Epstein

The National Center for Public Policy Research called out Major League Baseball yesterday for teaming up with Robert Redford and the Natural Resources Defense Council, a group seemingly opposed to all things pro-business and pro-jobs.

“MLB’s partnership with the radical Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) undermines what should be a goal of bringing Americans together for a clean environment,” according to Jeff Stier, director of the National Center for Public Policy Research’s Risk Analysis Division.

“Conservation is as American as baseball, but MLB has gone into foul territory by partnering with the group that started one of the most memorable unfounded junk-science campaigns in a generation, the alar scare, which in 1989 caused Americans to think apple pie could cause cancer. To this day, the NRDC promotes unscientific scares that hurt job-creating industries and consumers alike,” says Stier.

The NRDC’s initiatives tend to be divisive, even partisan, campaigns. In a September 28 online issue briefing, it urges the defeat of Congressional proposals intended to reduce regulatory barriers to job creation, claiming, “the House Republican Leadership has declared war on public health and the environment.”

“You don’t have to be a Tea Party member,” says Jeff Stier, “to be offended by the NRDC’s bogus allegation that ‘the Tea Party agenda is hazardous to your health.’”

Major League Baseball, which partnered with the NRDC to show a public service announcement narrated by Robert Redford during the playoffs, leaves the public with the dubious impression that the NRDC is a group that baseball fans should support.

“If Major League Baseball wants to tout responsible environmental practices, it could have done so with an inclusive organization, or on its own,” says Stier, who is a veteran monitor of false, misleading and/or harmful health claims by radical activist groups. “The PSA, of course, excludes the strident language and rancid politics otherwise employed by NRDC. But the ad,” says Stier, “amounts to a free fundraising campaign for a group that a large percentage of baseball fans, regardless of their political affiliation, would abhor if they understood the group’s true radical agenda.”

Right Field

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