Phi Beta Cons

See-No-Bias Bloomberg

Recently I remarked on a report that greatly exaggerated the casualties in Iraq. Because it was issued weeks before the 2006 election, it was labeled a “political hit” by the Wall Street Journal.
According to the New York Sun, the report was written by professors at the Bloomberg School of Public Health at Johns Hopkins University, to which the mayor of New York has donated $200 million.
 

Mayor Bloomberg, it seems, could care less about getting to the truth about this shamefully partisan “scholarship” and, as a major donor funding what amounts to propaganda, washes his hands of any responsibility for it.

 

He says professors at the school “are just some of the great, honest academics, the most talented academics around. They will do their studies and you will have to talk to them.” In any case, he hedges, universities don’t ask their donors “to vet studies.” Claiming ignorance of what the professors wrote – despite readily available press accounts – he deems “it would be totally inappropriate for me to criticize.”

This kind of willful blindness in leaders and philanthropists is pernicious, particularly when a crucial foreign policy matter is at issue. The public deserves better.

Candace de Russy is a nationally recognized expert on education and cultural issues.

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