Honest and Dishonest Lies

I watched a great film, a documentary: Merchants of Doubt. IMDB says it is  “A documentary that looks at pundits-for-hire who present themselves as scientific authorities as they speak about topics like toxic chemicals, pharmaceuticals and climate change.”

Sounds bo…oor rrr…ing ? Introduced by Jamy Ian Swiss a magician whose sleight of hand card tricks enliven and underscore the film, it was riveting from start to finish. Jamy declares himself an honest liar, because people know they are being fooled, then the evidence from historian of science Naomi Ereskes and others, shows how a few unspeakably dishonest but clever men, calculate the best ways to fool as many people as possible. This is not conspiracy theory about bad guys. This is the bad guys talking about what they have done, what they still do.

Why? For corporate interest, for money? Maybe. I was appalled by all of them, their calculated disregard for harm done, and their use of every psychological understanding to sway opinion and politics. I cannot come to terms with seeing a guy called Marc Morano just loving, loving, his capacity to deceive [that’s him at the start of the trailer].

There needs to be a class of criminality for these people, the Merchants of Doubt. Watch this if it comes to a cinema near you – the trailer isn’t great – it doesn’t show Jamy’s tricks!




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