Another weekend, another march on Washington: the nation’s capital played host to yet another jumbo demonstration with an agenda. Make way for the March for Science on Saturday, organized by the Earth Day Network and 170 other organizations that range from the National Science Teachers Association to the Union of Concerned Scientists.
“There is no ‘official’ uniform or item of clothing for the March for Science. We encourage you to be creative! Dress as your favorite scientist. If you are a scientist, come in your work clothes — a lab coat, goggles, a stethoscope, field gear — scientists work in all settings and we shouldn’t limit the march to any specific kind. Or just wear your comfortable ‘I’m ready to be politically active and send a message about the need for science in policy’ outfit,” the organizers advise. Find the march here
The Climate Science Legal Defense Fund, however, offered advice to scientists and academics who plan to make their voices heard. Among their salient points: “Separate your work and private life. Participate and make statements on your own behalf, and not on behalf of your employer. Be clear that you are involved in the March (or other protests) as a private citizen. When marching, do not wear a university sweatshirt, work-issued lab coat, etc.”
Grievances are many. They want more funding and friendlier policy for scientists, and less questioning of their findings. They want gender and racial equality and plan to hold politicians accountable “if they silence, ignore, attack, or distort scientific evidence.”
The scientific community itself is described as “peaceful, passionate, and diverse.” It’s a pretty big group. This weekend, there are also 517 satellite marches around the planet, and all of them appear to follow the same noisy template as the recent Women’s March, where spectacle and clever branding garners much news coverage.
‘LOONEY TUNES,’ CHEESY JOKES
Meanwhile, Sam Kazman, general counsel for the Competitive Enterprise Institute, recalls that David Gelernter, a Yale University computer science professor, was dubious about the upcoming march.
“It’s like this is some sort of ‘Looney Tunes’ thing. I must be trapped in an alternate reality. They couldn’t possibly be serious,” Mr. Gelernter told The Scientist, an academic journal.
“The organizers obviously are serious. Too serious, in our view. Using street protests to handle scientific controversies like climate change is only a few steps above using animal sacrifice,” says Mr. Kazman, who is collecting and publishing “cheesy Science March jokes” at his organization’s website, found at CEI.org.
ADVICE TO BILL O’REILLY: TAKE YOUR SHOW ONLINE
Speculation is percolating: What’s next for Bill O’Reilly, the former kingpin host at Fox News who departed the No. 1 cable network amid charges of sexual harassment in the workplace? Observers don’t expect the veteran newsman to retreat. And they do have some advice.
“O’Reilly certainly seems armed for a battle. He has retained ‘master of disaster’ crisis consultant Mark Fabiani to navigate his new reality. What they do next depends on how many other shoes drop. One thing seems very clear, though: No one is mistaking the end of O’Reilly’s Fox News era with retirement,” writes Michael O’Connell, who covers television for the Hollywood Reporter, an industry publication.
Some suggest that Mr. O’Reilly should go the route of independent media maven Glenn Beck, who was a Fox News host for two years before establishing his own online network and production company six years ago. Former CNN President Jonathan Klein, who founded TAPP, a subscription video platform, supports this strategy. So does Jon Cody, CEO of TV4, another online-based media enterprise. Eric Dezenhall, a crisis management consultant, does not expect a mea culpa from Mr. O’Reilly, noting that “outspoken, unapologetic clients often weather crises better than the quiet ones.”
So we shall see.
“Bill has got a mission. He loves the spotlight, and he’ll want to leverage the moment. His ardent fans are going to feel the abyss when he is gone, and that is a moment when Bill could strike,” suggests Mr. Klein.
GOOD TO KNOW
Well, just in case. A new Rasmussen Reports survey reports that 63 percent of likely U.S. voters think that Vice President Mike Pence “is qualified to assume the responsibilities of the presidency.” Less than a third — 32 percent — think Mr. Pence is not up to the role.
TAPPING INTO TAPPER
“President Obama was not friendly to the press, but the press was very friendly to President Obama,” Tapper says. “I mean, President Obama did not like me, and I understand why. I was a pain in his ass and I didn’t drink the Kool-Aid, and, you know, a lot of other people did.”
— CNN anchor Jake Tapper, in an interview with GQ published Thursday
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POLL DU JOUR
•88 percent of Americans say doctors should be allowed to prescribe small amounts of marijuana to patients with serious illness; 87 percent of Republicans, 87 percent of independents and 92 percent of Democrats agree.
•71 percent oppose the federal government barring sale and use of marijuana in states where it is legal; 63 percent of Republicans, 72 percent of independents and 76 percent of Democrats agree.
•65 percent believe marijuana is “less dangerous” than other drugs; 55 percent of Republicans, 66 percent of independents and 70 percent of Democrats agree.
•61 percent say marijuana should be legal; 46 percent of Republicans, 64 percent of independents and 68 percent of Democrats agree.
•50 percent have tried marijuana; 45 percent of Republicans, 55 percent of independents and 49 percent of Democrats agree.
Source: A CBS News poll of 1,011 U.S. adults conducted April 11-15.
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