Moe Tkacik's got a bead on why the UVA Coup exploded --
-- and especially why it was handled so clumsily -- the usual suspects were used to using sledgehammers, in discrediting a climate-change scientist who was on the verge of being rehired at UVA. Ms. Tkacik:
After conducting some basic research to divine the nature of the political and financial forces at work on the UVA board, I emailed Mark Kington, who called back within minutes to inform me that the two things had “no connection at all” and that it would be a grave violation of “journalistic ethics” to imply such a thing, and also that he was “really really angry with” me and “resent[ed”that I would go “dragging my name into something that’s wrong.” And that he would “consider it libel” against his “interest in the environment” if I were to write anything suggesting otherwise. “You might want to stir the pot but it’s not true,” he said. “I know the whole situation and what you’re writing is not true. I tried to do what’s right and I’d hate to see that twisted in a way that was wrong.” I asked him what then had been the actual reason he and Dragas had colluded with donors (including apparently the hedge fund manager who donated the matching funds to endow the Kington chair) to oust Sullivan and he replied, "It's all out in the public! It was a reasonable difference of opinion! You've got to be led by the star of what is right for the institution!" And then he mentioned “libel” again and accused me of diminishing his deep “commitment to climate change.”
Now that's a quality temper-tantrum, innit? I think she struck a nerve.
Her investigation continues on Das Krapital, "a not-yet-fully-baked site I've been working on since it started to occur to me that I might have been blacklisted from "paid" journalism. ". She's also fundraising, so if you can lend a hand, please do....