The Junkman Judgeth

One of PR Watch's "usual suspects," Steven J. Milloy, managed to get himself invited to be a judge for the 2004 American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Journalism Awards: Online Category. Milloy, who calls himself "The Junkman," is an adjunct scholar at the Cato Institute, a commentator for, and the creator of He earns his living attacking scientific research and public health activism that goes against industry interests. While Milloy claims the judgeship on his website, the AAAS does not list Milloy as a judge in last year’s competition. "According to AAAS spokesperson Ginger Pinholster, Milloy was invited to be a judge but quickly notified the other panelists that he had conflicts of interest due to his affiliation with the Cato Institute, [a] libertarian think tank," journalist Paul Thacker writes. "'It was just kind of a snafu, and he had a nice lunch on us,' she said in a phone message. 'We've already dealt with it. This is a sponsored, nonprofit program, and I just want it to go away.' 'This is somewhat like discovering that Karl Rove [President Bush's chief political adviser] was a judge in a contest for political journalism,' says Seth Borenstein, a national correspondent who covers the environment, science, and health for the Washington, D.C., bureau of Knight Ridder."