When CNBC asked to interview scientist Tom Knutson, the request was denied because Knustson's research suggested that hurricanes would indeed be made more intense by global warming. Instead, press officers at NOAA were directed to make another scientist available. As Paul Thacker reports on Salon,
Commerce's deputy director of communications, Chuck Fuqua, was happy to have a more politically reliable NOAA hurricane researcher named Chris Landsea speak to the press. At the time, Landsea was stating publicly that global warming had little to no effect on hurricanes. "Please make sure Chris is on message and that it is a friendly discussion," Fuqua wrote regarding a request for Landsea to appear on "The NewsHour With Jim Lehrer." On the show, Landsea downplayed research that linked global warming with more-intense hurricanes like Katrina.While the Bush administration has repeatedly denied this kind of interference, it is in fact part of a much larger pattern that extends to the White House itself and has also involved high-ranking government scientists at NASA, US Fish and Wildlife, EPA and elsewhere.
In an e-mail the week prior, Fuqua OK'd Landsea for another interview and asked, "Please be careful and make sure Chris is on his toes. Since BLANK went off the menu, I'm a little nervous on this, but trust he'll hold the course."