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Free public screening of “Merchants of Doubt” ICC PAC March 9, 2016

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Merchants of Doubt is a major documentary revealing the secretive campaigns launched by major corporations, often with funding from the Koch brothers and other wealthy coal, oil and gas magnates, to spread misinformation and confusion about critical public policy issues.

The list is long from climate change to cigarette smoking, the safety of vaccinations, health care, toxic chemicals and pharmaceuticals.

Using “spin doctors,” lobbyists and scientists-for-hire, the goal is to advance the corporate agenda by confusing the public, sowing doubt and heaping ridicule on scientists and organizations that stand in the way.

This critically acclaimed documentary goes inside this world of disinformation. It offers a satirically comedic yet illuminating view of spin.  

In a commentary on the film, environmental historian Jeffrey Kosiorek wrote it was during a period of growing public understanding of the legitimate scientific evidence of global climate change that the fossil fuel industry pushed back, “mobilizing a disinformation offensive of epic proportions. Backed by Charles and David Koch and other wealthy coal, oil and gas magnates, the campaign employed the same tactics and, in many cases, the same lobbying firms and ‘experts’ the tobacco companies hired to deny the harmful effects of their product for half a century.”

Merchants of Doubt was an official selection at the Telluride Film Festival, the Toronto Film Festival and New York Film Festival. Director Robert Kenner also directed “Food, Inc.”

The documentary is based on the book “Merchants of Doubt” by historians Naomi Oreskes and Erik Conway.

Free public screening co-sponsored by ICC Student Association for the Environment, Community Word newspaper, and Central Illinois Healthy Community Alliance.