This Might Be the Most Jaw-Dropping Tale of Fraud You Read This Year


Yesterday, a friend emailed to complain about this headline at NBC News: 

Climate change expert’s fraud was ‘crime of massive proportion,’ say feds

Technically, this headline is correct. It’s about a guy who’s a climate change expert. And he did perpetrate a fraud. The thing is, his fraud had nothing to do with the fact that he’s a climate change expert. So why make it sound that way in the headline? Is it just clickbait for the fever swamp denier crowd?

And yet! You really, really ought to click the link and read the story anyway. Just ignore the ridiculous headline and dig in. This really is one of the more remarkable fraud stories of the year. I guarantee your mouth will be hanging open by the time you finish it.

DOES IT FEEL LIKE POLITICS IS AT A BREAKING POINT?

Headshot of Editor in Chief of Mother Jones, Clara Jeffery

It sure feels that way to me, and here at Mother Jones, we’ve been thinking a lot about what journalism needs to do differently, and how we can have the biggest impact.

We kept coming back to one word: corruption. Democracy and the rule of law being undermined by those with wealth and power for their own gain. So we're launching an ambitious Mother Jones Corruption Project to do deep, time-intensive reporting on systemic corruption, and asking the MoJo community to help crowdfund it.

We aim to hire, build a team, and give them the time and space needed to understand how we got here and how we might get out. We want to dig into the forces and decisions that have allowed massive conflicts of interest, influence peddling, and win-at-all-costs politics to flourish.

It's unlike anything we've done, and we have seed funding to get started, but we're looking to raise $500,000 from readers by July when we'll be making key budgeting decisions—and the more resources we have by then, the deeper we can dig. If our plan sounds good to you, please help kickstart it with a tax-deductible donation today.

Thanks for reading—whether or not you can pitch in today, or ever, I'm glad you're with us.

Signed by Clara Jeffery

Clara Jeffery, Editor-in-Chief

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