That's what Phil Plait, of the Bad Astronomy Blog calls it, and it seems a pretty accurate description to me.
Raise your hand if you saw this one coming. A Bush appointee attempting to squash science that might contradict the Presidential agenda? The only thing surprising about this is that anyone finds it surprising.
Back in 2003, Scientists and Engineers for Change went on a stumping mission to try to raise people's awareness of Bush & Co.'s rampant misrepresentation and often ourtright censorship of science. Representative Henry Waxman (D.California) maintains a Laundry List of investigations into allegedly bad science and/or misinformation and/or censorship perpetrated by the Bush administration to further their political agenda, some of which go back as far as 2004. The ACLU has its own Science Under Siege report which “examines the Bush Administration's assault on Scientific and Academic Freedom” going all the way back to September 11, 2001.
So, now they're targetting NASA, and being embarassingly obvious about it. I hate to say it, but what did they have to do to get people to notice that this has been going on? Walk into people's offices with a baseball bat? Were we all just kind of hoping they'd stick to biology and leave the rest of science alone?
I'm glad to see people standing up and taking notice. I'm a bit miffed that everyone is behaving as though this is a brand new, shocking development when it's been going on for YEARS in one form or another. But hey, at least people are starting to notice. Finally.
with more details of the latest scandal.
Another NYT article , you have to log in to see this one.
Bad Astronomy Blog which is worth reading.