Cheat-Seeking Missles

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Confirmed: Eco-Terrorist Was SEJ Member

Lacey Phillabaum, who recently pled guilty to an eco-terrorism bombing, was in fact a member of the the Society of Environmental Journalists -- a tidbit that to my knowledge was first reported here at C-SM.

SEJ posted this statement on its site today:
Phillabaum was a member of SEJ from Nov. 20, 2003 through Jan. 18, 2006 when her membership was cancelled at her request. She was accepted for membership based on her employment status as editor for In Good Tilth magazine, an Oregon organic-farming publication, and later for her work at various alternative news publications. SEJ board members and other leaders were unaware of Phillabaum's involvement in any of the criminal activities detailed in her plea agreement. Likewise, SEJ board members and other leaders had no knowledge of the criminal investigation associated with this case that may have taken place while she was a SEJ member. SEJ does not license journalists and is not a credentialing agency. SEJ does not investigate the background and personal activities of prospective or renewing members. The mission of the Society of Environmental Journalists is to improve the quality, accuracy and visibility of environmental news reporting.
Note that in the satement, SEJ does not condemn Phillabaum's action. The organization did, however, apparently scrub Phillabaum from its website; the photo of her on my earlier post was from an SEJ newsletter article; it no longer links to anything.

Of course, SEJ and its directors can't keep track of every eco-fruitcake working undercover as an environmental journalist -- they're too busy hunting down the next corporate threat to life on planet earth.

It might behoove SEJ, which sees its role as two-fold -- to create more opportunities for environmental journalists, and to put on education programs to improve environmental reporting -- to do a bit of training about it being a bad idea to fire-bomb a university research facility.

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