Arlie Schardt founded Environmental Media Services (EMS) in 1994; he is currently the organization’s president. EMS’s stated goal is “to improve public understanding of environmental and public health issues.” In truth, EMS uses dubious scientific data to demonize certain products or practices, and to extol those in which it has a vested interest.
EMS serves as the “scientific” branch of Fenton Communications; both companies share the same address and office space in Washington, D.C. For the past decade, David Fenton, the media-relations expert who heads Fenton Communications, has used EMS to propagate his attacks on everything from mainstream food producers to Republican political candidates. This strategy has found Fenton attacking biogenetic foods, America’s dairy industry, and President Bush, all in effort to bolster increased revenue and support for Fenton’s clients, which over the years have included such disparate entities as health food producers and Communist dictatorships. Schardt also serves as a senior consultant for Fenton Communications
Schardt was the national press secretary for Al Gore’s 1988 Presidential campaign. Twelve years later, he was Gore’s communications director during the latter’s 2000 Presidential bid. Prior to his work with EMS, Schardt was a journalist for Sports Illustrated magazine and an editor for Newsweek. He later went on to become an associate director of the American Civil Liberties Union, an editor of Foundation News, and vice president of communications at the Council on Foundations from 1988 to 1992. In 1990, Schardt developed a ten-year plan designed to help National Public Radio increase its audience size. He possesses no formal scientific background.
In addition to his work with EMS, Schardt has held the following environmentalism-related positions: executive director of the Environmental Defense Fund; board member of Friends of the Earth and the Center for Environmental Citizenship; and chairman of the Center for Citizen Initiatives (formerly called Center for US-USSR Initiatives), which supports “environmental, urban agriculture, and small business development programs in many areas of the former USSR.”
Schardt has also served as a project director of the Tides Center, which has provided EMS with considerable grant funding.