MADD & Slate vs. ABI

There’s an interesting dispute brewing between MADD (Mothers Against Drunk Driving) and the American Beverage Institute (ABI), and some minor media are jumping in.

The story starts with MADD getting a poor rating as a charity for its efficiency – that it spends a relatively low percentage of its money on programs. So then comes an ABI press release that MADD gets a D. Then we get an article in Slate on ABI and MADD, which criticizes ABI for bias.

You’d think we’d be done there, but then Paul Mulshine of the New Jersey Star Ledger jumped in. Mulshine criticizes Slate for assuming MADD is genuine and points out evidence that MADD manipulates DUI statistics.

Both the Slate and the Star Ledger articles have a number of comments. But in all, the discussion diverges from the key point: MADD did get a poor rating from an apparently neutral group that rates charities.