Growing up in the 80s, all I heard was how liberal the media was and how we had to fight against it. Now, with the benefit of hindsight, it's clear that the phrase "liberal media" was a conservative talking point that they repeated ad infinitum until people stopped questioning it and just assumed it was true.
The same thing is happening now with claiming scientists are politically or monetarily motivated (the conservative machine hasn't settled on which script to stick with).
Look, I'm a scientist. I know scientists. I know scientists at NOAA, NCAR, NIST, the Labs, in academia, in industry, at biotechs, at agri-science companies, at space exploration companies, and at oil and gas companies. I know conservative scientists, liberal scientists, agnostic scientists, religious scientists, and hedonistic scientists.
You know what motivates scientists? Science. And to a lesser extent, their ego. If someone doesn't love science, there's no way they can cut it as a scientist. There are no political or monetary rewards available to scientists in the same way they're available to lawyers and lobbyists.
Science if hard work for little pay and possibly some recognition. Unfortunately, the conservative noise machine is slowly building a narrative that scientists are all politically and monetarily motivated. The public doesn't really know any better and will believe this to be true if they hear it enough.
This attempt to paint scientists as political actors is pure bullshit and demeans the hard work and great sacrifices working scientists make every day.