Reporters have learned that Columbia University has been stonewalling efforts to learn more about the Sawdust Head phenomenon due to pressure from government agencies including the Department of Justice.
The investigation took an unexpected turn when it was learned that bureaucrats in Washington DC apparently knew facts about the cover-up that they did not want the public to discover. "The university and the government are working hand-in-hand to insure that this information never sees the light of day," said Morris Fletcher, former spokesperson for Columbia whose comments were immediately denounced by university officials.
It wasn't made public until Friday last when Eyewitness News reported sketchy details from an on camera interview with new university spokesperson Jordan Cummins in which she explicitly said there was no cover up.
The phenomenon under wraps has to do with a number of autopsies in recent years which found that portions of the brain were inexplicably turning to sawdust. Seven of these cases, and data on more than four hundred others, had been sent to Columbia University for analysis. "This is not something new," stated Columbia's Dr. Richard Finch at a news conference last month. "We have known about this phenomenon for years. We are seeking causes, whether they be viral or bacterial."
A similar investigation has been ongoing at both Stanford and the University of Minnesota in conjunction with Rochester's Mayo Clinic.
A confidential source at the university contacted this paper to implore further investigation, that Dr. Finch was deliberately misleading the public with red herrings, having learned nearly six months ago that the causal activity in the Sawdust Head Syndrome (SHS) is behavioral, and specifically television viewing.
This source stated that the motivation for the cover up is fear of tying up the courts. Undoubtedly there would be millions of liability claims against the television and electronic appliance industries. "Traditionally, individuals who feel they've been harmed by a substance or product sold to the public have sued the manufacturer under state tort law," affirmed an unnamed legal source. "The suits often allege that the manufacturer caused a specific harm."
Thomas L. Baker, of the General Board made reference to the Columbia University SHS cover up this past weekend on Meet the Press. "The university has a right and responsibility to not be bullied by the media on important matters that may involve national security." This was the first time that SHS had been publicly stated to be a national security issue.
CBS denied allegations that in September it yanked a Sixty Minutes piece on the SHS cover up which had been four months in the making. Some have suggested that the respected news giant is fearful of the damage such a scare would do to their already sagging ratings. "Never mind what the Alar scare did to apple growers and the silicon breast implant scare did to Corning. The networks right now are shaking in their boots about this thing," noted a CBS insider.
The thing that has them terrified is the link between television viewing and brain cells irreversibly turning to sawdust. At this point in time it is unknown whether the process takes months, years or decades. Experiments with lab rats and monkeys have proven inconclusive.
Despite the lack of firm evidence, several television executives expect warning labels to be affixed to television sets as early as 2007.