Republic Report Slams Media Obsession With Shiny Penny In Heartland DenialGate Coverage

Fri, 2012-02-24 17:48Brendan DeMelle
Brendan DeMelle's picture

Republic Report Slams Media Obsession With Shiny Penny In Heartland DenialGate Coverage

Lee Fang at the Republic Report has a great post noting the media's obsession with the shiny penny of the who/how story surrounding the leaked documents chronicling the Heartland Institute's planned attacks on science and democracy.  

While groups like Greenpeace, The Climate Reality Project and Forecast the Facts are focused on exposing the real scandals uncovered in Denialgate, most mainstream media outlets are mesmerized with the Peter Gleick saga rather than reporting on the revelations within the documents.

The debate about what Gleick did to acquire the internal documents from Heartland will surely rage on. It will make good fodder for university students in ethics and journalism classes for years to come.

But as Republic Report points out, it is hardly the most vital aspect of the story for mainstream media outlets to prioritize coverage on right now. That is, if the mainstream media are truly reporting what's in the public interest, rather than chasing advertising revenue through scandal-mongering.

Fang writes: 

While bending this story away from a focus on Heartland’s M.O. and onto Gleick’s methods might seem like an impossible task, it seems as [if] the media is taking the hook firmly in its mouth.  

The real question the media should be considering is not how Gleick got his hands on a few documents, but how to cover Heartland — both how it has covered it in the past and how it will in the future.

Head over to Republic Report to read the rest, it's spot on in my opinion. And bookmark RepublicReport.org, a must-read new site launched in recent months to expose the corporate cash corrupting democracy. It's a rockstar team of investigators surely worth following closely. 


  

Comments

Dr. Judth Curry has an interesting post at her blog wherein she states;

“With virtually no effort on my part (beyond reading an email, cutting and pasting into the blog post), I have uncovered “juicier stuff” about Heartland than anything Gleick uncovered.”

See below the email from Joe Bast. Fwiw, he doesn’t seem all that scary after all.

From: “Joseph Bast”
To: curryja@eas.gatech.edu
Sent: Friday, February 24, 2012 1:58:19 PM
Subject: Why was Heartland targeted?

“Dear Dr. Curry,

I read with interest your post, “Why Heartland?” Thankfully, I can’t read Peter Gleick’s mind, but I suspect he targeted us because we have done so very much  to document and rebut the assumptions and exaggerations of the global warming alarmists.  Please let me describe some of the ways we’ve done that, and you decide.

We send publications to every national, state, and 8,400 county and local officials in the U.S. on average about once a week. 79% of state legislators say they read at least one of our publications. “Environment & Climate News,” one of six monthly publications we produce, is read by 57% of state legislators, a higher percentage than read the New York Times. It has been published continuously for 15 years, and every issue features the work of leading climate realists. No other organization produces a regular publication that reaches more people with this message.

Many policymakers and other opinion leaders in the U.S. and around the world recognize the names of (to use those in your list) Pat Michael, Chris Horner, Anthony Watts, Steve McIntyre, Richard Lindzen, and Roy Spencer only because they read their work or about their work in Environment & Climate News.

ECN is just the tip of the iceberg. You know about our International Conferences on Climate Change (ICCCs) – six held since 2008, total attendance of more than 3,000 people. The press and online coverage of these conferences was greater than anything else done by climate realists, and the videos of the presentations posted online have been viewed hundreds of thousands of times. The personal connections created among scientists from all around the world created a genuine social movement in favor of a more realistic understanding of climate change.

You’ve commented favorably on Climate Change Reconsidered. Is there any book from the realist perspective that compares to it in terms of comprehensive coverage of the issues in the debate or citations to peer-reviewed literature? Someone sent me the following numbers about the 2009 edition: 37 contributing authors, 880 pages, 344 chapters and sections,and  4,235 source citations. The 2011 interim report was only about 400 pages long … I haven’t counted chapters and sources, but it too is much more comprehensive than anything else written from our perspective. Don’t get me wrong, I love the books from Pat Michaels and others and we promote them when we can. But Climate Change Reconsidered is the big reference book that the realist movement needed and didn’t have until we came along and helped create it.

In addition, we’ve distributed more than a million DVDs, nearly 2 million short booklets and reprints, and 200,000 copies of a New York Times best-seller. Most were sent to educators, opinion leaders, and policymakers over the course of the past five years. We deliberately bypassed the mainstream media, for reasons made obvious by their coverage of the Fakegate scandal. Our strategy worked. All surveys show informed opinion has moved decidedly in the direction of climate realism and away from alarmism.

Our science director Jay Lehr and senior fellow James Taylor criss-cross the country giving talks and participating in debates on climate change. Lehr often speaks two and three times a week to audiences reaching up to 1,000 and more, almost invariably getting standing ovations. He usually speaks to groups meeting in areas outside major metropolitan areas and university thought bubbles. He says “out there,” nobody “believes” in global warming anymore.

Not all that we’ve done should have escaped your attention. We ran full-page and smaller ads in the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, USA Today, and elsewhere … often featuring pictures of the scientists you mentioned and I list above, many of them challenging Al Gore to debate is critics.

As you can tell, I’m very proud of what The Heartland Institute has been able to do on a budget that is a mere fraction of what other organizations spend … and I should add that climate change is just one of five major topic areas we address. We are proud to provide a forum for the thousands of scientists and policy experts who actually understand climate change – how complex it is, how much we don’t know, and the difference between scientific knowledge and scientific forecasting — and don’t just “believe” it in. Together, we are making genuine contributions to the international scientific debate, changing public opinion, and improving public policy.

Thank you for your own fine efforts in this difficult debate, I hope to see you at our next ICCC, and best regards,

Joe.”

The conned and those those that benefit from denialist cons are living in a fantasy world. Desperate red herrings are being employed and the damage control continues. Only the conned will believe that sort of crap Hank.

 

Ask the 71-year-old retired Colonel that Joe Bast tried to cyber-bully.  

http://www.berthoudrecorder.com/2012/02/19/heartland-institute-threatens-71-year-old-veteran/

“I ask that you apologize for your intemperate and very offensive letter. Since your letter is threatening, I’ve forwarded it to our legal counsel, forensics team, and the FBI. It is important that you not delete the email from your sent file, or any other emails you may have exchanged with other people while preparing it, since this could be evidence in criminal and civil cases.” –Joseph Bast

And the retired Colonel’s reply?

Dear Mr. Bast,

“Your threatening letter only serves to reinforce my opinion that the documents are in fact all true. Your ludicrous claim that my letter is threatening is a bullying tactic to which I will not succumb. No apology is offered. I do keep my emails for six months before deleting them…. Just to make sure my emails are readily available to you, I am posting them on my web site. You will find them at this link.” –Colonel, USAF Retired

TRANSLATION: What the young lady said…

http://blog.chron.com/sciguy/2012/02/gleickgate-climate-change-activism-takes-a-big-step-backward/#comment-122190

“The Liar” by William Blake

Deceiver, dissembler
Your trousers are alight
From what pole or gallows
Shall they dangle in the night?

When I asked of your career
Why did you have to kick my rear
With that stinking lie of thine
Proclaiming that you owned a mine?

When you asked to borrow my stallion
To visit a nearby-moored galleon
How could I ever know that you
Intended only to turn him into glue?

What red devil of mendacity
Grips your soul with such tenacity?
Will one you cruelly shower with lies
Put a pistol ball between your eyes?

What infernal serpent
Has lent you his forked tongue?
From what pit of foul deceit
Are all these whoppers sprung?

Deceiver, dissembler
Your trousers are alight
From what pole or gallows
Do they dangle in the night?

 

From the Silicon Valley Mercury News…..

Peter Gleick requests leave of absence from Oakland’s Pacific Institute

http://www.mercurynews.com/business/ci_20040326

For those that don’t know, Peter Gleick was co-founder and president of the Pacific Institute.

sad.

“most mainstream media outlets are mesmerized with the Peter Gleick saga rather than reporting on the revelations within the documents”

And here’s why, in the words of Joseph Blast (thanks Hank_):

“We send publications to every national, state, and 8,400 county and local officials in the U.S. on average about once a week. 79% of state legislators say they read at least one of our publications.”

“Environment & Climate News is just the tip of the iceberg. You know about our International Conferences on Climate Change (ICCCs) – six held since 2008, total attendance of more than 3,000 people. The press and online coverage of these conferences was greater than anything else done by climate realists.”

“In addition, we’ve distributed more than a million DVDs, nearly 2 million short booklets and reprints, and 200,000 copies of a New York Times best-seller. Most were sent to educators, opinion leaders, and policymakers over the course of the past five years.”

“Our science director Jay Lehr and senior fellow James Taylor criss-cross the country giving talks and participating in debates on climate change. Lehr often speaks two and three times a week to audiences reaching up to 1,000 and more”

The Heartland Institute has honed the skills it needs to manipulate public opinion to such a high level that they were always going to control the agenda over this leak. Mere scientists cannot hope to compete against such professionalism.  They need a similar organisation of well funded PR specialists, using the same tactics as the HI, to get their message across.  I wonder if DeSmogBlog knows someone with the skills to organize that? ;)

And sign it every month?  And send it to every politician, and visit every politician as Heartland does?

Seriously…. have any of you looked at the crap put in Heartland’s documents?  I mean… its crap.  (I’m wide eyed when I find a fact.)

But hey… aren’t 100% of the articles anti Glieck this week?    Must be true.


Just an FYI, but Hank’s purpose here is to spread meme’s nothing more.   I doubt he’d pass a Turing test.

That would never achieve the penetration that the propaganda from professional lobbyists does.  Money, and the revolving door, gives them priviliged access to influential politicians.

Deniers are manning sandbags in a desperate attempt for the public not to know this as “deniergate.”

Scorecard:

Yahoo “deniergate” = 13,500 hits

Yahoo “fakegate” = 93,000 hits

Google “deniergate” = 48,900

Google “fakegate”  = 196,000

Interesting…..I got:

Yahoo “deniergate” = 961 hits

“denialgate” = 12,600 hits

“heartlandgate” = 9,720 hits

“fakegate” = 56, 700

Google:

“deniergate” = 56,000 hits

“denialgate” = 120,000 hits

“heartlandgate” = 78,000 hits

“fakegate” = 123, 000 hits

Bing:

“deniergate” = 4,900 hits

“denialgate” = 11,800 hits

“heartlandgate” = 10,200 hits

“fakegate” = 81, 800 hits

Seems denialgate is a more receptive term. Thanks for the tip Windy. Good to see some of the MSM adopting the term also, whereas “fakegate” just appears on right wing blogs and conspiracy sites. Cmon you guys over at WUWT, get behind “denialgate”. It feels good, I promise.

Google trends also shows a nice spike in interest about Heartland at the moment too :)

http://www.google.com/trends/?q=heartland+institute&ctab=0&geo=all&date=all&sort=0

 

Brendan

since the media is controlled by the Robber Barrons/Special Interests in this country- what can you expect by the Medias distorted reporting? The US Media is no longer ethical in reporting the truth. It reports propaganda by the Plutocrats who control it.

I agree whether the documents were obtained by trickery or not is a minor matter. Unwise but not terribly important. Whether the strategy document was a fake or not is much more serious. And we don’t know.

a link to the following article by Hilary Ostrov :  http://hro001.wordpress.com/2012/02/23/from-the-ashes-of-gleickgate-a-new-mantra-is-born/

Curry comments, “Hilary’s article is titled ‘From the ashes of gleickgate: a new mantra is born.’  This is a thoughtful post on the lessons we might learn from this.”

I still believe that the language and legal threats of Joseph Bast’s propaganda blitzgrieg cannot but make current and potential donors to HI nervous now that their names are public. And HI’s Board of Directors? Do board members actually approve of Bast’s tactics? I find it hard to believe that a “professional” organization would operate in this way.

This has the appearance to me of one person, Joseph Bast, having undue influence in the organization - possibly “founder syndrome”, defined in Wikipedia as: “Founder’s syndrome, sometimes called Founderitis,[1][2] is a label normally used to refer to a pattern of behavior on the part of the founder(s) of an organization that, over time, becomes maladaptive to the successful accomplishment of the organizational mission. The term is anecdotal/unofficial and does not actually refer to a medical syndrome. It is particularly common where there has only been one person leading the organization or the board of directors since its inception[3] and commonly occurs in both non-profit and for-profit.”

Having no knowledge of the integral workings of Heartland, I nonetheless believe Bast’s public pronouncements have to make donors and the Board uncomfortable, and I wonder if we might not see some internal conflict and fallout within HI because of it.

Heartland’s donors are some of the MSM’s major sponsors.  I’m sure they’re making their coverage preferences heard.

From Bast’s letter: “…Many policymakers and other opinion leaders in the U.S. and around the world recognize the names of (to use those in your list) Pat Michael, Chris Horner, Anthony Watts, Steve McIntyre, Richard Lindzen, and Roy Spencer only because they read their work or about their work in Environment & Climate News…”

Which by itself is reason enough to condemn the Heartland Institute as a dishonest propaganda mill. All of those people are in the denier database here: 

http://www.desmogblog.com/global-warming-denier-database

[x]

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