Thursday, February 16, 2012

Small Observations

A little strange: Brendan DeMelle at Desmogblog posted 9 alleged Heartland Institute documents on his original post, but Richard Littlemore, who posted just one minute later, only posted 8, leaving out the Word document "Minutes of January 17 meeting". And Brad Johnson at Thinkprogress left out the IRS document.

Jim Lakely at the Heartland Institute tells me they are "100 percent" sure the climate strategy memo is fake.


Jon Hendry said...
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Jon Hendry said...

Considering that the Heartland Institute is paid to lie, no matter the human cost, I'm not sure why someone saying they are 100% sure about something is worth anything.

If Jim Lakely said he was 100% sure that his name was Jim Lakely, I'd ask to see his driver's license.

John Mashey said...

1) Ignore the strategy memo. It has no real information beyond what's in the budget and funding documents. Bast could have written it in early January or it could easily have been written by anyone familiar with Heartland who had the Board package in hand.

2) The Board package was certainly real, and it had a great deal of useful information, some not at all obvious. It was perfectly consistent with Fake science, fakexperts, funny financials, free of tax which I'd finally capped the night before, expecting to spend a day writing a blog into post, with interruption for jury-call, and finally posting today.

2) Tuesday was complete frenzy, so obsessing over which files were dropped is nuts. HeartlandInsider sent it to some number of people, so people expected there would be blog posts up by the afternoon. DeSmog guys and I thought it was good idea to get mine out that day, so I wrote it sitting in jury ready-room.

3) I have zero idea who did the phish, because it could be anybody from a disgruntled employee who'd gotten laid off (people did notice those, right? including some Web folks?) to anybody anywhere who knew who to call.

Given what Heartland does, I'd have thought they would be more careful, but then social-engineering attacks have long been a staple. Human laziness rules.

4) Very little of the material was a surprise. See Fig. W.4.1 in the "Fake..." report, under the section PARENTS for Heartland's continued attempts to get material into the schools, via Al-Gore-scare advertisemetns, Sovererignty International ads, 14,000 copies of Jo Nova's Skeptics Handbook sent to school board presidents, articles, etc.
"Heartland has tried to make material available to
teachers, but has had only limited success. Principals and teachers are heavily biased toward the
alarmist perspective." was no surprise.

Murray Energy was a new detail, but no surprise. Heartland has run numerous articles to explain why mercury is just fine everywhere, in water, in fish ...except in CFLs, where it is a serious environmental hazard.

The biggest surprise was that Heartland is still on the tobacco dole: $50K from Altria and $110K for Reynolds America.

I've asked around: what could a marketing/PR company do for 15+ years for tobacco companies that would be OK under IRS 501(c)(3) rules? SO far, no one has an answer :-)

Anonymous said...

I would note that we're into the third day, and while Heartland has fired off numerous press releases and a fundraising letter, they still haven't got around to comparing leaked to original docs to tell us if the former have been altered or not.

bigcitylib said...

Its worth noting that, into day three of the scandal, Lakey and co. have issued several blog posts, news releases, and a fundraising letter but still haven't had time to sit down and determine whether the leaked docs have been altered from the originals.

Grypo said...

"Jim Lakely at the Heartland Institute tells me they are "100 percent" sure the climate strategy memo is fake."

I believe this to be true, in all likelihood, but we can almost put it to rest if someone from Heartland releases verifiable header from the email that was sent to "heartlandinsider". If it was sent after the time that the Epson scan was done, than Heartland didn't send it. If it was before, than there's more splainin' to do.

David Appell said...

You're right, Grypo. I've asked them for that information, but they haven't responded (to that).