Tuesday, February 21, 2012

The Two Sides of Desmogblog's Mouth

These words are from Richard Littlemore at Desmogblog, but I've added the colors. Can someone please explain to me how the sentiment in blue is not in direct opposition to the sentiments in red??
"Whistleblowers - and that's the role Gleick has played in this instance - deserve respect for having the courage to make important truths known to the public at large. Without condoning or promoting an act of dishonesty, it's fair to say that Gleick took a significant personal risk - and by standing and taking responsibility for his actions, he has shown himself willing to pay the price. For his courage, his honor, and for performing a selfless act of public service, he deserves our gratitude and applause."
Is a PR agency saying anything if its sentences add up to exactly zero?


Unknown said...

Seems to be exactly the same reasoning behind "support the troops, hate the war" (or, more specifically, the version of that which claims that soldiers kill people, but no matter the specific means that being a soldier implies, they still deserve respect for their service). Swap whistleblower for soldier and whatever leak practice you'd like for killing, and it becomes perfectly consistent.

Note that I'm saying this without expressing support for or condemning them - you merely asked for an explanation as to why the blue and red may not be directly opposed to each other. It seems to me that DeSmog is lauding whistleblowers (including Gleick) in general while claiming to withhold judgement on the specifics behind the method he used to obtain the files, and that the analogy to lauding soldiers for their service to their nation without passing judgement on the form that service takes seems pretty sound to me.

bob said...


Gleik received a memo stating:

"More details can be found in our 2012 Proposed Budget document and 2012 Fundraising Strategy memo"

And thought the only way to verify the other explosive info in the memo was to obtain those documents. But how?

Well there's only one way...and he did it.

He found out the reports not only existed but they matched what was said in the memo.

So he published the lot.

Now in that situation a far more canny approach would have been to publish just the memo....and ask Watts and Wojick if they could maybe verify certain parts...

Just a theory. The theory that Gleik faked the memo is also possible. Both have pros and cons. Id like to see the email Gleik sent to heartland, wonder if it has any memo-specific info in it.

b. j. edwards said...

It's identical to how many people feel about Daniel Ellsberg and The Pentagon Papers.

MrPete said...

Bob, your theory is provably false.

"but they matched what was said in the memo."

The memo, supposedly prepared by HI insider(s) for the HI board, has crucial information completely incorrect... the kind of information that would demonstrate such carelessness that the author would likely be fired. (Just one example: the amount and purpose of a major donor's contribution.)

Sorry, the memo cannot be authentic. And Gleick cannot validly claim to have authenticated it. And Gleick cannot claim any high road for having broken the law by impersonating an HI board member.

He's in bigger trouble than many people can understand.

Mark B. said...

MrPete gets it. The fact that Gleick fraudulantly obtained the legitimate documents is a petty matter. His real crime - the one that really matters - is that after having obtained them, he had to 'sex them up' into a 'dodgy dossier' as our British friends would say. The whole reason he was recognized and called out in this manner was that his writing style - and references to him - were in the faked document. His crime was in creating a fake that lied about the workings of the Heartland Institute. Keep your eye on the ball folks - ignore the way he got the legitimate documents, and focus on the fake and its lying reference to Koch, for instance.