I had considered using the strapline ‘factual inaccuracy’ for this piece, as I did with Guardian reporter Leo Hickman in the wake of the raid on Tallbloke Towers by Lincolnshire police last December. But that doesn’t cover it. The Guardian’s smear campaign against the Heartland Institute has plumbed new depths with a May 22nd story (I use the word advisedly) from Suzanne Goldenberg about the ICCC7 conference hosted by the Heartland Institute.
It centres around the wire fraud committed by Pacific Institute Director and former American Geophysical Union Ethics Committee member Peter Gleick, in obtaining internal documents from Heartland using identity theft, and adding a forged document designed to smear the organisation to them before dissemination.
The pressure point occurred last February when the scientist on the conference mugs, Peter Gleick, used deception to obtain confidential documents from Heartland, including a donors list and and plans to indoctrinate school children against belief in climate change.
Goldenberg knows this last part of the statement to be untrue, which makes this a lie, rather than a factual inaccuracy. The ‘policy document’ containing the ‘plans to indoctrinate school children’ is a forgery unrelated to the real documents Gleick fraudulently obtained. It is unknown for sure at this stage whether Gleick wrote it himself, though it looks likely, given the similarity of the style to his other writing. It was included as a pdf document with a different production date to the real documents (which contain nothing remarkable).
[Heartland President Jo] Bast told the conference Heartland had met with the US attorney’s office to discuss criminal charges against Gleick. He said Heartland was waiting for a formal decision before deciding whether to sue Gleick.
The exposure led some corporate donors to cut their funds to Heartland – until Bast committed a huge PR blunder, approving a provocative billboard ad likening scientists to psychopaths.
This constitutes a second lie. Heartland’s Electronic billboard campaign, (withdrawn swiftly following criticism from their supporters) does not single out ‘scientists’ for comparison with psychopaths but believers in co2 controlled climate in general . Attack pieces containing lies lower the reputation of the Guardian further. Needless to say, this is not one of the Guardian pieces open for comment.