Jim covered Congress and The White House during the George W. Bush administration for The Washington Times, and worked as a reporter, editorial writer and columnist for newspapers in Pennsylvania, Virginia, and California. He has appeared on the Fox News Channel, CNN, MSNBC, C-Span, and many local and national talk radio shows to talk politics and policy.
Latest posts by Jim Lakely (see all)
It is getting tiresome countering every lie groups like the Soros-funded Media Matters puts out about The Heartland Institute — which is why we have a “reply to our critics” link at our website. It saves a lot of time.
But there are instances when it is necessary to correct a specific lie — in this case, a lie Media Matters told yesterday in a story about how Fox News’ new iPad app and “Planet Earth” sections of its website are sponsored by ExxonMobil.
The Heartland Institute is a libertarian think tank that hosts regular conferences disputing mainstream climate science and received $676,500 from ExxonMobil between 1998 and 2006, including $90,000 specifically for “General Operating Support — Climate Change.”
Media Matters, and other critics of Heartland, have been beating the dead horse named “they get money from ExxonMobil” for years. Indeed, it’s the same tired “argument” the left uses against any group that questions anthropogenic global warming. But consider this: You can’t read the science journal Nature without being bombarded by ads by from oil companies. Is Nature bought and paid for by “Big Oil”? Is Media Matters tracking gifts from wind and solar companies to environmental advocacy groups? Why not? (That’s a rhetorical question. We all know the answer.)
As we’ve pointed out time and again, Exxon’s funding — or that of any single corporation, for that matter — was never more than 5 percent of The Heartland Institute’s annual budget. And here’s a key fact outfits such as Media Matters conveniently omit: Exxon’s support of Heartland stopped in 2006 — before Heartland stepped up its involvement in the climate change debate and two years before our first of now-six international conferences.
Doesn’t journalistic ethics require that these facts be acknowledged whenever the charge of undue corporate influence is made? Of course, journalistic ethics and Media Matters aren’t exactly frequent dance partners.