Heartland Institute responds to false Fairfax claims

From Quadrant On Line

“Ms. Jessica Wright, a ‘political correspondent’ for Australia’s The Sunday Age and the Sun-Herald, mentions The Heartland Institute several times in a piece titled “Abbott’s man under fire over extreme right lobbying“ in the January 27 edition of the Sydney Morning Herald.

“The article mostly attacks Australian Senator Cory Bernardi for being a member of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), which Ms. Wright mischaracterizes as a ‘right-wing, pro-tobacco group.’ ALEC is in fact a bipartisan and highly respected organization of state elected officials in the U.S. Ms. Wright’s criticism simply parrots attacks on the group by left-liberal groups in the U.S. and has no validity.

“Ms. Wright refers to The Heartland Institute as ‘a sister pro-tobacco lobbying organisation and corporate member of ALEC.’ We are not ‘pro-tobacco,’ though Heartland spokespersons frequently question whether sound science and economics justify sky-high taxes and punitive smoking bans. For accurate information about The Heartland Institute’s work on tobacco control policy, please visit our Web site page about ’Smoker’s Rights.’

“The Heartland Institute also is not a lobbying organization, but rather an independent nonprofit research organization or ‘think tank.’ We address a wide range of issues and, like ALEC, focus on being a resource for state elected officials in the U.S. We are a nonprofit member of ALEC and our staff serves on several ALEC task forces.

“Ms. Wright reports that we paid for Senator Bernardi’s ‘accommodation and travel to the US on four separate occasions in 2010 and 2011.’ Our records show Sen. Bernardi attended two of our International Conferences on Climate Change, one in the U.S. and one in Sydney, and spoke at both of them. The Heartland Institute routinely reimburses travel expenses for elected officials and speakers at its conferences.

“Ms. Wright claims The Heartland Institute ‘recently ran a two-day conference in the US entitled “Can Tobacco Make You Healthier?” ‘ This is bizarre, inaccurate, and plainly intended to defame The Heartland Institute. The event she apparently is referring to was a 75-minute workshop titled ‘Can Tobacco Cure Smoking?’ which Heartland helped organize at ALEC’s annual meeting in Salt Lake City last year.

“The speaker, Prof. Brad Rodu, is one of the country’s (indeed, the world’s) leading authorities on the use of smokeless tobacco products to encourage smokers to smoke less or stop altogether. Given that message, it would be more accurate to say that Heartland sponsored a seminar on ‘how to stop smoking.’

“There are many important issues that would benefit from lively and informed debate. It’s regrettable that Ms. Wright chose instead to devote an article to muddying the water with false and misleading claims.”

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62 Responses to Heartland Institute responds to false Fairfax claims

  1. Andrew

    Fairfax is now justifying one of it’s most recent titles, FauxFacts.

  2. Mk50 of Brisbane

    The fairfax press lied?

    That’s not a bug, it’s a feature.

  3. Jarrah

    The speaker, Prof. Brad Rodu, is one of the country’s (indeed, the world’s) leading authorities on the use of smokeless tobacco products to encourage smokers to smoke less or stop altogether.

    Which, bizarrely, the Victorian government banned in 2009. Because a safer way of ingesting a drug should be discouraged! Morons. Besides which, recent studies have shown that Professor Rodu and the Heartland Institute are correct, e-cigarettes are quite successful in helping people quit smoking altogether.

    ALEC is in fact a bipartisan and highly respected organization of state elected officials in the U.S.

    Well, no, ALEC is quite clearly a lobby group. It might be bipartisan in the sense that it tries to influence legislators (or use those that are members), regardless of party, to make laws that favour its backers. It’s pro-business, not pro-market.

  4. Gab

    …Ms. Wright chose instead to devote an article to muddying the water with false and misleading claims.”

    That’s her trademark.

  5. stackja

    ALP branch official at 1 Darling Island Road Pyrmont writes a story about the Liberal Party.

  6. cohenite

    It’s pro-business, not pro-market.

    Bullshit jarrah. From the Heartland mission statement:

    Its mission is to discover, develop, and promote free-market solutions to social and economic problems.

    Heartland is the leading thinktank opposing the fucking lie of AGW so naturally, since AGW is fundamentally anti-market, anti-democracy and anti-scientific the liars who genuflect before the AGW ideology are prepared to lie further about Heartland.

  7. Samuel J

    Could be rephrased:

    Julia Gillard’s handpicked Attorney-General, Nicola Roxon, has apparently breached strict rules by failing to declare her ties to a left-wing, pro-heroin group fighting free speech.

  8. C.L.

    extreme right

    LOL.

    Nicola Roxon is more extreme right-wing than Bernardi.

    bernardi doesn’t want to jail dissidents.

    But Roxon really – literally – does.

  9. PeterTB

    I think it was the same article which was published last Sunday in the Sun-Herald under the headline “Smoking Gun”.

    Appalling

  10. PeterTB

    Also curious was her use of the term “ultra conservative”, which to a normal person could only mean “extraordinarily normal”.

    Like that’s a bad thing

  11. cohenite

    I just wonder at the timing of this; if Gillard has charges brought against her for amomgst other things sleeping with Wilson then Roxon, who took over the S&G file, should have a few queries to answer.

    An atmosphere of oppression, vindictive prosecution of dissent and general censoriousness will make further charges unlikely. That is what her Human Rights and Anti-Discrimination Bill will engender.

  12. .

    regardless of party, to make laws that favour its backers. It’s pro-business, not pro-market.

    Being pro business largely entails being pro market (at present), because the laws are so favoured against firms, as the law favours for consumers at the expense of producers.

  13. .

    Nicola Roxon is more extreme right-wing than Bernardi.

    bernardi doesn’t want to jail dissidents.

    But Roxon really – literally – does.

    She is an awful person. The Libs need a 24% swing against her to win her seat.

    Unfortunately, unless she gets caught up in the Wilson Affair, she’s stuck with us like a stubborn plantar wart.

    “There is a canker on the body politic” etc…

  14. entropy

    Cohenite, Jarah was talking about ALEC, not heartland.

    anyway: “ALEC is in fact a bipartisan and highly respected organization of state elected officials in the U.S.”
    means it can’t be a lobby group, as lobby groups by definition can’t be “state elected officials”. .

    Surely they are the people lobbyists are trying to influence. That said lobbyists wouldn’t need to lobby this mob as they are already in the bag.

  15. WhaleHunt Fun

    “amomgst other things sleeping with Wilson then Roxon, ”

    For a moment I had a horrible image.
    Just horrible.
    Please use more commas and semi-colons.
    Urgh, still cannot get rid of the image

  16. Honesty

    Fairfax should be embracing The Heartland Insitute, as they would advocate the removal of the ABC from Fairfaxs left/green target audience. But oh no, brain dead management would rather run it into the ground than write what people would like to read. It’s running its very own warming campaign – a scorched earth policy. Where on earth do these idiots think they will get to write or for a very few be journalists?

  17. Jarrah

    “the liars who genuflect before the AGW ideology are prepared to lie further about Heartland.”

    As entropy has pointed out, you’ve let loose a salvo at the wrong target.

    “Being pro business largely entails being pro market (at present)”

    In the abstract, maybe, but ALEC clearly pushes laws that favour its specific corporate backers, not general free market reforms.

    “lobby groups by definition can’t be “state elected officials””

    98% of ALEC’s funding comes from corporations and foundations. Its governing board are all legislators, but that board can only consider ‘model bills’ that are approved by the corporate members. It’s a clever dodge, but no sane person could deny it’s a lobbying organisation.

  18. entropy

    so they’re in the bag then

  19. Mark

    Well in the spirit of Jones et al time for the young whipper snapper to sent to learn to be a journalist at boot camp.

  20. What I found interesting was that just hours after that #SMH smear-job went live, in the wee small hours after midnight Saturday night (on a long weekend), the wikipedia page on ALEC was edited to include it.

    Pretty well coordinated, ay?

  21. Token

    Pretty well coordinated, ay?

    The left in Aus has learned from what the left in the US at Media Matters and others have done.

    There have been a number of FauxFacts smear pieces that seem to be built for search engines. If you do a google search on most topics we discuss you’ll find the Labor/Green version at the top of the search.

  22. Well, no, ALEC is quite clearly a lobby group.

    Richer, more well-resourced, better-connected Leftists than you have tried – and failed – to make that case.

    If you have new evidence, forward it on to Soros – he’s the deep pockets behind the various astro-turfed “Get ALEC” campaigns and I’m sure he’d appreciate the help.

  23. Media Matters

    You mean the far-Left, Soros-funded lobby group Media Matters?

    Oh, wait. It’s different when they do it. I’ll just shut up.

  24. Token

    Richer, more well-resourced, better-connected Leftists than you have tried – and failed – to make that case.

    Notice how the lefty troll has become so nice since he was caught pull a M0nty and called this place a sewer at Quiggin’s place.

    That said, he still is trying on his Trott tricks.

  25. Jarrah

    “Richer, more well-resourced, better-connected Leftists than you have tried – and failed – to make that case.”

    Typical sdog – assertion and insult, but no argument.

    “Notice how the lefty troll has become so nice since he was caught pull a M0nty and called this place a sewer at Quiggin’s place.”

    Typical Token – more than one error per sentence.

  26. Des Deskperson

    I’m assuming, until I see evidence to the contrary, that Jessica Wright is the daughter of long time Fairfax journo Tony Wright. It’s usually the case that people working in the orthodox media with the same surname are related by blood or marriage, as, indeed, are many without the same surname.

    Most of them are also, of course, republicans who oppose entitlement on the basis of family connections.

  27. cohenite

    As entropy has pointed out, you’ve let loose a salvo at the wrong target.

    Well, I suppose I had better apologise then; about you talking about ALEC, not you being a wrong target.

  28. Typical sdog – assertion and insult, but no argument.

    It’s also, sadly for you, true.

  29. MattR

    Do they have a claim for defamation? It looks like they may to me. This journalist directly lied in order to tarnish the Heartland Institutes repuation. Surely this is defamation? She made a claim of behaviour that simply wasn’t true. She presented a falsehood as fact rather than opinion.

  30. Token

    Typical Token – more than one error per sentence.

    Typical Jarrah, all spin and cosmetics, no substance.

    Go bitch about it to the fruitbats at Quiggin’s place.

  31. Aliice

    Jarrah

    Its the method of both of sdog and Token and a few more in here (not all here though – there are many good people).
    On your way to Quiggins (is it a crime to comment on both sites Jarrah?? – I didnt know that – what happened to liberty and freedom of speech) can you buy me a drink?

    Liberty Jarrah.

    My hip flask is empty and I may as well get in first and comment on my own drinking before JC muscles in to take over LOL.

  32. JC

    What I found interesting was that just hours after that #SMH smear-job went live, in the wee small hours after midnight Saturday night (on a long weekend), the wikipedia page on ALEC was edited to include it.

    Pretty well coordinated, ay?

    Christ they’re scum.

  33. m0nty

    According to an agenda obtained by the Center for Media and Democracy (CMD), “Can Tobacco Cure Smoking?” is the title of a workshop yesterday morning led by the tobacco industry-backed Dr. Brad Rodu, who is trained as a dentist but has the title “Chair of Tobacco Harm Reduction Research” at the University of Louisville, a program that the Wall Street Journal found was primarily funded by U.S. Smokeless Tobacco Co., an ALEC member and manufacturer of smokeless tobacco brands like Copenhagen and Skoal. He is also a Senior Fellow at the Heartland Institute, the Illinois-based think tank that attracted attention earlier this year for making billboards that likened those who believe in man-made climate change to mass murderers and terrorists.

    Rodu’s research supports the idea that smokers should replace cigarettes with smokeless chewing tobacco or “snus” moist tobacco packets — a “free market” solution to reducing smoking that would allow tobacco companies to continue profiting off of addiction.

    The Food & Drug Administration and health advocates have strongly opposed substituting cigarettes with smokeless tobacco because “chew” and “snus” still cause cancer and other serious diseases, and suggesting that smokeless tobacco is a safe alternative would likely lead to a rise in overall tobacco use. The risk is even more significant because tobacco companies market the product to young people with “winter chill” flavors and bright candy-colored packaging. Additionally, because of the low salt content, snus users don’t need to spit, making it nearly impossible to tell if a high schooler is chewing snus or Bazooka Joe bubble gum.

    So yeah, Heartland is funded by Big Tobacco and runs its agenda to increase tobacco use.

    The discrepancy regarding the title of the panel seems to have come from that article, which was written by Mary Bottari of ALECexposed.org.

  34. Aliice

    JC – you have been posting for twenty four hours straight right through the night?

    Are you on speed?

    You appear to have a sleeping problem.

  35. mAlice hates me because I (along with others) picked her as a dishonest player the very first time she ever commented on this blog.

    And she’d probably prefer we all forgot about the fact that a self-claimed specialist oncology nurse with self-claimed extensive experience in a prominent London blood cancer unit denied the existence of such a thing as a blood-brain barrier.

    Catfish.

  36. JC

    JC – you have been posting for twenty four hours straight right through the night?

    No I slept about 4 hours. I had to be up for the NYSE close to pick up and offload a few stocks. 8 AM our time.

    Are you on speed?

    No. Never tried it but hear it’s good. Might do so some time.

    You appear to have a sleeping problem.

    I sleep like a log. Will go back to bed later on.

  37. .

    So yeah, Heartland is funded by Big Tobacco and runs its agenda to increase tobacco use.

    So is our Government of hypocrites. As was Roxon.

  38. The discrepancy regarding the title of the panel seems to have come from that article, which was written by Mary Bottari of ALECexposed.org.

    You mean they cribbed their lies verbatim from a far-Left Soros-funded hit squad?

    Bwaaahahahhaha.

    http://newsbusters.org/blogs/iris-somberg/2011/12/06/soros-cash-left-wing-talking-points-fuel-alec-attack

    http://newsbusters.org/blogs/mike-ciandella/2012/10/08/moyers-documentary-slams-conservatives-pushes-soros-funded-group

  39. Aliice

    sdog

    who made you the little one liner pet guardog here?
    Its not your blog.

    Jarrah is right – you and a couple of others specialise in one line insults. Is this group of people here part of a pack that all think the same (no) that you think you can control entry or exit to?

    You think like a dog.

  40. Aliice

    JC
    well have a nice sleep later on – glad I dont have to keep your hours (ewwwww).
    Im going down to do a few laps and then go collect marking yuk. Nothing quite as interesting as reading 200 answers on the same questions that takes days to do.

  41. You think like a dog.

    And you smell like a Catfish.

  42. Aliice

    witty sdog (not)
    I could also reply like a five year old and say

    you smell like a dog as well.

  43. JC

    Nothing quite as interesting as reading 200 answers on the same questions that takes days to do.

    Don’t do it. Hand them all A’s. None of the Kids would complain obviously and cuts out the dreary work. That’s what I would do anyways.

  44. Paul

    Don;t know where they’re coming from, CL, but I’ll see your ‘extreme right’ with a re-education camp and raise you a gulag system.

  45. Aliice

    tempted JC very tempted to do just that..
    but then the marking moderator might get me..

  46. Jarrah

    “Typical Jarrah, all spin and cosmetics, no substance.”

    Considering each of my comments had factual content, and yours had none, the irony in your statement is really quite funny.

  47. Token

    …the irony in your statement is really quite funny.

    Strange how the grammar and spelling nazi draws so often Alanis Morisette for the meaning of irony.

  48. Token

    mAlice hates me because I (along with others) picked her as a dishonest player the very first time she ever commented on this blog.

    She also has not apologised for those 19th century views on asian women…but as we see with Tim Mathison, its different when lefty fruitbats are racist…

  49. Aliice

    False again Token.
    Agree completely with Jarrah.

  50. Token

    mAlice, you can’t un-make back that bile you wrote, if you had any decency you would apologise.

  51. GoWest

    So what you are saying is that a journo with a surname Wright… is Wrong!
    So funny..GTF out of here!

  52. johanna

    There’s an awful, rancid smell around this thread. Can’t quite put my finger on it (thank goodness) …

  53. Aliice

    Oh its Johanna

    All I wanna do when I wake up in the morning is see your eyes
    Johanna, Johanna
    I never thought that a girl like you could ever care for me, Johanna
    All I wanna do in the middle of the evening is to run a mile
    Johanna, Johanna

  54. Aliice

    Mrs senior bureacrat Johanna at that…wants to complain about the scent in here?

    Diddnt you say it took you three months to hire or fire a person in your public sector job> but arent you happy to have you rbureacrat well paid job Johanna whilst simulatenously complaining about the slow methods in the department you run?

    Thank your lucky stars you have a job Johanna, where such inefficiency is tolerated.

  55. Harold

    Andrew Bolt informs us

    UPDATE

    Bernardi writes:

    FYI – the article by Ms.Wright is now the subject of defamation action by me. It contains many inaccuracies which the SMH should have been aware of. Additionally, the line ‘my spokesman refused to comment’ was actually a phone call to my office on a public holiday where she left a message on an answering machine that said the office was closed. At no time did she call me or my media assistant.

  56. J.H.

    “Can Tobacco cure Smoking?” What’s so controversial about that? The woman is a fool.

    There is an actual product and it’s called “Nicorettes”…. and instead of actual tobacco, the active constituent in tobacco is used. Nicotine. It’s a nicotine delivery system that uses chewing instead of smoking.

    My Brother used to smoke, but he wanted to quit, so he switched to Nicorette gum instead. Took a few goes, but he finally weaned himself onto them… Chewed the bloody things for nearly a decade before he finally gave them up too. His philosophy was he’d rather chew ‘em for life than damage his lungs smoking anymore.

    The nicotine delivery system of chewing gum didn’t seem to have any adverse affects on him at all… Except he was always bluddy chewin’. Great dental health because of it though. ;-)

  57. Pingback: Fairfax sued … | pindanpost

  58. Paul Hahn

    So ‘Heartland Institute’. Will you provide a full list of all your donors/sponsors for the last five yrs? (Just to satisfy concerns that you are truly independent.)

  59. Paul Hahn

    And before readers believe the ‘Heartlands Institute’s’ claims regarding independent, in particular the Koch brothers and the links to the American Tea Party.

  60. Let’s say this journo has a point of view she needs to put across. It’s too hard to track down some accurate info using all these fancy devices called phones and computers? No internet where she works? It’s too hard to phrase an article that’s critical but not defamatory? Take too long, all that fancy wording stuff?

    Or does she think it’s the late 1980s RE boom, and there’s no competition for the Fairfax Classifieds? Those “Rivers of Gold” still running down to Broadway? They can afford this self-indulgence after all those sackings?

  61. Jazza

    I think I’ll all her Jexsica WRONG from now on–especially as it looks as if Sen Cory Bernardi is going to sue her/Fewfax for defamation.

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