Fakegate: DeSmogBlog’s epic fail

You almost have to feel sorry for the folks at DeSmogBlog.

Their moment of glory after they revealed the Heartland Institute’s documents took only days to blow up in their faces, and they’ve been playing defense ever since.

Brendan DeMille is upset that the shocking admission from a once-respected scientist that he committed fraud to obtain the documents became the story, instead of the somewhat more mundane fact that an ideological entity supported people of similar ideology:

The debate about what Gleick did to acquire the internal documents from Heartland will surely rage on. It will make good fodder for university students in ethics and journalism classes for years to come.  But as Republic Report points out, it is hardly the most vital aspect of the story for mainstream media outlets to prioritize coverage on right now. That is, if the mainstream media are truly reporting what’s in the public interest, rather than chasing advertising revenue through scandal-mongering.

Note to Brendan – when the FBI is called in to investigate your source, it is the story.

Fellow DeSmogger Richard Littlemore is equally upset that Heartland outplayed the warmists at every turn since the document release:

In the last week, Heartland has been able to rely on this network – and on its own considerable skill as a propaganda machine – to deflect responsibility for the recent revelations of its own improprieties.

Most impressive, however, in Heartland’s campaign to spin this reputational catastrophe was its creation of the website www.fakegate.org.

Yet, in less than a week, it picked the its favourite meme “fakegate,” and ran up an entire website inlcuding everything from a section dedicated to inciting people to harass Heartland critics to a solicitation for funding for Heartland’s “legal defence.”

Clearly this was not a fair contest. How could DeSmogBlog expect to compete with Heartland when it came to messaging, it’s not like they’re a PR firm or anything. Oh, wait:

The DeSmogBlog team is led by Jim Hoggan, founder of James Hoggan & Associates, one of Canada’s leading public relations firms. By training a lawyer, by inclination a ski instructor and cyclist, Jim Hoggan believes that integrity and public relations should not be at odds – that a good public reputation generally flows from a record of responsible actions. His client list includes real estate development companies, high tech firms, pharmaceutical, forest industry giants, resorts and academic institutions. He is also a Board Member of the David Suzuki Foundation.

In case you were wondering, I’m pretty certain it was DeSmog who put the PR in pratfall.

For bonus comedy, here’s the strategy statement from Hoggan and Associates web page:

1.            Do the right thing.

2.            Be seen to be doing the right thing.

3.            Don’t get #1 and #2 mixed up.

We know that recognizing “the right thing” can be difficult. Sometimes what’s right is a matter of perspective. Sometimes it means taking a short-term hit to ensure long-term gain. But in a climate of mistrust, where people have learned to recognize authenticity, we believe that doing the right thing, and being seen to do the right thing, is a sure strategy for success.

Good luck with that long-term gain, hippies.

NOTE: Thanks to Anthony Watts for the link, and welcome Wattsians. I didn’t know traffic could go to 11, but it can.