Or perhaps they do and they're on defense - while hoping no one would notice that they are.
Today they began with:
Climate alarmists have reached a new and troubling low. They're calling for those who audaciously question the hardly “settled science” of global warming to be prosecuted as racketeers.Ok, here's what Senator Whitehouse actually said:
Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, D-R.I., suggests that the federal government treat climate skeptics as it did Big Tobacco — by filing civil litigation under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act. And four gaggle of self-anointed leading climate squawkers signed a Sept. 1 letter to President Obama to that end.
The Big Tobacco playbook looked something like this: (1) pay scientists to produce studies defending your product; (2) develop an intricate web of PR experts and front groups to spread doubt about the real science; (3) relentlessly attack your opponents.Sound familiar? That's the point the senator was making.
Thankfully, the government had a playbook, too: the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, or RICO. In 1999, the Justice Department filed a civil RICO lawsuit against the major tobacco companies and their associated industry groups, alleging that the companies “engaged in and executed — and continue to engage in and execute — a massive 50-year scheme to defraud the public, including consumers of cigarettes, in violation of RICO.”
Tobacco spent millions of dollars and years of litigation fighting the government. But finally, through the discovery process, government lawyers were able to peel back the layers of deceit and denial and see what the tobacco companies really knew all along about cigarettes.
In 2006, Judge Gladys Kessler of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia decided that the tobacco companies’ fraudulent campaign amounted to a racketeering enterprise. According to the court: “Defendants coordinated significant aspects of their public relations, scientific, legal, and marketing activity in furtherance of a shared objective — to . . . maximize industry profits by preserving and expanding the market for cigarettes through a scheme to deceive the public.”
Where it gets RICO-scare for the braintrust comes when Whitehouse references this study, by Drexel University professor Robert Brulle. Here's what the press release from Drexel had to say about the study. One of the key findings included this:
Conservative foundations have bank-rolled denial. The largest and most consistent funders of organizations orchestrating climate change denial are a number of well-known conservative foundations, such as the Searle Freedom Trust, the John William Pope Foundation, the Howard Charitable Foundation and the Sarah Scaife Foundation. These foundations promote ultra-free-market ideas in many realms. [Bolding in Original.]See that? Until his death, Richard Mellon Scaife both controlled the Sarah Scaife Foundation AND owned the Tribune-Review.
If there's any RICO investigation, it will inevitably lead to money granted by Scaife. Shouldn't that have been part of the editorial?
Then there's this:
The efforts to silence debate are Orwellian and self-serving. Climate Depot says the lead signer of that Sept. 1 letter and his wife received $1.5 million in government grants from 2012 to 2014.Climate Depot is a project of the Committee for a Constructive Tomorrow (even says so on their website).
Guess who gave $2.3 million to the Committee?
Richard Mellon Scaife, by way of the Carthage and Sara Scaife Foundation.
Last time I checked, $2.3 million was more than $1.5.
Shouldn't THAT have been mentioned to the Trib-reading public? Shouldn't it have been, at the very least, hinted at that the media structure criticized by Senator Whitehouse included the one-time owner of the very paper that's criticizing Whitehouse for that criticism?