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Tuesday, August 7, 2007
Sheppard Thinks Press Releases Are News Stories
Topic: NewsBusters

An Aug. 6 NewsBusters post by Noel Sheppard asserts that a challenge by anti-global warming author Dennis Avery to debate Al Gore on the subject was "reported by PR Newswire."

Um, Noel, PR Newswire doesn't "report" anything. It is a press release distribution service; it distributes only what businesses and organizations have paid to distribute. Sheppard doesn't mention that the organization that paid to distribute Avery's challenge is the Heartland Institute, whose press releases Sheppard has previously regurgitated while failing to note that it's an activist group with conservative leanings, secrecy regarding its funding and dubious ties to the tobacco industry.

Sheppard, strangely, does repeat a quote from the press release that "The Heartland Institute has run more than $500,000 of ads in the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, and Washington Times promoting a debate." That's right -- a half-million dollars spent on ads by one group. Did Marc Morano include this amount in the allegedly paltry $19 million he claims global warming deniers have spent (which Sheppard claimed without support were "actual hard dollar numbers)? We somehow doubt it.

Posted by Terry K. at 9:14 AM EDT

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