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Friday, October 26, 2007
NewsBusters Repeats False Smear of Hansen
Topic: NewsBusters

An Oct. 25 NewsBusters post by Matthew Balan asserted that a segment of the CNN series "Planet in Peril" "failed to mention that NASA scientist Dr. James Hansen ... has received funding from George Soros, while mentioning that 'second biggest contributors to [global warming skeptic Senator James] Inhofe's Senate office are energy and natural resource companies.'" Balan further asserted that "Hansen received $720,000 from George Soros’s foundation [the Open Society Institute] in 2006." Balan's evidence for this claim was a Sept. 26 NewsBusters post by global warming misleader Noel Sheppard, who in turn cited an Investor's Business Daily editorial.

But the IBD doesn't claim that "Hansen received $720,000 from George Soros." Rather, it asserted that "Hansen was packaged for the media by Soros' flagship 'philanthropy,' by as much as $720,000, most likely under the OSI's 'politicization of science' program."

Sheppard went on to chastise the media for not having "looked into this matter - you know, acted like journalists instead of advocates!" Of course, that's something Sheppard himself has no interest in doing, as we've noted; otherwise, he would have contacted Hansen for his side of the story before making (well, copying and pasting) his accusation. Had he done so, he would have learned the story behind the money and that Hansen says he "did not receive one thin dime from George Soros." Hansen added: "By the way, in case anybody finds out that George Soros INTENDED to send me $720,000 but could not find my address, please let me know! We are pretty hard pressed here."

That, of course, wasn't good enough for Sheppard. In a Sept. 28 post, he insisted that Hansen "failed to thoroughly refute the claims made against him." But Sheppard fails to offer any evidence to counter Hansen's denial and, thus, support his earlier assertion that Soros "gave $720,000 in 2006" to Hansen. While Sheppard concedes some shakiness by admitting that "we don't know whether he received a dime either directly or indirectly from George Soros or one of his foundations," he won't accept Hansen's denial at face value, the way he accepts whatever claim by global warming deniers that comes down the pike.

Given that, Balan is repeating a lie when he asserts that "Hansen received $720,000 from George Soros." Will this lie get corrected before it gets copied and pasted into today's CyberAlert? We'll see.

Posted by Terry K. at 1:35 AM EDT

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