Read time: 2 minutes

Lee Fang Cures Heartland CEO Joe Bast Of His Denialism

In this two minute video, Lee Fang practices journalism on Joe Bast, Heartland Institute CEO and prominent climate science denier. In that short time, Fang accomplished a remarkable feat: he forced Bast to abandon denial.

This is remarkable. Very impressive reporting from Lee Fang:

Before the Heartland Institute became famous for its leading role in climate change denial, the group spent many years working to defend the tobacco industry. Just as the group is now known for its over the top attacks on climate scientists, Heartland once played a large role in criticizing public health experts and others calling attention to the dangers of cigarette smoking.

At a mining conference in Denver earlier this month, Republic Report spoke to the Heartland president Joe Bast about his past support for the tobacco industry. In an opinion column titled “Five Lies About Tobacco,” Bast once repeatedly claimed that health concerns regarding cigarette smoking were overblown and worth ignoring. At first, Bast denied that he had ever dismissed concerns about smoking and disputed the quote we read to him.

“In 1998, you wrote in a Heartland op-ed that smoking cigarettes has little to no adverse health effects,” we noted. “Do you stand by that?”

“No, I never wrote that,” replied Bast. “Why would I have written something like that?” Bast asked to see the op-ed, and promised to “contest” it.

Later, Republic Report returned and read Bast’s op-ed to him. Watch the video [above]:

RepublicReport has the rest....

Fang's article caps Heartland's disastrous April.

Most recently the Chicago-based "clearing house of climate denial" offered a "mealy-mouthed" apology after they "bastardized" a quote they attributed to the late legend George Carlin.

Earlier in the month, Heartland rented space at the National Press Club for the launch of their signature tome of climate denialism, the NIPCC. Six reporters showed up. Five asked questions. The most respectful questions challenged the NIPCC's legitimacy and/or reliability. Several questions were thinly (or not-so-thinly) attacks on Bast's and Heartland's integrity. The event was scheduled for two hours. Bast stormed out after 45 minutes. You can find my report and video coverage of the event (including questions) at StarkReports.

Can you help us out?

For 16 years we have been exposing Washington lies and untangling media deceit. We work 7 days a week, 16 hours a day for our labor of love, but with rising hosting and associated costs, we need your help! Could you donate $20 for 2020? Please consider a one time or recurring donation of whatever amount you can spare. It will be greatly appreciated and help us continue our mission of exposing the real FAKE NEWS!

More C&L Coverage


We welcome relevant, respectful comments. Any comments that are sexist or in any other way deemed hateful by our staff will be deleted and constitute grounds for a ban from posting on the site. Please refer to our Terms of Service (revised 3/17/2016) for information on our posting policy.