Thursday, September 17, 2009

How much is that Morano in the window?

You know, the cute little guy who was interviewed by Clean Skies News, a web based environmental news service.

They also interviewed Andrew Freedman, more about that later, but on to Villa Morano a small, but expensive building in Mostly Moaning Town. Marc paints the IPCC as totally political as a UN organization and therefore untrustworthy. The lack of flackish self awareness is astounding, something the interviewer calls him on later, and he attempts to push back to her. She could have been much stronger and persistent.

He claims that many IPCC scientists have rejected the IPCC. The interviewer, who had good questions, fails on the follow up, e.g. name some. There are, of course, a few like Spencer, but to get any numbers he would have to drag in the "Expert" Reviewers like the Mad Moncktons, Richard "Dipl Phil" Courtney, Vincent Gray and that ilk. It would have been amusing to watch him with an interviewer who had followed the blogs.

The same is true of the 700, ably deconstructed by the Center for Inquiry, and the 650list blog, which MM plays up. What did you expect, we didn't exactly fall off the carrot truck here at Bunny Farms, but again, the interviewer is unprepared to pin him down. Morano's line is hand waving. You have to at least try and pin him down.

Towards the end, Susan McGinnis, the interviewer, asks who was paying the freight for Morano in his new home at the Committee For A Constructive Tomorrow and who was paying for CFACT. She is much better on that as you would expect, journos are trained to follow the money. Pinning him down on who funds CFACT is, of course, difficult. He refuses and tries to distract her. Exxon Secrets has a bit about CFACT funding from Exxon, it appears to run about 50 K$/year, Source Watch references this and adds that they have gotten substantial support from foundations controlled by Richard Scaife, a noted US source for right wing funding, but again, McGinnis should have been better prepared, especially with a slippery character like Morano.

Morano put out two indicative false statements in the funding discussion. The first being that CFACT gets ~85% of its funding from individuals. According to its 2008 990 they got 60.2 and 40.5% from individual donations in 2008 and 2007 respectively. The second is when he told the interviewer that she could find out who donated to CFACT from the 990s on Guidestar. Donors are not listed on 990s, something that anyone familiar with Guidestar knows.

Susan McGinnis, had useful questions, but was unprepared to follow up with Morano in obvious ways. Further, the interview never really reached any scientific questions. In short, it was not a bad effort, but could have been much better.

To put on my inner MT, it is clear that even good journalists do not know how to prepare for these interviews. Their training encourages them to be a mile wide and an inch deep, but for interviewing "media representatives", who spend their lives looking for misleading sound bites they need to be inch wide and a mile deep or know someone who is, who can prepare them.

This interview should be required viewing for anyone who wants to deal with Morano. You need to be very specific and very persistent.

Oh yes, how much is that Morano in the window. Well, before he moved, about $135K/yr. Now, well we have to probably wait until next year's 990s. He only started at CFACT in the Spring.


CapitalClimate said...

His financial statement shows he racked up at least 25K in credit card balances:
Chase 10-15K
AT&T 15-50K

Are you planning to address Freedman's pathetic political naivete? With friends like that, who needs enemies? CapitalClimate's take, reposted from CleanSkies:

This is astonishingly naive. Given the state of scientific illiteracy in the country and the exploitation of that by the denier noise machine (of which Morano is perhaps the most noisome as well as noisy example), turning the debate to the science would be the most effective way of killing any action. As ClimateProgress and other more politically astute commentators have noted, it really is "about the economy, stupid!" An honest presentation of the science is certainly needed, but it is in no way the key to getting legislation passed; it simply provides the opponents with more opportunity to manufacture FUD.

The first comment here is a perfect example of why this is true.

One other practical point:
As ClimateProgress notes today, the climate bill has at best only a 50-50 chance of being taken up by the Senate before 2010, so major focus on climate would be a waste of political capital in view of other pressing issues, including health care and financial regulatory reform.

CapitalClimate said...

Another thing:
Why is this lobbying organization getting our tax dollars to push propaganda? FWIW, a free registration allows you to publish reviews at GuideStar. CapitalClimate has kicked things off here. How about some input from the Anonymice?

Anonymous said...

I smell a moranogram coming...

"Journalist-activist Susan McGinnis tried to take on Morano, and was defeated"

-- bi

Alux said...

Exxon hasn't given money to CFACT in years. You can easily find this out if you did real research.

The energy industry also hands out substantial money to left-leaning environmental groups, as well.

EliRabett said...

a. Define years. (there appears to be no giving from the Exxon Foundation in 2008 but there was in 2007).

b. The only public records are for the Exxon Foundation. Giving directly by the Corporation is not public.

Silver MLM said...

How do I measure for a window replacement that was installed from the outside?