Monbiot attacks Booker over $1,000 Heartland honorarium

Why Monbiot has earned from JunkScience.com the sobriquet “Moonbat.”

In “Anything to declare, Mr Booker? We need transparency about Heartland,” the Guardian’s George Monbiot attacks skeptic Christopher Booker:

I believe we have a right to know who is paying for public advocacy…

When the Heartland Institute story broke, I remembered that in 2009 Mr Booker flew to New York to speak at a Heartland Institute conference. He then lavishly praised the conference in his Telegraph column. But not a word did he say about whether he was paid by the Heartland Institute to speak and what hospitality he might have received.

Now that the documents, if authentic, show that the institute has been funded among others by fossil fuel and tobacco companies, as well as the ubiquitous Charles Koch, I thought this would be a good moment to broach the issue. On Thursday, I phoned my old friend and asked him whether he was paid to attend. After some blustering and expressions of outrage that I would even consider asking such a question, he conceded that he had in fact received an honorarium of $1,000 from the Heartland Institute, and that it had also paid his airfare and hotel bill.

So why did he not declare these interests when he wrote his glowing article about the Heartland Institute’s conference?

He replied: “How the hell can you accuse me of having undisclosed interests when I haven’t hidden a thing?”

I pointed out that Private Eye takes a rather different attitude.

“I don’t believe that you’re writing this,” he replied. “The amount of money was so unimportant. It all vanished in a week. Like many other people in this world, I am under no obligation to declare an interest when it is not strictly relevant to the matter in hand.”

“But this was strictly relevant to the matter in hand,” I said.

At this point, with characteristic understatement, he started comparing me to the Gestapo and the Stasi. Perhaps he now sees the magazine he founded in the same light…

Read the screed.