Derision Hides Conflict of Interest

Published June 30, 2006

Dear Editor:

In a letter published June 30 criticizing The Heartland Institute for pointing out the scientific flaws in Al Gore’s new film, author Kevin Grandia called Heartland “an industry-sponsored PR front for the tobacco industry for many years.”

The accusation is entirely false. Heartland has some 1,400 donors, addresses a wide range of topics, and includes more than 500 elected officials in its research and educational activities. Tobacco companies have never contributed more than a tiny fraction of its funding.

It is telling that Mr. Grandia does not address any of the issues raised by Heartland’s president, Joseph Bast, in his June 27 op-ed. It is also worthwhile to note that Mr. Grandia apparently works for (or with) a PR firm that represents alternative energy companies that stand to benefit greatly from alarmism over climate change. Perhaps he should have disclosed his conflict of interest?


Michael Van Winkle
Media Relations
The Heartland Institute

Michael Van Winkle ([email protected]) is a research assistant for The Heartland Institute.