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Sydney Morning Herald: Jessica Wright gets the facts wrong. An attempt to defame and smear?

Posted By Joanne Nova On January 30, 2013 @ 4:12 pm In Global Warming,Media-matters | Comments Disabled

The SMH — another Fauxfacts publication

Jessica Wright of the Sydney Morning Herald blatantly tries to smear The Heartland Institute with outright falsehoods:

“A sister pro-tobacco lobbying organisation and corporate member of ALEC, the Heartland Institute, paid for Senator Bernardi’s accommodation and travel to the US on four separate occasions in 2010 and 2011. The institute recently ran a two-day conference in the US entitled ”Can Tobacco Make You Healthier?”

Read more: SMH

But she apparently didn’t do much research. Heartland point out that the title was not “Can Tobacco Make You Healthier”, but “Can Tobacco Cure Smoking” and the “two day” conference was a 75 minute seminar from an expert, discussing another way to help smokers quit.

“The speaker, Prof. Brad Rodu, is one of the country’s (indeed, the world’s) leading authorities on the use of smokeless tobacco products to encourage smokers to smoke less or stop altogether. Given that message, it would be more accurate to say that Heartland sponsored a seminar on ‘how to stop smoking.’

Heartland corrects the record.

It’s probably sloppy journalism. But in its darker form, thus can a propaganda artist pose as a journalist, defaming and denigrating those who oppose their own personal political choices. Will Wright apologize and correct the record? Does she care at all about getting her facts right? Does it matter that Sydney Morning Herald readers will be left blind to what is really going on, and instead of understanding what the real debates are they’ll be left to feed on their own conspiracy theories about nasty big-corporates funding politicians?

Since Heartland is running workshops on ways to quit smoking they are obviously not “pro-tobacco”. When they support debate about taxes and health outcomes, they are merely pro good science and pro free markets, yet they get demonized.

This is not journalism Jessica Wright.

h/t to Andrew, commenter of Catalaxy for “Fauxfacts” (actually, I think Roger Franklin of Quadrant earnt that credit originally).

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