On Tuesday, October 25, 2016, Wikileaks released a series of emails sent between Hillary Clinton’s campaign chairman John Podesta, and the infamous “social change” media activist, David Fenton. The emails revealed a $3 million plan to attack the Wall Street Journal and Fox News Channel to put them ‘on the defensive’ about their realistic climate stand. The goal was to scare conservative politicians into supporting new government global warming rules and bans.
The series of emails WikiLeaks hacked from Podesta’s account shows that David Fenton thanked Podesta for a meeting on February 19, 2015. Fenton and sent him two emails documenting their conversation.
The first email said: “Here is the [Fenton Communications] plan to go after [the Wall Street Journal] and Fox [News Channel] on climate. I have 500,000 [dollars] of this pledged if I can raise another million.”
The plan, attached to the email, used “guerilla tactics,” budgeting $350,000 for groups including Friends of the Earth and Greenpeace for civil disobedience and social media campaigns, and $600,000 for advertisements in the Wall Street Journal and on the Fox News Channel. It would involve the creation of websites that disseminated true-believer views about climate change, and directly challenged the reporting in Rupert Murdoch’s Fox media.
Fenton’s email said:
“Fox News is the biggest single factor keeping almost 40% of Americans from believing humans are changing the climate, while only 10% know that 97% of climate scientists agree we are warming the earth at our peril. In some ways, the effect of the Wall Street Journal is even worse, as it sows regular confusion among its 3 million daily subscribers – business leaders and investors among the most influential people in the country.” [Murdoch’s companies also own the Wall Street Journal and he heads 21st Century Fox.]
Fenton continued his increasingly desperate email plea: “Unless and until the Journal and Murdoch are put on the defensive on climate change, opening political space for conservatives to come forward, it is unlikely that bipartisan efforts on climate change will be achieved in time.”
Part of Fenton’s plan involved “public shaming” of Murdoch so that his six children, who have more fanatic views on climate change, would have “leverage with their father”.
Clinton’s campaign has neither confirmed nor denied the authenticity of the Wikileaks emails, but has attacked what it said were Russian state actors involved in obtaining them. A Clinton campaign source dubbed the Wikileaks website a “propaganda arm of the Russian government” seeking to help elect the Republican nominee, Donald Trump, a conspiracy theory that serves as its own public shaming.
Fenton’s proposal to Podesta and its prime goal to “make Murdoch’s climate denial a major issue,” and “bring the scientific facts on climate change to his audiences,” was ironically released a day after an unwelcome story ran in London’s Daily Mail with the headline “Exposed: How top university helped secure £9million of YOUR money by passing off rivals’ research as its own… to bankroll climate change agenda.” So much for the integrity of “scientific facts on climate change.”
The Daily Caller covered the story for Americans:
“The UK government gave $11 million dollars to the Centre for Climate Change Economics and Policy (CCCEP) in exchange for research that the organization reportedly never actually did. Many papers CCCEP claimed to have published to get government money weren’t about global warming, were written before the organization was even founded, or were written by researchers unaffiliated with CCCEP. The government never checked CCCEP’s supposed publication lists, saying they were “taken on trust.”
According to The Daily Mail, “Academics whose work was misrepresented reacted with fury. Professor Richard Tol, a climate change economics expert from Sussex University, said: ‘It is serious misconduct to claim credit for a paper you haven’t supported, and it’s fraud to use that in a bid to renew a grant. I’ve never come across anything like it before. It stinks.’ ”
How could such a scandal begin? The chairman of the CCCEP since 2008 has been Lord Nicholas Stern, a militant global advocate for drastic action to combat climate change. He is also the president of the British Academy, an invitation-only society reserved for the academic elite. It disburses grants worth millions to researchers – and to Lord Stern’s own organization. Do we see the seeds of corrupt power here? Is this the beginning of another ClimateGate for the U.K.?
Meanwhile, the WikiLeaks emails between David Fenton and John Podesta show us only a proposal for a multi-million dollar attack against people with opposing but honestly held opinions, who are not given the right to those opinions – a signature mindset increasingly visible among intolerant progressives.
Fenton concluded his WikiLeaks email:
“We have let Rupert Murdoch get away with this atrocious behavior for too long. It’s time to make his endangerment of national and economic security a prominent, inescapable issue.”
Fenton is no scientist. His climate opinions are second hand, “taken on trust” from government science. Government science has been seen as the same type of oxymoron as military intelligence.
Evidently, Podesta did not take Fenton’s razzle-dazzle on trust. There is no evidence that Fenton’s $3 million campaign ever went ahead. To the contrary, climate change seems to be the poor stepchild of the 2016 election’s leading issue awards. If, somehow, the Fenton fantasy was actually put into action, it left the Wall Street Journal and Fox unscathed in their climate realism. Certainly, Rupert Murdoch doesn’t seem to be taking climate policy advice from his six offspring. So, perhaps David Fenton’s Wikileaks email plans are what the Roman Empire once referred to as brutum fulmen – harmless thunderbolt.
But do not underestimate the man. Fenton is remembered as the one who engineered the phony 1989 Alar “poison apples” scam with the Natural Resources Defense Council to wrongfully disparage hundreds of blameless orchardists into bankruptcy.
He gloated about it.