Pelosi funding accusation about mosque the same tactic used against warming skeptics

In his August 18 piece, Thomas Lifson mentions part of the logic behind Speaker Nancy Pelosi's call to investigate the funding of opposition against the Ground Zero mosque. When we also consider how the liberal left has aimed this ‘funding accusation' tactic with great success over a period of 15+ years at scientists skeptical of man-caused global warming, her otherwise bizarre suggestion sounds like something that should be no surprise.

That is the accusation saying ‘big coal and oil' funds those scientists, thus they are hopelessly corrupt and not worthy of consideration. The mainstream media seems to have taken this accusation at face value. Considering the sheer amount of anti-skeptic bias I found at the PBS NewsHour from 1996 to the present, as I detailed in my 7/29 American Thinker article "The Left and Its Talking Points", it may very well explain why the general public has not had the widespread opportunity to hear about skeptics' side of the issue.

The more pervasive origins of this accusation are found in a 1997 anti-skeptic book cited in viral form across the internet, Ross Gelbspan's The Heat is On. I have a copy of the book, somewhat used-looking because of my highlighted markings, scribbled notes, and sticky-notes galore. Nowhere in it have I found evidence showing where "X" industry funding prompted "Y" fabricated science conclusion and "Z" false assessment.

No matter. Plant the very idea of corrupt funding in people's minds in this case, and it takes root. Witness the 2005 interview of skeptic scientist Pat Michaels, where CNN's Miles O'Brien first sets up an invalid premise, then asks him a loaded question:

Patrick Michaels is one of the researchers who has received funding from the fossil fuel industry, more than $150,000 worth. But he says it's a small percentage of his total funding. That has to taint everything you say, doesn't it?

Speaker Pelosi's threat backfired spectacularly for incredibly obvious reasons. What happens to the liberal left and the mainstream media if we start taking a hard look at this other accusation, and no one can show where or how industry funding corrupted skeptic scientists?

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