Unabomber Bombs. Heartland Cuts and Runs from Disastrous Billboards.

May 5, 2012

New York Times:

Drivers moving along Chicago’s inbound Eisenhower Expressway on Friday may have been surprised to see Ted Kaczynski, the so-called Unabomber, staring at them from a massive billboard. “I still believe in global warming. Do you?” the billboard read in large maroon letters. Just below was the Web address www.heartland.org.

Hours later, the digital billboard was gone. It seems that the ad campaign, sponsored by the conservative Heartland Institute, had bombed.

“We know that our billboard angered and disappointed many of Heartland’s friends and supporters, but we hope they understand what we were trying to do with this experiment,” the institute said late Friday afternoon said in a statement. “We do not apologize for running the ad, and we will continue to experiment with ways to communicate the ‘realist’ message on the climate.”

The reason the signs came down is of course, that they were not having the desired effect. Instead of painting those who understand and trust science as lunatics, the signs reminded people of just how far into the looney tune realm the climate denial fringe  has strayed.  Heartland has now made Ted Kaczinsky  as much their mascot as Joe Camel.

In explaining their poster campaign, Heartland generously allowed that “not all global warming alarmists are murderers or tyrants.”  One wonders just what percentage of the National Academy of Science deniers believe ARE murderers and tyrants?

Probably what caused Heartland to panic was concern about their upcoming semiannual denialist freakshow, coming up in a few weeks.  It appears there were signals that some of the few remaining high profile attendees willing to show up and be identified as supporters of the big oil/big tobacco agenda were getting ready to jump ship.

WashPost:  

Now the Heartland Institute has suffered its first major defection in the way of GOP public officials: GOP Rep. James Sensenbrenner of Wisconsin, a leading climate “skeptic,” will be pulling out of an upcoming conference sponsored by the group where he was supposed to speak, his spokesperson confirms to me.

The billboards, which were first reported by the UK Guardian, show the Unabomber or Manson saying: ”I still believe in Global Warming. Do you?” Future billboards may include Bin Laden, reported the Guardian, which referred to the billboards as “possibly one of the most ill-judged poster campaigns in the history of ill-judged poster campaigns.”

The group has a conference set for later this month, and one of the featured speakers is Sensenbrenner. I asked Sensenbrenner’s spokesperson, Amanda Infield, if he’s still participating. She emails:

Congressman Sensenbrenner will not participate in the upcoming Climate Change Conference if the Heartland Institute decides to continue this ad campaign. We have contacted the Heartland Institute and voiced these same concerns to them.

Another day, another Tea Party tempest. I’m tired. More tomorrow.

30 Responses to “Unabomber Bombs. Heartland Cuts and Runs from Disastrous Billboards.”

  1. bobchewie Says:

    hey guys…whats going wrong on this site…???? i cant post links….why???

  2. bobchewie Says:

    @peter this page is messed up..i cant post comments with links..any attempt doesnt appear..and other attempts suggest ive already posted..whats going wrong here, any ideas????


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