Robert Carter has claimed that he “receives no research funding from special interest organisations”(9). But the documents suggest that Heartland pays him $1,667 a month(10). Among the speakers at its conferences were two writers for the Telegraph (Christopher Booker and James Delingpole(11,12)). The Telegraph group should now reveal whether and how much they were paid by the Heartland Institute.
It seems to be as clear an illustration as we have yet seen of the gulf between what such groups call themselves and what they really are. Invariably, organisations arguing for regulations to be removed, top taxes to be reduced and other such billionaire-friendly policies call themselves freemarket or conservative thinktanks. But according to David Frum, formerly a fellow at one such group – the American Enterprise Institute – they “increasingly function as public-relations agencies”(13). The message they send to their employees, he says, is “we don’t pay you to think, we pay you to repeat.”