Posts tagged: Matt Damon

If Money Taints . . .

By , January 3, 2013 8:41 am

Will these guys ever get clean?

Al Gore pockets $100 million in the sale of Current TV to Al Jazeera, a broadcast entity owned by the Arab state of Qatar.

Matt Damon’s anti-fracking movie, Promised Land, financed by oil-rich United Arab Emirates.

To be clear, that the money in both cases comes from an Arab government doesn’t bother me in the least. That it comes from governments whose source of wealth is more than 80% dependent on oil revenue does. And then, that only bothers me because both Gore and Damon are so anti-carbon footprint and all that. And that only bothers me because if the print were on another foot, say, the foot of someone whose environmental research were funded by the oil industry, you know what the storyline would be.

In almost all cases, opponents/critics use the source of the money as an ad hominem and a red herring to smear the researcher or person making an argument and to distract from the real and very important question: is the research or argument sound? Yes, the source of funding may sometimes play a part in that assessment, but only a minor one.

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