Since this is denial-world, everything is appropriately topsy-turvey. The “attacks” he is talking about are not plural but singular, and is the disastrous billboard campaign, which even Heartland has admitted was a mistake – though not very sincerely, and Bast clearly doesn’t agree; he is still defending them here.
Bast is writing to his pet scholars, and begins
For 28 years, The Heartland Institute has tried to stay “above the fray,” producing high-quality research and commentary and staying focused on the issues, even as the political dialogue became more and more polarized and corrosive. Almost alone among think tanks, we focus on communicating with people who do not already agree with us. We rely on research and reason, not rhetoric and emotion, and still do.
It is pretty hard to reconcile those claims about reason and research rather than rhetoric and emotion with the billboard campaign. Bast doesn’t even try to; he just says the billboards were “punching back”, errrm, i.e. using emotion and rhetoric. Never mind; his job depends on him being able to believe incompatible things.
There are also (in another fine display of rhetoric and emotion) a couple of paragraphs of attacks on Peter Gleick, then some ranting about the mainstream media, then the obligatory attack on Michael Mann.
[*} See comments. BCL thinks this is Heartland’s fault, not Landsea’s. Looking again 6h after first posting, Landsea is now gone entirely.