James K Glassman

James K. Glassman

Credentials

  • B.A., Government, Harvard University (1969). [1]

Background

James K. Glassman is the Founding Executive Director of The George W. Bush Institute and worked as Under Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs under the George W. Bush administration. [2]

Bush named Glassman founding director of his namesake institute on September 1, 2009, telling Glassman to build “a world-class institute that will promote policies and programs rooted in the core ideals of freedom, opportunity, responsibility, and compassion.” [3]

Glassman has been the president of the Atlantic Monthly, publisher of New Republic, and executive vice president of U.S. News & World Report. He was an editor and co-owner of Roll Call and worked from 1994 to 2004 as a columnist for the Washington Post and the International Herald Tribune[2]

From 1996 to 2008, Glassman was a senior fellow at the American Enterprise Institute (AEI) and continues to be listed as a visiting fellow. His corporate ties include a former position on the policy advisory board of the Intel Corporation, and as Senior Advisor to AT&T and SAP America, Inc. [2]

Glassman has a history of working with groups tied to Republican lobbying firm DCI Group. DCI Group was founded in 1996 by tobacco industry veterans Tom SynhorstDoug Goodyear and Tim Hyde as a “grassroots” consulting firm. According to a 2018 Bloomberg profile, “Over the years, as Glassman has shuttled from one DCI front to another, he’s opined on a staggering array of issues, often with a take that coincides with the interests of a DCI client.” [4]

Glassman & Tech Central Station

In 2000, Glassman founded the now-defunct Tech Central Station (TCS), later called TCS Daily, a news website run by DCI group. He also moderated “Ideas in Action TV,” a program jointly produced by Grace Creek Media and the George W. Bush Institute. The Ideas in Action website does not appear to have been updated since 2014, and it is unclear if it is still active. [5]

TCS‘s listed sponsors have included ExxonMobil, General Motors, Freddie Mac, Merck, PhRMA, McDonalds, the American Beverage Association, Gilead Sciences, Nasdaq, AT&T, Lockheed Martin, and Microsoft. The website regularly posted articles by climate change deniers and associates of major conservative think tanks like the International Policy Network (IPN)the Sustainable Development Network (SDN), the Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA) and the Scientific Alliance. [6], [7][8], [9], [10], [11]

In 2003, Washington Monthly wrote that Glassman and TCS had given birth to the concept of “journo-lobbying” in Washington. TCS shared staff and offices with DCI group, the public relations firm running it. For example, four of the five co-owners of TCS were also co-owners of DCI group. Three of TCS‘s sponsors—AT&T, GM, and PhRMA—had all used DCI‘s services as well. Washington Monthly noted, “it is startling how often the opinions of TCS’s writers and sponsors converge.” [12]

On Tobacco

Glassman argued against the federal excise tax increase on cigarettes. In a 1998 article in the Weekly Standard, Glassman wrote: [13]

“Understand that careful analysis by Harvard’s Kip Viscusi and other scholars has found that, already, smokers save society 32 cents per pack, because they die earlier and don’t incur Social Security costs. Taxes, on average, provide another 53 cents. So, someone smoking a pack a day already contributes about $310 a year to the general welfare […]”

He reiterated this idea in another column at the Washington Post: [14]

“Unlike other vices (alcohol, hard drugs, pederasty), smoking hurts only the smoker—especially today, with smoking banned in so many public places. […]

“Actually, by some calculations, smokers provide a net benefit in public finance: They pay hefty excise taxes, and, since they die earlier, their Social Security and Medicare Payouts are lower. (Even if smokers didn’t die of lung cancer, they would still die.)”

In a June 1997 Washington Post article titled “A Crazy Tobacco Deal,“ Glassman wrote: [15]

“In truth, the deal – an exercise in political hysteria – is a disaster for anyone who believes in preserving the prime values in American society: personal responsibility and freedom.”

Stance on Climate Change

After the launch of Tech Central Station, Glassman began regularly attacking the United Nation’s Kyoto treaty and the science behind climate change. Nick Confessore noted at Washington Monthly that Glassman rarely dealt with the subject before: [12] 

“When it came to the subject of climate change, on which he had seldom remarked before TCS was launched, Glassman became equally prolific, attacking Kyoto or the science of climate change in 40 columns for the site, many of them syndicated elsewhere. Meanwhile, he also took to the op-ed pages of The Wall Street Journal, the St. Louis Dispatch, and The Washington Times to trash Kyoto; in none of them did he disclose TCS’s connection to ExxonMobil,” Confessore wrote. [12]

June 23, 2005

“The surface temperature of the globe has indeed been increasing – by about one degree over the past century. But no one yet knows whether the fault is human intervention or simply the natural cycle of warming and cooling that has affected the earth for millions of years,” Glassman wrote in a Tech Central Station article criticizing the Kyoto Protocol. [16]

July 18, 2001

“While the surface temperature of the Earth has increased by one degree Fahrenheit over the past century, it remains unclear whether that rise will continue, whether it is caused by human intervention and whether humans can do anything to mitigate higher temperatures,” Glassman declared in one of many articles at Tech Central Station where he criticized the Kyoto Protocol. “Catastrophic global warming is implied by computer models of the climate, but those models are badly flawed,” he added. [17]

November 27, 2000

“The fact about global climate change is that while there’s a consensus among scientists that the world has warmed in the last quarter century, there is tremendous scientific uncertainty about how much climate is likely to change in the future and what precisely humans role in that change is,” Glassman wrote at Tech Central Station. [18]

Key Quotes

December 2003

Glassman was quoted in a profile in Washington Monthly, describing his work with Tech Central Station: [12]

We can get the word out much more quickly [than a traditional think tank],” says Glassman, “and it’s a lot less expensive not having a lot of bricks and mortar.”

In a phone interview with Washington Monthly’s Nick Confessore, Glassman responded to a question on whether TCS ever published opinions that contradicted the policy views of organizations like AT&T, which sponsors TCS. Glassman responded: [12]

Frankly, we think that other points of view are well represented everywhere else. To have one point of view on an issue like telecom is something that we don’t have a problem with.”

He added, “We’re an advocacy group. There’s no doubt about that. I don’t think we ever had pretenses of being an academic think tank.”

June 19, 2001

In remarks Glassman made to an American Enterprise Institute seminar on climate change, he admits he is not a scientist. He points to an article he co-wrote with climate denier Sallie Baliunas as “the outlines” for readers to familiarize themselves with climate science: [19]

“The current enthusiasm over global warming is based on either unsound – or if you want to be more modest about it, unsettled – science. We don’t know much about climate. That’s the truth. […]

I am not scientist, [sic] but I strongly suggest that all of you make yourselves familiar with the science. It is not really so hard. A piece that I wrote with the Harvard astrophysicist Sallie Baliunas in the current issue of the Weekly Standard gives you the outlines.”

November 20, 2000

Glassman has repeatedly suggested there is uncertainty surrounding climate science, and that this is a reason for inaction. For example, writing at Tech Central Station, he said: [20]

“Global warming is predicted to have effects both benign (longer growing seasons that will mean more food) and dire (rising sea levels that will inundate islands). 

Most scientists believe the Earth is warming, though satellite observations cast some doubt. Still even if warming is conceded, whether the warming is significant in scale, whether it is part of natural cycles observed over thousands of years, or whether it is the consequence of the burning of fossil fuels are matters open to debate. So are the question of where warming is occurring and what will happen as a result. The science is, to say the least, unclear.”

August 27, 1996

Glassman wrote in a 1996 Washington Post column: [21]

“How will banning tobacco ads possibly discourage smoking? LSD use rose 183 percent between 1992 and 1995, and I haven’t seen any LSD ads recently.”

Key Deeds

January 25, 2018

2018 profile in Bloomberg outlined how Glassman and DCI group have worked with large hedge funds to influence lawmakers. Bloomberg identified at least six major influence campaigns that DCI group had conducted on behalf of investors in stocks or bonds since 2006. [4]

One example, according to Bloomberg, was July 2014 testimony by Glassman that “meshed perfectly” with the talking points of an affiliate of DCI group he was working for at the time. In his testimony, Glassman argued that Argentina was trying to renege on its debt, and also accused Puerto Rico of the same thing. Glassman never mentioned that he was working for an affiliate of DCI group whose clients at the time included a $25 billion hedge fund run by billionaire Republican donor Paul Singer that had a dispute with Argentina, and another that was suing Puerto Rico. [4]

It was a pattern of campaigns where DCI group worked with large hedge funds by crafting what appeared as grass-roots support. Without disclosure, “the targets of these campaigns—administration officials, media ‘thought leaders,’ and lawmakers—didn’t know they were being lobbied, much less who paid for it.” [4]

DCI rounded up ordinary Americans who agreed with its clients and marched them into lawmakers’ offices to lend a veneer of grass-roots support. Meanwhile, Glassman and other ostensibly independent intellectuals blanketed panels, hearings, and press conferences with the same storyline, without ever mentioning their connection to DCI or the hedge funds.” [4]

”[…] That’s where DCI comes in, providing credible-seeming voices to speak up for the funds’ interests—voices like Glassman’s. It’s not illegal, but it undermines basic principles of transparency and trust.” [4]

September 9, 2005

Glassman interviewed climate change deniers William Gray, James O’Brien, and Roy Spencer for Tech Central Station to suggest there was no link between Hurricane Katrina and global warming. Glassman introduced them as three “hurricane experts.” Listen to the podcast below: [22]

July 2005

In an interview, Glassman discussed why he opposed the Kyoto Protocol and called into question the science behind climate change. [23]

“it is not clear, the President does not believe it is clear, that human intervention causes increased emissions which cause the climate to heat up,” Glassman said on the program. “We know the climate has heated up. It’s gone up about one-degree Fahrenheit in the last one-hundred years. The question is, why is that? Is it because of humans, or is it because of simply a solar cycle. You know, the planet’s been warmer than it has been today long before there was such a thing as an SUV or anything like that.” [23]

Note that Glassman’s point reiterates a common climate change myth, that because the climate has changed before humans that we are not to blame for current warming. View the C-SPAN video below. [23]

March 29, 2004

Glassman funded a cost analysis of the McCain-Lieberman Climate Stewardship Act of 2003 via the “Tech Central Station Science Foundation” and presented himself as an expert on the issue. [24]

“The cost analysis of McCain-Lieberman reinforces what we’ve come to learn about global warming policy measures since Kyoto. We do know that they’ll be very costly and damaging to the U.S. economy, and we don’t know if they’ll have any measurable effect on the earth’s climate,” Glassman said. [24]

November 19, 2003

Glassman was a presenter at an AEI event titled “Return to Rio: Reexamining Climate Change Science, Economics, and Policy.” According to the AEI event description, “[p]anelists will discuss the science of climate change, which has grown more uncertain and more susceptible to political influence in recent years, and public policy issues such as how to spend research money and spur innovation.” Speakers included a mix of notable climate change deniers like Sallie Baliunas, David Legates, Gerd-Rainer Weber, and Roger Bate along with industry representatives like Art Green of ExxonMobil. [25]

October 29, 2003

Glassman moderated an AEI event titled “What Would Mandatory Greenhouse Gas Reductions Mean for American Families?” The event discussed a cost analysis by the “Tech Central Science Foundation” that found significant costs to the McCain-Lieberman climate bill that would put a cap on greenhouse gas emissions. [26]

June 25, 2001

Glassman co-wrote an article in The Weekly Standard with climate change denier Sallie Baliunas. According to the authors, climate change “is not a calamity but a truism.” [27]

“Evidence from ice cores, glaciers, boreholes and tree rings, deposits of microscopic animals on the sea floor, pollen in lake beds, and mineral deposits in caves show clearly that surface temperatures in some centuries have been very different from temperatures in others,” they wrote. [27]

According to Glassman and Baliunas, there is too much uncertainty for action on climate change: [27]

“Because there is considerable uncertainty in current understanding of how the climate system varies naturally and reacts to emissions of greenhouse gases and aerosols, current estimates of the magnitude of future warming should be regarded as tentative and subject to future adjustments (either upward or downward).” [27]

They concluded that “Global warming is not a here-and-now problem. If the computers are right, the dire effects will unfold slowly over the century. But signs now indicate that the models vastly overstate the problem. We’ll see.” [27]

Affiliations

Social Media

Publications

According to one profile, “Over the past 15 years, he has written more than 2,000 articles – on economics, finance, technology, and foreign policy – for such publications as the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, Forbes, and Los Angeles Times. He is the author of three books on investing and has spoken at some of the world’s most important forums, including the National Press Club (Washington), the Detroit Economic Club, and Chatham House (London).” [30]

Resources

  1. James K. Glassman,” LinkedIn. Accessed January 28, 2018. Archived .pdf on file at DeSmog.
  2. James K. Glassman,” Wilson Center. Accessed January 28, 2018. Archived with FreezePage.
  3. Welcome to the George W. Bush Institute,” George W. Bush Institute. Archived April 17, 2010. Archive.is URL: https://archive.is/g7uAX
  4. How Hedge Funds (Secretly) Get Their Way in Washington,” Bloomberg, January 25, 2018. Archived January 28, 2018. Archive.is URL: https://archive.is/ev2zY
  5. Ideas in Action with Jim Glassman Debuts on RIGHTNETWORK,” Ideas in Action, October 13, 2010. Archived January 28, 2018. Archive.is URL: https://archive.is/Kq4ML
  6. About Tech Central Station,” Tech Central Station. Archived December 14, 2001. Archive.is URL: https://archive.is/tVy4W
  7. About TCS Daily,” TCS Daily. Archived December 30, 2005. Archive.is URL: https://archive.is/QCpUc
  8. About TCS Daily,” TCS Daily. Archived January 3, 2006. Archive.is URL: https://archive.is/NmHxa
  9. About TCS Daily,” TCS Daily. Archived February 9, 2006. Archive.is URLhttps://archive.is/UFkB1
  10. About TCS Daily,” TCS Daily. Archived Mar 17, 2006. Archive.is URLhttps://archive.is/I6oeW
  11. About TCS Daily,” TCS Daily. Archived September 28, 2006. Archive.is URLhttps://archive.is/3KyDU
  12. Nick Confessore. “Meet the Press How James Glassman reinvented journalism — as lobbying,” Washington Monthly, December 2003. Archived January 28, 2018. Archive.is URL: https://archive.is/V79Q8
  13. James K. Glassman. “A Deal that Deserves to Die,” The Weekly Standard, April 20, 1998. Archived February 1, 2018. Archive.is URL: https://archive.is/cj8fb
  14. James K. Glassman. “White House Smoke Screen,” The Washington Post, August 27, 1996. Retrieved from Truth Tobacco Industry Documents Library. Bates No. 2070912631.
  15. James K. Glassman. “A Crazy Tobacco Deal,” The Washington Post, June 24, 1997. Archive.is URL: https://archive.is/VUvFl
  16. James K. Glassman. “Lights, Camera, Action on Climate Change?Tech Central Station, June 23, 2005. Archived November 22, 2005. Archive.is URLhttps://archive.is/1cghr
  17. James K. Glassman. “Will Bonn’s Climate Talks Bid Farewell To Kyoto?“ Tech Central Station, July 18, 2001. Archived November 14, 2005. Archive.is URLhttps://archive.is/FR3Iu 
  18. Climate Treaty Deadlock Shows Lack of Consensus and Common Sense,” Tech Central Station, November 27, 2000. Archived November 26, 2005. Archive.is URL: https://archive.is/FDVXI
  19. Climate Science Rx: A Manhattan Project of Research,” Tech Central Station, June 19, 2001. Archived November 27, 2005. Archive.is URLhttps://archive.is/RtODK
  20. James K. Glassman. “Climate Change Participants Don’t Listen to Reasons for Uncertainty,” Tech Central Station, November 20, 2000. Archived March 12, 2005. Archive.is URL: https://archive.is/IasQ5
  21. CHAPTER 3. SMOKE AND MIRRORS,” December 18, 2000. Retrieved from Truth Tobacco Industry Documents. Bates No. 524623663-524623672.
  22. TCS Podcast: Are Global Warming and Katrina Linked?Tech Central Station, September 9, 2005. Archived November 27, 2005. Archived .mp3 on file at DeSmog. Archive.is URL: https://archive.is/zLDPl
  23. Global Climate Change,” C-SPAN, July 5, 2005. Archived .mp4 on file at DeSmog.
  24. CRA Report: Global Warming Legislation Would be Costly; New Report Shows McCain-Lieberman Legislation would Increase Costs for U.S. Households,” BusinessWire, October 29,2 003. Archived February 1, 2018. Archive.is URL: https://archive.is/RwMvm
  25. Return to Rio: Reexamining Climate Change Science, Economics, and Policy,” American Enterprise Institute. Archived December 11, 2004. Archive.is URL: https://archive.is/o2qFb
  26. What Would Mandatory Greenhouse Gas Reductions Mean for American Families?American Enterprise Institute. Archived June 6, 2004. Archive.is URL: https://archive.is/yAC19
  27. James K. Glassman and Sallie L. Baliunas. “Bush Is Right on Global Warming,” The Weekly Standard, June 25, 2001. Archived January 28, 2018. Archive.is URL: https://archive.is/uG97m
  28. Meet the Team,” Public Affairs Engagement. Archived January 28, 2018. Archive.is URL: https://archive.is/fPDr6
  29. Nick Schulz. “Something Old, Something New,” Ideas in Action. September 19, 2006. Archived May 1, 2017. Archive.is URL: https://archive.is/Si2Zn
  30. AMB. JAMES K. GLASSMAN,” Premiere Speakers Bureau. Archived January 28, 2018. Archive.is URL: https://archive.is/DXkvG

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