OK, I’m working on a joke, tell me if you think this works: How is the Heartland Institute like a professional burlesque dancer? It just can’t stop showing its ass! Eh? Eh?

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All right, maybe not, but the point is it’s been a hard year for poor Heartland, which just can’t seem to not look like a bunch of reprehensible dirtbags in public, probably on account of being a bunch of reprehensible dirtbags. First there was the embarrassing disclosure of the group’s secret memos, which lost it a lot of support despite hypocritical victim posturing. Then everyone took umbrage at one little grossly offensive, hideously fallacious, poorly capitalized ad campaign. And now Heartland’s friends are deserting it, because apparently even denialists consider “if you believe in global warming, you are basically Charles Manson” to be a step too far. It’s enough to make you weep, really it is.

Here’s what Heartland’s allies and donors are saying about the campaign:

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  • “It was disgusting. It was revolting. It was a terrible mistake.” –Brad Kading, president of the Association of Bermuda Insurers and Reinsurers, which has donated $125,000 to Heartland over the last two years but withdrew support after seeing the billboard.
  •  “Forget disappointment. In my view, my reputation has been harmed.” –Donna Laframboise, creator of the blog NoConsensus.org, who canceled a speaking engagement at a Heartland event.
  • “Truly objectionable … Once you have done such a thing you have lost the moral high ground [ed. note: lol] and you can never again object if someone uses that kind of rhetoric on you.” –Ross McKitrick, economist who thinks he’s a climate scientist, who threatened to cancel a speaking engagement but probably won’t.

Man, with friends like that, who needs mockery? Oh wait, we do, so don’t miss our gallery of helpful suggestions for Heartland’s next “history’s greatest monsters espouse incontrovertible truths” ad campaign.