So let’s assume you’re part of a very-well-funded corporate stooge cabal with the job of making sure nothing stands in between your well-heeled bosses and their desire to squeeze every last bit of profit out of the earth without having to give a rip about the long-term effects this might have, particularly on the masses.

Your problem, lately, is that some of your most valuable operatives — the bought-and-paid-for academics who your bosses pay to trash the scientific evidence showing the grievous bodily harm the bosses have inflicted and are inflicting on the planet — have, for whatever reason (such as growing spines, brains, or consciences), decided they don’t want to be denialists anymore. Worse yet, they’re appearing before the United States Congress to say that the science does indeed confirm that humans are causing climate change. What do you do to distract from this?

Simple: You try to revive an old smear, and hope nobody remembers that the smear was discredited:

Two years ago, much was made about the unauthorized release of thousands of emails featuring private conversations between a group of climate scientists. Dubbed Climategate, these emails showed a few climate scientists being irritable and clubby, and – in the eyes of some – controlling and even deceptive. Some research suggests the Climategate episode lowered the public’s trust in climate science and their belief in man-made global warming

Yet multiple inquiries, while calling for more openness in data sharing, found no evidence of scientific misconduct on the part of the involved scientists. And new scientific assessments and studies have re-affirmed the Earth is warming and human activities play a key role.

In a seeming effort to take another swing at the integrity of climate science, a second crop of emails was anonymously released Tuesday, apparently from the same place as 2009: Britain’s University of East Anglia.

The “new” emails (not new in that they are from 2009 and earlier) – while trumpeted by some climate skeptics as “spectacular” and draining life from the manmade global warming movement – mean little substantively from a scientific standpoint, just like the set that preceded them.

If we were living in a world where money couldn’t be used to smother truth, then the effort to revive old and previously-debunked smears wouldn’t work. But luckily for the denialist hacks, they have the hacks of the establishment press in their corner:

Writing on the Washington Post’s website, Juliet Eilperin quotes an email exchange that she said was about “whether the IPCC has accurately depicted the temperature rise in the lower atmosphere”…

[...]

Astoundingly, Eilperin does not tell readers that these email exchanges took place in February 2005 and were about the first draft of a chapter of the IPCC report released two years later. The emails depict the authors of the chapter hashing out what should be included — exactly what you would expect this process to look like.

Pretty hacktacular, eh? It gets worse:

Raphael Satter of the Associated Press also has a premature report, which has been published on the websites of countless news outlets, asserting that the emails “appeared to show climate scientists talking in conspiratorial tones about ways to promote their agenda.” What agenda is that? The article doesn’t say. Satter admits that the context of the emails “couldn’t be determined” because the “Associated Press has not yet been able to secure a copy” of the documents.

Was Satter looking in the mirror when he typed that bit about promoting an agenda? Sure looks like it to me.