Tired of troublesome facts? Blame the messenger.

For anyone who has been following Arnie Gunderson on Fairewinds’ videos since the Fukushima meltdowns it may be no surprise that they are attracting considerable attention. Not surprisingly the videos, produced on a shoestring, are straight forward and informative.

Pro nuclear power blogger Rod Adams has noticed too, and this isn’t the first time. Last March, Adams was taken to task by the Brattleboro Reformer for an unsuccessful effort to smear Gundersen’s reputation. He penned a letter to the editor attempting to blunt Gundersen’s critique of Vermont Yankee by attacking his reputation. The Reformer called out his methods in an editorial titled: If you can’t refute the message then try to discredit the messenger.

It’s archived unfortunately, but in it the Reformer noted the ongoing efforts at personal destruction:

That’s the tactic several Vermont Yankee advocates have taken to impugn the character and devalue the experience of Arnie Gundersen, a nuclear safety advocate who has been highly critical of the operation of the nuclear power plant in Vernon.

The writer [Rod Adams] of Atomic Insights (atomicinsights.blogspot.com) accused Gundersen of inflating his resume…,

Gundersen, a former nuclear industry senior vice president, was once praised by the Chairman of the NRC for his congressional testimony about problems in the nuclear industry to the Committee on Governmental Affairs in 1993. Former NRC Chairman Selin said “Everything Mr. Gundersen said was absolutely right; he performed quite a service….”

Fast forward to the latest effort (here) where Adams pulls no punches and accuses Gundersen (not TEPCO) of causing fear, uncertainty and doubt. He confesses to being tired due to the effort required to respond and debunk what he says are false claims. Yet Adams marshals enough strength to author a long attack piece and at the close flatly explains he believes it is simply more effective to attack the messenger rather than argue the facts. His confessed tactic in simple and straight forward terms:

Several people have challenged me with regard to my efforts to expose Gundersen as having strong personal and financial motives to attack his former industry. [Note: Adams has had a business relationship with the French nuclear firm Areva currently contracted by TEPCO and is marketing small nuclear reactors] They do not like my efforts to show that he has not been completely forthcoming about his experience. They have told me that it is not fair to focus on the messenger; they say I should focus on countering his assertions instead.

My response is to remind people that it is often far more effective to aim at the archer than to aim at the arrows. (Of course, I am speaking figuratively here. My weapon is my keyboard.)

The Energy Collective blog is an energy industry (Siemens AG) sponsored site with a variety of bloggers that offers interesting information on all forms of power sources in that context. It is significant that Adams is readily taken to task in the comment section by a fellow Energy Collective diarist for his tone and destructive methods on what should be his home turf.

This [Adams’ diary] post doesn’t create the context that correctly illustrates the news reporting climate that’s shrouded Fukushima, in your article debunking Arnie. That includes those we would expect to hear from which includes TEPCO, the Japanese government and the IAEA. Gundersen has also been completely correct in many of his assertions from day one, but you haven’t pointed that out.


6 thoughts on “Tired of troublesome facts? Blame the messenger.

  1. All these yahoos who have hung their hats so resolutely on the fortunes of the nuclear industry are now clawing and scrabbling against its implosion.  Pretty soon they won’t be able to shop their own resumes to the local water utility!

  2. BP, this is one of your absolute best. Calls out the facts and methods without resorting to outraged rhetoric or name-calling.


    The release of atomic energy has changed everything except our way of thinking and thus we are being driven unarmed towards a catastrophe. ~ Albert Einstein

  3. “My response is to remind people that it is often far more effective to aim at the archer than to aim at the arrows.”

    I think he’s more like the French in Henry V:

    “Kill the poys and the luggage! ‘Tis expressly against the law of arms. ‘Tis as arrant a piece of knavery, mark you now, as can be offert, in your conscience now, is it not?” – FLUELLEN

  4. “Arnie Gundersen has inflated his resume, yet frequently claims that Entergy cannot be trusted” | Atomic Insights http://bit.ly/jgzKsf (22.06.2011 09:22)


    A bit rich coming from someone who must hide behind & inflate military experience by mentioning it w/each comment of the Reformer story which has nothing to do w/anything. Comments still found on the now archived op-ed:


    Blog comment:


    Topix repost:


    Pronuclear claque is foaming @ the mouth like rabid dogs primarily due to Arnie’s nation & worldwide notoriety. He is the most sought after & trusted expert on these issues imho while they & NRC consider themselves the foremost experts, however no one following these issues trusts them anymore. This is primarily due to his uncanny ability to read the tea leaves & predict the next event(s). Many if not most bloggers on nuclear issues use him as a source as well as a resource & link to Fairewinds.

    Most recent one: “Fukushima, Chernobyl on steroids” has proven to be the case.



    It comes as no surprise that the pronuclear claque & those w/in the industry, who have long attempted to impugn his character, have now become a hornets nest of rage since their ride on the nuclear gravy train which we as taxpayers actually own, including associated risks & losses is coming to an end.

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