Anthony Watts has published an analysis of the fake Heartland strategy document, looking at the text and document metadata, both of which seem to confirm that it is not what it purports to be.
Perhaps more interestingly, some of the details of how the document came to light have appeared, and it seems that DeSmog had the documents for only an hour before posting them online. As several people have commented, the contrast with Anthony's conduct when the Climategate emails fell into his lap could not be starker. The WUWT team held onto the UEA disclosures for several days while they tried to authenticate them rather than assuming the worst and rushing to publish.
The fallout from the headlong rush to damn Heartland and Anthony looks as though it is going to be interesting too:
The question to ask then is this: who benefits the most from the existence of such a document? A disgruntled employee? Hardly. Such things often backfire. And, who would know best how to craft such a document for maximum public impact? I think the answers are there, but the question needs to be asked. From what I hear, Heartland is going for criminal prosecution and/or civil liabilities on this one. They certainly have a case.
All of those news outlets and bloggers that regurgitated this document and the claims in it without checking for the veracity of it first are going to have some defending to do to. The Guardian seems particularly vulnerable.
I think that's right. GuardianEco seems to have an unfortunate approach to factual accuracy and this is yet another instance of the behaviour we have seen before. Amusingly, Leo Hickman was ribbing me the other day for mentioning Fox News in the same breath as the Guardian. I don't watch TV much, so I can't really compare the two, but I wonder if Murdoch's baby has done anything comparable to the Guardian's latest.