Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Hyman's Hot Air

Does Mark Hyman favor further use of alternative, “green” sources of energy? Does he support the “Cape Wind” project, a plan to put wind turbines off the coast of Massachusetts to generate power?

You’d think that if Hyman devoted an entire editorial to these issues, you’d come away with at least an inkling of an idea about where he stands on them. But after suffering through Hyman’s
“Environmental Blowhards” commentary, you have no clue what his position is on wind power.

That’s because he spends his time on red-herring attacks on prominent opponents of the Cape Wind project, namely Ted Kennedy, Robert Kennedy Jr., and Walter Cronkite, chastising them for their apparent hypocrisy in supporting environmental causes but opposing the specific plan to put wind turbines in the waters of Cape Cod. This has nothing to do with Hyman’s feelings about the project itself (which remain unspoken), but because he doesn’t like the politics of the Kennedys or Cronkite in general.

Leave it to Hyman to class up the airwaves with not one, but two gratuitous and tasteless Chappaquiddick references in his attack on Ted Kennedy, calling him “the Chappaquiddick Kid” and saying ominously that “no one has a darker history with the waters off of Martha’s Vineyard.”

For good measure, he throws in references to the “infamous” Kennedy compound and the “befuddled” Walter Cronkite. He suggests (erroneously) that the main reason for opposition to the Cape Wind project is that the wealthy Cape Cod residents are worried the turbines will interfere with their yachting. (Note that if a liberal made such an argument about conservatives, they’d immediately be called out for waging “class warfare.”)

Strip away the ad hominem attacks, and Hyman’s argument amounts to this: it’s hypocritical for the Kennedys and Cronkite to argue in favor of environmental causes but oppose the building of a wind farm off their own coast.

Perhaps, but it’s a pretty low threshold for charges of hypocrisy. Would it be hypocritical for a business person to argue in favor a city project to increase downtown parking but object to a specific plan to raze her place of business and replace it with a parking garage? Would it be hypocritical to be in favor of a highway project, yet object to a plan that would call for the highway to go through your house? Hyman often champions the causes of those who stand up to claims by city governments to seize their property under the aegis of eminent domain. Are all these people anti-community, anti-business, or hypocritical for favoring improving local business but resisting attempts to use their own property to accomplish this goal?

Again, perhaps. But it seems more like an understandably human reaction. In the case of Cape Wind, it would be the first offshore wind farm in the U.S., and some have raised understandable concerns about building in one of the most picturesque waterways in the nation. Others point out that given the shipping traffic that comes through the area, the turbines might cause navigational hazards. Hyman, of course, ignores these legitimate points to make his “rich-people-and-their-yachts” wisecracks.

As someone who *does* support alternative sources of energy and actually thinks wind turbines look like moving sculptures, I’d be happy to see Cape Wind go ahead. But I also realize that A) I’m not fully informed on the various arguments made by both sides, and B) it’s easier for me to favor of something that’s being built 1,000 miles away than it would be to support it being built in my backyard. (Although, since my heritage is 50% Dutch, I have a genetic predisposition to think windmills and similar devices are inherently good, beautiful, and desirable just about anywhere).

But I would no more accuse Walter Cronkite of hypocrisy in favoring green energy but not wanting dozens of giant wind turbines plunked down in his backyard than I would accuse David Smith (the
Whoremonger Kid who has a darker history than anyone else of not honoring our fallen troops) and the “befuddled” Mark Hyman of hypocrisy if they objected to Baltimore building a highway through the “infamous” Sinclair compound in Cockeysville, Maryland.

And that’s The Counterpoint.

Hyman Index: 5.35


At 2:18 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


Good commentary. And its good to also remind your viewers of the hypocrisy of Sinclair's CEO. So he gets caught, by the police, getting a blow job from a prostitute while he's driving in his car. Okay, big deal? The real outrage is that CEO Smith did a slimy plea-bargain, doing "restitution" by ordering his stations to air extra Public Service Announcments.

Funny how the rich get away with their warped view of justice. With selfish creeps like Hyman and Smith -- abusing our airwaves -- we can only hope that viewers are intelligent enough to see through their self-serving bluster for the selfish, angry, pampered individuals they are.

At 4:37 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Genetics, huh? A new one on me if that's a genetic predisposition.


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