Monday, July 17, 2006

Convenient Untruths

In his recent “Short Takes” segment, Mark Hyman adds to greenhouse gas emissions with his own stinky emanations of fact-free flatulence.

First, he calls “An Inconvenient Truth” Al Gore’s “campaign film” (suggesting a propagandistic motive to undercut its ethos). In fact, Gore has said he doesn’t plan on running for president. Apparently winning one presidential election was enough for him.

Second, he says the film blames America for global warming. It does not. It suggests it is a world-wide problem, although Gore does point out that the U.S. contributes far more than its fair share of greenhouse gases.

Third, he says that Gore claims the global warming catastrophe is “right around the corner.” He does not. He shows, with hard facts, that the catastrophe is already happening.

Fourth, he says that Gore claims China leads the world in environmentalism. This is a lie. Gore makes no such claim. In fact, he points out that China is becoming a growing environmental problem.

What he *does* point out is that, ironically, China’s standards for automobile emissions are tighter than those in the U.S. While they still lag behind much of the rest of the world, they’re still ahead of us. In fact, the U.S. can’t sell its cars to much of the world because they don’t meet emissions standards even in countries which, like China, are hardly aggressive when it comes to environmental standards.

My guess is that Hyman hasn’t seen “An Inconvenient Truth.” He should. If you ever had any doubts about the reality or the seriousness of the global warming problem, the film uses straightforward and incontrovertible facts to lay out the case.

And that’s the Short Take Counterpoint.


At 4:41 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


Any idea how this country's going to move ahead (or simply survive) when there are so many Hyman-like spokespeople so willing to distort the truth to further a narrow political agenda?

I mean, what is it that this jerks want? I thought "conservative" meant (perhaps at one time) something like "responsible". Instead its "let's burn everything up (figuratively speaking) and ask questions later".

It's just depressing.

At 6:33 PM, Anonymous Herbert Birdsfoot said...

Anon, you've asked a really good question. I also would love to know what motivates guys like Hyman and Limbaugh etc. to distort the truth. These guys aren't misinformed like their listeners, they know what they are saying isn't true.

I think the folks who listen to them (like Ted's buddy "sickofspin") are motivated to believe things that are clearly untrue by a desire to suck up to what they perceive to be the biggest bully. But what motivates these right-wing talking heads is beyond me.

At 10:53 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

There is another interpretation of their behavior: they simply do not value things such as "community", "the common good", or other qualities needed for a healthy society.

For a long time, I took the Republicans for their word on such things as "values": the values of a strong family, of being responsible, of a Christian attitude. They always seemed a bit rigid to me (think of Orrin Hatch), but then no one's perfect.

However, I think that that whole cover has been blown. And blown big time. The Rove Machine has laid to waste the Republican's claim to be concerned about a strong and healthy society. They merely drape the mantle of concern for "traditional values" while actively dismantling much of those traditions.

For example, they're all for Christian values, except when it comes to...

-securing non-poverty wages for full-time workers (while voting themselves a raise)

-ignoring military and international rules of conduct for prisoner treatment (instead, generating a new "torture ready" classification for these individuals).

-scripting presidential appearances with "the public" scrubbed of any semblance of an actual democratic or representative process

-ignoring energy policies

-worsening the rich/poor divide by selling things such as the Death Tax (brilliant propaganda).

So, any reasonably intelligent person would conclude that the Republicans, in the quest for power and control, have been completely defrocked.

-gutting notions of balanced public speech (giving station owners exclusive rights to the public's airwaves so that all that's left are voices in line with Republican standards. Meanwhile, the Republican Noise Machine continues with its fiction of the "liberal media".

All of this is so Machiavellian that it could only happen for such a long time with a completely compliant mass media.

And so, here we are.

But even now, few seem to care.

So, my theory is that this group simply places so little value on behaviors


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