Monday, November 26, 2007

ABC's Chicken Little

The Sunday before Thanksgiving my youngest son decided that it was time to get up at 6 am, so this let me catch an interview by Bill Weir, one of the hosts of Good Morning America on ABC. Mr. Weir had been extolling the virtues and authority of a UN Global Warming report that said that global warming was growing worse than previously thought.

According to the Mr. Weir’s introduction his interviewee, Kentucky State Representative Gooch, was a global warming critic. The video can be seen here.

Here’s how the interview went down…

Bill Weir “Do you believe that global warming is not happening?”

Gooch – “…I believe that the climate is changing…We can certainly say that man does have an effect…so naturally we think we have an effect…we believe that we can do something about that…and we ought to be doing that…”

At this point it appears that Rep. Gooch is not a global warming critic. He believes in global warming and he believes that humans are one of the causes.

Bill Weir “Why do you call a hearing in front of your legislator…and bring people who believe it’s all a myth?”

Gooch – “That was just to get the debate going that not everyone is in agreement, that there is another side of the story.” Then on proposed legislation in Congress: “The chamber of commerce recently said that that would cost 3.4 million American jobs, and would cost 6 trillion dollars to our economy.” “What I want to make sure we do is that if we act we have the science right.”

Bill Weir goes on to accuse him, after the clip I linked stops, of voting for a bill that would let coal mines pour pollution into the rivers, and makes claims that he profited from this because his family has ties to the coal mining industry. By the way, Rep. Gooch is a Democrat.

The real kicker is at the end of the video clip, where Bill interrupts and says, “But according to all these scientists, the more hand wringing we do, the more we dither on this, the worse it’s going to get. And what if you’re wrong? What if this, in fact, is a global catastrophe? Isn’t there a moral imperative as a public servant to err on the side of planetary survival?”

What if he’s wrong? Wrong about what? Didn’t he just say that he believes in global warming and that humans are having an effect? Apparently, the moral imperative that Bill Weir is espousing is that Rep. Gooch should ignore other points of view and should ignore the economic consequences of his actions. Sorry, Herr Weir, but if my Congressman ever says that he has a moral duty to ignore the facts, other viewpoints, and economic consequences I’m going to punch him in the face.

It’s interviews like this that conjure up images of a powerful liberal media elite pushing their agenda on the American public. Don’t let them fool you. Bill Weir is no one special. Before joining GMA Weekend he was sportscaster for local TV in Green Bay and L.A. He’s ill informed, so he relies on his communication skills and comfort in front of the camera to bully people and make himself look like a good journalist.

Oddly enough, John Stossel, the anchor of ABC’s 20/20 interviewed one of the scientists on the UN panel Bill refers to just a couple of weeks ago. This scientist stated that he did not agree with the findings of the report, but the UN had put his name on it claiming, “We all agree”. He sued to get his name taken off the report and the UN finally relented. Apparently, of the thousands of names on the report only about 52 people were actually scientists.

Wait a minute, doesn’t John Stossel have a moral imperative to not report this? If all these scientists agree, shouldn’t he cover this up? Why did Bill Weir not walk down the hall at ABC News and inform John Stossel that he is endangering the planet, and the very future of humanity, by allowing competing opinions to be heard? "We are all going to die because you’re wasting precious time, John!"

When I was in college, I met people like Bill Weir. I got into probably no fewer than 1,000 political arguments in college so it was bound to happen. The best advice is to know your subject twice as well as them, and prepare for personal attacks. This sounds difficult, but most of these bullies will base their entire argument on a half dozen sound bytes from TV, and if you don’t back down when the insults start flying they’ll either get real quiet or fly off the handle and make complete fools of themselves. You start quoting statistics or Ivy League PhDs and these guys will pee their pants.

Like a good Boy Scout, be prepared.

Hope you had a Happy Thanksgiving!

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