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Daily Howler: A clueless scribe from an insider rag is told that Mars is warming
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MARS IS WARMING! A clueless scribe from an insider rag is told that Mars is warming: // link // print // previous // next //

THE WORLD’S MOST AMBITIOUS PERSON: The statistical evidence is finally in. And as we predicted, it turns out that Senator Hillary Clinton isn’t the world’s most ambitious person! In January, brilliant boy David Geffen insisted she was. It turns out that Geffen was wrong.

As it turns out, the most ambitious person on earth is actually Saint John McCain! In this morning’s New York Times, we find a graphic headlined “Candidates in Senate: Poor Attendance.” Uh-oh! McCain has missed 36 Senate votes this year—out of 114 votes cast. By contrast, Clinton—previously believed to be the world’s most ambitious person—has only missed two of these votes. (Barack Obama missed three.)

We can’t find this graphic on-line; it appears on page A17 of our hard-copy paper. But readers, there you have it! Certain red-faced woman-haters had insisted that Clinton was the world’s most ambitious. We look forward to seeing Chris Matthews correct the record tonight. Or did Jack Welch know, when he purchased Chris, that this was what he was getting?

VISIT OUR INCOMPARABLE ARCHIVES: Matthews has long been obsessed by Clinton’s ambition. For a taste of red-faced woman-hating, see THE DAILY HOWLER, 12/20/06.

Meanwhile, don’t forget what you’re actually seeing when you see this man hammering Clinton. Matthews’s jones about liberal women has long been quite apparent. Again, it’s part of what Welch was buying when he put Chris on the dole.

Special report: Mars is warming!

PART 1—BARNES TAKES A PASS: How pitiful is our national discourse? Yesterday morning, C-SPAN helped us ponder that question with its 26-minute Washington Journal segment, “Al Gore and Campaign 2008.”

The program accepted eleven phone calls; four addressed the substance of global warming. Here are excerpts from those four calls:
CALL 5, UTAH, REPUBLICAN LINE: I know that it’s been decades ago that they took a United States submarine and took it underneath the polar ice caps all the way to the North Pole. And so that tells me the polar ice cap’s already set in the ocean, they’re already displacing the amount of water that they can contain and if they all melted today it would not raise the level of the ocean by twenty feet like Mr. Gore says. And so I don’t doubt that earth’s climate goes through changes. But it’s not as a result of a large portion of what man is doing.

CALL 7, WISCONSIN, REPUBLICAN LINE: As far as the global warming, I just have a hard time believing it, considering three-fourths of the world is water, so we don’t have any control over that particular. I mean, that’s a large chunk of the earth that we don’t have any control over. And then there’s the land, and how much, what percentage of that do humans ever occupy? I don’t think it’s even 20 percent. And then, of the land that we do occupy, how many countries aren’t even developed? So I think it’s a real stretch to say that humans are causing the earth to warm. There’s just too much to question about that.

CALL 8, ILLINOIS, DEMOCRATIC OR INDEPENDENT LINE: I wonder if Mr. Barnes could explain how we get these different—it’s very confusing. We go, you know, “death tax,” “climate change” versus “global warming.” Which is it?

CALL 9, FLORIDA, REPUBLICAN LINE: You say this is a highly-debated issue. I’ll disagree with that. They’ve kind of avoided the debate by saying the debate is over...You know, anybody who—the last bit of evidence, I think, is there’s global warming on Mars, the polar caps are melting on Mars, the moons of Jupiter are getting warmer. You know, I think Al Gore’s on thin ice with his global warming issue.

The cluelessness displayed by these callers was striking—although it was typical of C-SPAN callers. Caller 5, for example, confused the (floating) polar ice caps with the (land-based) ice sheets on Greenland and Antarctica. In An Inconvenient Truth, Gore says that a 20-foot sea level rise will occur if either one of those ice sheets breaks off or melts. The caller was sure that Gore was wrong. But he didn’t know what Gore had said.

But then, he didn’t know what Gore had said after calling Washington Journal, either! “Mr. Barnes” was laconic James Barnes, of the National Journal, who had—for reasons completely unknown—been asked to come on the air to discuss Gore’s White House prospects. What did Barnes say to that Illinois caller? As was the case with the caller’s question, Barnes’ reply was utterly clueless. But it was perfectly typical of the way our mainstream “press corps” now chooses to function:
BARNES, RESPONDING TO CALLER 5: A lot of strong feeling on both sides on the global warming issue—in terms of what its impact is, or may be.
That was it! The caller was confused coming in—and he remained confused going out. But then, here was Barnes’ response to the clueless caller who marveled at the size of those oceans:
BARNES, RESPONDING TO CALLER 7: As we see, global warming—there’s two views of this subject. It’s a hotly debated issue.
Let’s pray that no pun was intended. And here was Barnes responding to the caller who said that Mars is warming:
BARNES, RESPONDING TO CALLER 9: If the vice president got out and sought the Democratic presidential nomination, his stands on this issue would obviously be subjected not only to a lot of scrutiny by his rivals, but there’d be a great deal of attention given it in the media. And in a sense, it would be a very interesting dialogue and learning experience, one way or the other, for the American electorate.
But it wouldn’t be a learning experience if “the media” behaved the way Barnes did. Barnes avoided discussing the merits of all three of these callers’ claims. These callers were clueless coming in. They were clueless again going out. Other viewers heard their claims—and saw Barnes take a pass.

In fairness, Barnes did make one pathetic attempt to summarize the state of the science. This was in answer to caller 8, who wondered whether “climate change” or “global warming” is the real name for this subject. (We’ll start with that answer tomorrow.) But why is our public discourse such a cosmic joke? So much like a carnival’s hall of mirrors? Because of “journalists” like James Barnes! We have no earthly idea why C-SPAN asked Barnes to discuss Gore on this program; he didn’t seem to have any knowledge of any part of Gore’s life, recent work or career. But he gave us a look at the sorry state of the public discourse after twenty years of invented tales and nonsense from the likes of Rush and Sean. He helped us see how a democracy gets to be when its “press corps” refuses to function.

The callers’ heads were full of mush. Barnes kept refusing to speak to the problem. But then, he’s part of a criminal class. More on his bad works tomorrow.

LATER THIS WEEK: Caller 10 cites the incomparable HOWLER!

More about those melting ice caps!

Barnes’ reply to Caller 8!


What Gore told Republicans, just last week, when told that Mars is warming.