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DISAPPEARING ICE DISAPPEARED! At HuffPo, Mooney described three parts—of an ongoing, four-part problem: // link // print // previous // next //
THURSDAY, MARCH 29, 2007

THE STORY OF CHRIS AND THE BIG HORNY MONSTER: Who should Democrats nominate for the White House? At THE HOWLER, we haven’t decided. But if you still don’t understand the venom aimed at Hillary Clinton by some of our most broken-souled male pundits, you should have heard Chris Matthews expound on yesterday’s Imus. program.

Can Clinton be elected president? he was asked. The question set the excitable ranter off on his latest Bill Donohue-style tear. As often happens when he thinks about Clinton, Matthews pictured big, green, horny monsters. Readers, it’s simply gigantic:
MATTHEWS (3/28/07): You know, somewhere out in the Atlantic Ocean, I think there might be a giant, green, ugly, horny monster. A gigantic, gigantic monster of anti-Hillary, and anti-woman Hillary, anti-liberal woman Hillary, some real ferocious beast out there that says no matter what happens between now and Election Day, they're not going to let her win. Men, some women, are just not going to let this woman, this woman win the presidency. I don't know whether that monster's out there. All men I meet are afraid to talk like that. You only hear criticism of Hillary from smart, college-educated women. They're the ones that always have a problem with her now.
Simply put, this man is a nut. (Yes, he actually said the word “horny.”) His discussion would only get worse this day—but note what he had already said. He had said that men have these Hillary-hating feelings—and he knows this even though, in his experience, only women are voicing such views. He hasn’t heard other men say these things. But he knows what they’re secretly thinking.

Of course, one man hasn’t been afraid to talk like that—and that man is the nut-case, Chris Matthews. He has aimed endless gender-based insults at Clinton—and as he continued along with Imus, he gave us a look at the secret feelings that have been driving his vile, nasty rants. He told Imus that “it's easier for men to accept a black guy as president than a woman president”—but he said that no one wants to discuss this because of “all this politically correct, careful discussion.” (Many people have discussed the matters he mentioned to Imus. For the fuller text of this session, see link below.) Then, we got a look at the demons that scream inside Matthews’ soul. A sense of grievance was clear in his voice as his rubbed his thigh and began to complain about the vile things he imagines:
IMUS: She still wouldn't be as bad as her husband or the current guy, so—if she does get elected.

MATTHEWS: Well, her husband, this thing is—is she enabling him or what? What's going on? Ron Burkle, his play-mate out there in L.A.—Bill's play-mate—is the one raising money for her campaign. Is this some deal? Where she puts up with him and his lifestyle so that he raises her money?
What was Matthews insinuating as he scornfully stressed the word “play-mate?” Soon, the broken-souled life-form made it clear. Try to believe that he said it:
MATTHEWS: I mean, it's so synchronized, the swimming, of his behavior and his world and her need to be president. And the way it works together is a little unsavory. Am I wrong?

IMUS: I hear you. No, you're right. No, you're a hundred percent right.

MATTHEWS: And we're all supposed to notice this sitcom but not mention it. We're supposed to notice. He always wants us to know he's got Astroturf in the back of his car. He always wants us to know that stuff—that he's the stud. But we're not supposed to talk about it. He wants us to know it, and clam up, and live with it. That's his attitude towards this.
Poor Chris! Inside his mind, he hears a voice, and it says that Bill Clinton is really the stud! And not only that: We're not supposed to talk about this! Bill Clinton wants Matthews to clam up—about the things Matthews has imagined.

Good God! This excitable man is just convinced that Bill Clinton is still getting laid. He won’t explain how he knows, or why others should care. But he knows what’s happening in Bill Clinton’s life—and he knows what happening in Bill Clinton’s mind. And good God! That “astroturf” comment was a reference to a dumb thing Clinton said about his earlier life “when I was a younger man...in the 70s.” Clinton made this unwise comment in February—of 1994! But thirteen years later, it still torments Matthews. And when he considers this troubling topic, a green, horny monsters pops into his head. And people, it’s simply gigantic.

Simply put, Matthews is a screaming nut. NBC should drag him off to a place where he can get some good medical care. But then, here are MSNBC’s Tucker Carlson and Pat Buchanan, discussing Hillary Clinton last night. Bill Press had also been booked on the show, apparently to represent adults:
PRESS (3/28/07): Let me tell you something, people always underestimate Hillary’s skills as a candidate. When she gets out there in front of a crowd, she is a rock star. And she can turn people around...

CARLSON: Plus, she got the endorsement from the National Organization for Women today. Which really says it all. I mean, what decade are we living in?

BUCHANAN: If she hadn’t got it, Tucker, you should have led with it.

CARLSON: That’s exactly right. Listen to this, there’s a huge gender gap. I think this is what hurts Hillary, is not the fact that she is a woman, but the fact that she is a feminist. She is a 70s hold-over. Over half of men and married women say they would not vote for her for president. Those are the people who don`t like—single women in their 20s are open to Hillary. Although, I think they prefer a Obama, in my experience. But married women and men—the dudes—do not like Hillary. It’s a problem. There are still a lot of men in this country.

PRESS: Yes, there are a lot of men in this country. There are more women voters than men. Women like Hillary, and enough men will like Hillary to make her the nominee and, I believe, the next president.

BUCHANAN: But you hit it, Tucker. It is the feminist thing that is the problem. It’s not that she`s a woman. You get a lot of women out there, men would be very attractive, ready to vote for her. But when that voice of hers goes up, brother, and hits the high pitches, you know, every husband in America has heard that, Bill, and everyone one of them takes off.

PRESS: That is a sexist remark.

BUCHANAN: Have you heard her at the top level?

CARLSON: It may be [a sexist remark], but it’s also entirely, undebatably true.
“There are still a lot of men in this country!” Not that you’d know it from watching the boys who parade on this channel each night.

For these boys, it always gets back to that high-pitched voice—the voice which “every husband in America has heard.” Note to Buchanan: If you don’t actually like your wife, who don’t you f*cking divorce her?

It’s hard to believe how weak these boys are—what perfect, throw-back clowns they are. But someone should get the word to Matthews, who rubs his thigh hard as he thinks about Burkle. There actually are a few brave men man who haven’t been silenced by all the correctness! A few other men are as childish as he—and they all seem to work at his network.

FULLER TEXT: At Media Matters, Ryan Chiachiere presents a fuller text of the Imus session—with video. You know what to do—just click here.

A FEARLESS MAN SCANS THE LOBBY: The last time we personally chatted with Chris, he was scanning the lobby looking for prostitutes. To catch the vibe of this loony William Donohue knock-off, see THE DAILY HOWLER, 1/30/07.

Special report: Mars is warming!


PART 3—DISAPPEARING ICE DISAPPEARED: Caller 5 was thoroughly wrong about that melting Arctic ice cap. He spoke this Monday on Washington Journal—and misled those who were listening:
CALLER 5 (3/26/07): 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.
Yes, Caller 5 was thoroughly wrong—but he wasn’t corrected or challenged. Instead, the National Journal’s James Barnes offered this weak response to his call:
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.
Pathetic. Viewers weren’t told that Caller 5 had confused the melting of the polar ice cap with the possible loss of the Greenland ice sheet (see THE DAILY HOWLER, 3/27/07). Again, they heard that Gore was full of old shoes about global warming—and they heard no correction or challenge.

But so it goes, as the right-wing bullsh*t machine spreads disinformation about Gore and warming. This Monday, at the Huffington Post, Chris Mooney tried to describe this very process—tried to explain “why so many Republicans reject mainstream science on the issue of climate change.” Everything Mooney said was correct—but he left out one key part of the process. Here was Mooney’s three-part explanation of a four-part scam:
MOONEY (3/26/07):
1. The broad and longstanding conservative distrust of academia and "leftwing" campus intellectuals, including scientists. This allows many Republicans to dismiss large bodies of scientific research as essentially politicized and therefore safe to ignore.

2. The growth of ideological think tanks which provide alternative "facts" and alternative "knowledge" tailor-made for conservatives. It's not just that many Republicans reject mainline "science"; they actually have their own.

3. The growth of a rightwing media that quotes the think-tank "experts" and puts them on the air regularly—so that the sealed off alternative knowledge environment becomes complete and very hard for mainstream science to penetrate...
As career liberal writers so often do, Mooney politely failed to mention the other key part of this ongoing scam. He mentioned the “right-wing media”—and gave the mainstream press corps a pass. Here—we’ll complete his work for him:
MOONEY EXPANDED:
4. The refusal of mainstream news orgs to challenge, contradict or correct the fake “facts” of right-wing pseudo-science.
In the real world, here’s what actually happens. Those “ideological think tanks” dream up fake science, and peddle it to people like Caller 5. And then, our biggest “mainstream” news orgs routinely pretend not to notice! In public forums, the Callers repeat their bogus, bungled beliefs—and journalists like Barnes refuse to correct them. Other citizens have no way to know that the Callers are baldly confused.

Mooney forgot to mention that problem, as polite career liberal writers often do. And he forgot to mention this: Often, our mainstream news orgs go out of their way to create additional pseudo-science—or to suppress the actual science, the science which would help the public understand global warming. For example, what’s really going on with that Arctic ice cap—the ice cap Caller 5 discussed? Let’s return to a story we mentioned last week—a story that was first reported last December, quite correctly, in the New York Times.

The Times headline correctly described the new science: “By 2040, Greenhouse Gases Could Lead to an Open Arctic Sea in Summers.” In his report, Andrew Revkin summarized the findings of several important new studies:
REVKIN (12/12/06): New studies project that the Arctic Ocean could be mostly open water in summer by 2040—several decades earlier than previously expected—partly as a result of global warming caused by emissions of greenhouse gases.

The projections come from computer simulations of climate and ice and from direct measurements showing that the amount of ice coverage has been declining for 30 years.

The latest modeling study, being published today in the journal Geophysical Research Letters, was led by Marika Holland of the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colo.
In the summer months, the Arctic ice cap could be totally gone by 2040, these new studies said. And yes, these studies were actual news—reported by major news orgs worldwide. The studies were reported by the UPI—and by newspapers all over the globe. On December 17, science reporter Bob Bazell presented the story on the NBC Nightly News. (Full disclosure: We attended high school with Bazell, although he’s substantially older.)

But uh-oh! A problem quickly arose. On December 14, Al Gore addressed the annual meeting of the American Geophysical Union, in San Francisco—and he cited this latest study, as news orgs all over the world had done. As we noted last week, Jane Kay reported Gore’s speech in the San Francisco Chronicle:
KAY (12/15/06): Even after 40 years of following the science of climate change, [Gore]said he was surprised to learn this week about new, earlier projections for when the Arctic sea ice will completely melt during the summertime. That research came from scientists at the National Snow and Ice Data Center at the University of Colorado.

"I was shocked that their horizon was 34 years under a business-as-usual scenario. If we allow it to go, it won't come back under any timetable relevant to the human species,'' Gore said.
Gore had correctly described the new research—the research which had been widely reported as news. This produced a major problem for the “journalists” at NPR.

You see, at NPR they like to please the people who invent that fake pseudo-science. People like Mooney tend to avoid this problem, but NPR is one of the “mainstream news orgs” which are eager to roll over and beg when those “ideological think tanks” create their “alternative facts”—and their bogus narratives. Indeed, just last week, we showed you what NPR did to this new study about that ice cap. In a preview report on Gore’s congressional testimony, NPR’s Richard Harris went on the air and pretended that Gore had somehow misstated that new study about the melting ice cap (see THE DAILY HOWLER, 3/23/07). Result? NPR listeners had their understanding skewed about the actual state of the science—and about who they can trust in the warming discussion.

How do people like Caller 5 get confused on the science of warming? Simple! Crackpot spin-tanks invent fake facts, and spew them out through the standard channels. Rush and Sean and others repeat them—and they get into Caller 5's head. And omigod! When Caller 5 calls a news org like C-SPAN, a mainstream journalist refuses to correct him. At NPR, meanwhile, Vichy-style “journalists” like Richard Harris agree to confuse matters further.

What’s going on with that Arctic ice cap? Most likely, Barnes didn’t actually know. (He seemed to know little about any part of Gore’s life or career.) But Richard Harris surely did know—and he agreed to muck things up anyway. Those new studies were actual news in December. But by last week, NPR used those same studies to promote a fake theme—to tell us that Gore bungles facts.

Which brings us up to C-SPAN’s Caller 9—to his well-scripted claim that Mars is warming. How did that get into Caller 9's head? Let’s cue the mad Russian scientist!

TOMORROW: A mad Russian scientist!