Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Inhofe's last hurrah: blame THE MEDIA for global warming

While many eyes are focused on this morning’s arguments about global warming at the Supreme Court, global warming’s biggest friend is already planning ahead.

Clean Air Watch has learned that Senator James Inhofe (R-OK), the soon-to-be-deposed chairman of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, is planning one last hurrah, and it’s going to be a doozy:

Inhofe is planning a hearing next week (likely Wednesday, Dec. 6). The theme is “global warming and the media.” Yes, Inhofe is planning to blame the media for its role in informing the public about global warming.

Bashing the media is often the last resort of a floundering politician.

(Shades of Tricky Dick Nixon: who can forget his great line: “you won’t have Nixon to kick around anymore?”)

And Inhofe seems to be on the verge of a plunge into historic obscurity. (California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger recently suggested Inhofe exhibited “stone age” thinking. Senator John Warner of Virginia is challenging Inhofe for the post of top Republican on the environment panel. (My money’s on Warner.) And at least one conservative think tank writer is already suggesting that Inhofe may retire in two years.

Back to the media-bashing hearing. We understand that likely Inhofe witnesses could include:

David Deming – an adjunct scholar with the National Center for Policy Analysis, a right-wing “think tank” underwritten by ExxonMobil and other opponents of limits on global warming emissions.

Bob Carter – an Australian scientist and frequent contributor to Tech Central Station (yes, ExxonMobil puts money into it, too).

Dan Gainor – an analyst with the conservative Media Research Center’s “Business and Media Institute,” funded by right-wing foundations, who blasted the Fox News Channel last year for a documentary on global warming. (Yes – he smacked around the reliably right-wing Fox for daring to deviate from its usual position as “the best network for coverage of the global warming debate.”)

We don’t know who the Democrats are thinking about calling as witnesses, but perhaps they should consider a couple of media-savvy people with common sense:

--Gov. Schwarzenegger, who ripped Inhofe last Sunday on Meet the Press: “There's always in history been people that are back with their thinking in the Stone Age. And I think that the key thing for us is, is to not pay any attention to those things, because as I said, the science is in, we know the facts, there's not any more debate as to global warming or not. We have global warming and the fact also is that we can do something about it. We can slow it down or we can stop it, but only if everyone is working together.”

--Sports Illustrated writer and NBC football analyst Peter King (work with me here, folks):

“I think these are my non-football thoughts of the week:…

No global warming, huh? Why will we be able to go tanning outside today in New Jersey? And why, on the last day of the 11th month of the year, will it be 66 degrees outside?”

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