Published on February 21st, 2011 | by Zachary Shahan
Climate Denial Right Wing Noise Machine Goes After Mark Hertsgaard, Hertsagaard Responds
Of course, after Mark Hertsgaard and others put the pressure on climate cranks such as Senator James (global warming is a hoax) Inhofe last week (see: Hertsgaard Nails Inhofe, Oil Lobbyists [Amazing Video Interviews] and HOT Author Mark Hertsgaard & Others Interrogating Climate Cranks this Week [VIDEO]), the global warming denial and right wind noise machine had to respond. They’ve attacked Hertsgaard’s tactics, credentials, and plenty more. “They’ve accused us of Breitbart-style editing antics,” a representative of Mark’s wrote to me. “They’ve implied that Mark misrepresented his credentials. They’ve rallied conservative bloggers in an attempt to bully us and shout us down.”
It all comes down to one thing, though. Mark and the numerous environmental and media organizations working with him have threatened the global warming denial machine’s legitimacy and arguments.
“Reasonable people can disagree on Mark’s tactics, and we welcome that conversation. But their goal is only to distract from the point, which is that global warming is real, it’s happening right now, and it’s extremely dangerous,” Mark’s representative wrote.
Hertsgaard has a piece up on The Huffington Post today responding to this noise machine, worth a read: Climate Cranks Gin Up the Right Wing Noise Machine. Here’s a taster:
The right-wing media machine is a large part of the reason why denial of climate change persists in the United States long after the rest of the world has acknowledged the problem. Over the past few days, I’ve gotten a close-up look at how the machine works, because I’ve been its target….
It didn’t take long for the right-wing media machine to start its attack. Inhofe’s office posted its own video of our encounter a few hours later, spinning it as “an ambush” of the Senator, a charge that was repeated when the video later appeared online on the Fox network. (I don’t call it Fox News for the simple reason that it’s not a news outfit; it’s a propaganda operation.)
It’s hilarious to hear the right wing describe our questioning of Inhofe as “an ambush,” thereby portraying the Senator as a victim. Here’s what actually happened.
Inhofe was in a committee hearing room in a Senate office building, along with other senators. Like countless reporters have done for countless years, I waited outside in the corridor, as did a reporter from a trade journal, hoping to buttonhole one or more of the Senators when they emerged. When Inhofe came out, I walked up to him, accompanied by the Sierra Club and Generation Hot representatives, and asked if I could ask some questions about climate science. To his credit, Inhofe agreed and spent about six minutes debating with us.
Memo to the right-wing media machine: that is not “an ambush.” It’s called journalism, though I’m hardly surprised the Fox TV crowd doesn’t recognize the distinction.
Instead of engaging on the substance — most especially, the grievous wrong being done to the young people of Generation Hot by the deniers of climate change — the right wing machine has tried to shift the focus to my journalistic tactics. They complain that I ambushed and took advantage of Senator Inhofe — as if the Senator is an innocent child rather than a veteran politician who is used to being asked tough questions by journalists….
I take the right wing media machine’s attacks as a badge of honor and a sign that we drew blood. I suspect they’re trying to shut down the discussion about climate science and the impacts on our kids because they know it’s a losing conversation for them. So they try to distract by talking about everything else.
Additionally, in response to Inhofe’s question, “What if you’re wrong?,” Adam Siegel, elaborates on the response we gave last week in a great post as well: Generation Hot questions … and gets told “science doesn’t really matter”.