Tempest in a Tea Party: Fox News gets in a bunch about Climate and Race
August 30, 2011
Two things going on here.
1. The Right Wing is kind of sensitive about that racism thing.
2. The denialist media takes every opportunity to distort, obfuscate, completely miss, (or, in this case, all of the above) a point.
We got another reminder the other day after a short, off hand remark by Al Gore became the topic of spittle flecked outrage on Fox News and other alternative reality venues. In discussing the current polarized atmosphere around the topic of climate change, Gore made the comparison to the way a younger generation in the 60s challenged the existing conventions of southern racism – and went on to urge people to challenge errors, lies and manufactured misconceptions around climate.
The relevant clip above is only 3 minutes long, and it came towards the end of an hour long (very worthwhile) interview that can be seen in its entirety here.
It’s hard to believe that your average Fox talking head would have the time or inclination to actually sit through something as wonky as that. But, somewhere in the bowels of Fox News, we’re told, there is a “brain room”, where, presumably, gray matter is kept under lock and key, and only accessible to those with the highest clearance. That must be the place where boring “ideas” and “facts” are scrutinized and, occasionally, doled out in tiny, carefully contextualized and scripted bits to the empty talking heads that populate the Fox’s intellectual wasteland. Watch the manufactured outrage here.
One reason the min-tempest struck home is that I just saw “The Help” – a summer movie based on the bestselling novel (and produced by Participant, the same group that produced “An Inconvenient Truth”) – which convincingly re-creates the atmosphere of institutionalized segragation and unconscious racism in 1963 Jackson, Mississippi.
In the movie, the proper young women of Jackson’s upper crust casually reel off “facts” (“they carry different diseases, you know”) that serve to rationalize the segregationist practices of the day. All in all, highly recommended and rewarding, with some great performances, including a remarkable turns by Viola Davis and Octavia Spencer. (It’s hard to get me into something as character and story driven as this, my favorite movie of the summer was “Captain America”, but my lovely, cultured, and sensitive wife dragged me.)
The film illustrates that, slowly, we do make progress – but recent events remind us that climate denial and the anti-science movement, like racism, may be with us for a long time.