It's amazing how so many pundits who spent the entire 2000 mocking Al Gore, telling us how phony and abnormal and boring he was, and how authentic George W. Bush was, now try to rewrite history and pretend that they saw right through W. eight years ago. Add Maureen Dowd to the list of fictional I-told-you-so's.
In her Sunday column, Down writes:
The really scary part of the Palin interview was how much she seemed like W. in 2000, and not just the way she pronounced nu-cue-lar. She had the same flimsy but tenacious adeptness at saying nothing, the same generalities and platitudes, the same restrained resentment at being pressed to be specific, as though specific is the province of silly eggheads, not people who clear brush at the ranch or shoot moose on the tundra.
Palin's a lightweight just like W. in 2000, Dowd warns us. It would have been nice if Dowd had, y'know, actually warned us about that eight years ago instead of obsessing over Gore's trumped up faults.
On CNN Newsroom, Ali Velshi falsely claimed, "In 2005, Hurricane Katrina destroyed more than 40 of these [offshore drilling] platforms, but still no oil shed into the Gulf of Mexico because of that." In fact, a 2007 report prepared for the federal government by an international consulting firm identified damage from Katrina to 27 platforms and rigs that resulted in the spilling of approximately 2,843 barrels of petroleum products into the Gulf of Mexico.
The Associated Press, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and The Washington Post all reported Sen. John McCain's assertion at a forum hosted by Pastor Rick Warren that he believes "a baby [is] entitled to human rights" "[a]t the moment of conception." But none of the articles raised the question of how McCain reconciles this statement with his support for federal funding of embryonic stem cell research and certain exceptions to a ban on abortion.
A Washington Times article uncritically repeated an assertion by Sen. John McCain campaign spokesman Tucker Bounds that "[i]n the Senate, Barack Obama has voted in lockstep with President George W. Bush nearly half the time" and did not mention that, according to Congressional Quarterly, McCain voted with the Bush administration 95 percent of the time in 2007 and has voted with Bush 90 percent of the time over the course of Bush's presidency.
On his Milwaukee radio talk show, Mark Belling referred to schoolteachers who talk to their students about global warming as "idiot union teacher[s]," "liberal unionized hack[s]," "greedy, overpaid unionized schoolteacher[s]," and "fruitcake[s]."
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On his CNN Headline News program, Glenn Beck did not challenge former Shell Oil president John Hofmeister's assertion that drilling in ANWR would "probably" produce oil in "two or three years." In fact, the Energy Department's Energy Information Administration concluded that any benefit from drilling in ANWR would not impact the U.S. oil supply for at least a decade.
On his radio show, Rush Limbaugh said of the environmental effects following the 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill in Prince William Sound, Alaska, "[N]ature cleaned it up faster than we ever could." However, an NOAA research chemist reportedly said "very little of the oil actually disappeared," while scientists employed by the state and federal governments recently reported that the effects of the oil spill remain.
The New York Times and The Washington Times uncritically reported that the McCain campaign "ridiculed" Sen. Barack Obama for encouraging people to properly inflate their tires to increase fuel efficiency without noting that the practice has been to shown to reduce fuel consumption or that two Republican governors and McCain surrogates have referred to the fuel economy benefits of properly inflated tires.
In reporting the McCain campaign's attack on Sen. Barack Obama for "the $400,000 from big oil contributors" he has received, The New York Times' The Caucus blog did not point out that, according to the Center for Responsive Politics, Sen. John McCain has received approximately $1.3 million from the oil and gas industry, more than triple the amount Obama has received.
On Hannity & Colmes, Newt Gingrich ridiculed Sen. Barack Obama for encouraging people to properly inflate their tires and falsely suggested that that constituted Obama's only "energy strategy." In fact, Obama has proposed a "Plan for a Clean Energy Future," which includes proposals to "invest $150 billion over 10 years in clean energy," "improve energy efficiency 50 percent by 2030," "support next generation biofuels," and "double fuel economy standards within 18 years." And, Gingrich's ridicule aside, the Department of Energy and the EPA, as well as Republican governors Arnold Schwarzenegger and Charlie Crist, have all referred to the fuel economy benefits of properly inflated tires.
Fox news host Gregg Jarrett did not challenge the false assertion by U.S. Secretary of Energy Samuel Bodman that "[w]hen we had Katrina and Rita, the two worst hurricanes in at least in recent memory, in '05, some three years ago, there was not one case where we had a -- a situation with oil or gas being spilled in the environment." In fact, according to a 2007 report prepared for the U.S. Minerals Management Service, Hurricanes Katrina and Rita resulted in 124 spills from outer continental shelf structures with a total volume of more than 17,000 barrels of petroleum.
CBS' Chip Reid stated, "[Sen. John] McCain says he now supports increased offshore drilling, as do 73 percent of Americans, because, he says, more oil supplies will bring prices down," and went on to claim, "[Sen. Barack] Obama says offshore drilling harms the environment, and looks to the past, not the future." But Reid provided no indication that Obama has directly rebutted the suggestion that "increased offshore oil drilling ... will bring prices down" by pointing to the conclusion of "most experts, even within the Bush Administration," that doing so would not affect gas prices for many years.
The New York Times reported that "leading Democrats" argue "that allowing additional coastal exploration [for oil] would have no immediate impact on gas prices." But the article did not note that it is not only "leading Democrats" who have pointed out that access to currently off-limit areas would have no immediate impact on prices: The U.S. Department of Energy has estimated that allowing the congressional and executive moratoriums on certain off-shore drilling to expire in 2012 "would not have a significant impact on domestic crude oil and natural gas production or prices before 2030."