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On the March 22 edition of his CNN Headline News program, Glenn Beck allowed Sen. James Inhofe (R-OK) to distort former Vice President Al Gore's March 21 testimony before the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works. Meanwhile, Beck himself likened Gore to Nazi propagandist Joseph Goebbels for Gore's statement, during his testimony before the House Committee on Energy and Commerce, that he would initiate a "mass persuasion campaign" to urge Congress to act on climate change.
Inhofe noted that he asked Gore at the Senate hearing to sign a pledge requiring that his Tennessee residence consume no more energy than the average U.S. household. Inhofe's pledge stems from recent allegations by the Tennessee Center for Policy Research (TCPR) that the Gores used more than 220,000 kilowatt-hours of electricity in 2006. Inhofe told Beck: "I said, 'Are you ready to change the way you live, 'cause you're consuming 20 times the amount of energy?' and he would not respond to it. I asked him three times if you go back and review the tape." In fact, as Media Matters for America repeatedly noted, Gore did not explicitly answer with a yes or no to Inhofe's question. Gore said that he and his family "purchase wind energy and other green energy that does not produce carbon dioxide," but Inhofe interrupted him six times. It was not until Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-CA), the committee chair, promised Inhofe five minutes of additional questioning time that Gore was able to offer a full response:
GORE: We live a carbon neutral life, Senator, and both of my businesses are carbon neutral. We buy green energy. We do not contribute to the problem that I'm joining with others to try to help solve. We pay more for clean energy, and I think that utilities ought to provide more green energy that doesn't produce CO2, and we are in the midst of installing solar panels.
Beck and Inhofe went on to discuss Gore's "mass persuasion campaign," a movement to draw attention toward the challenge of climate change -- which prompted Beck to declare that Gore "sounded a little bit like Goebbels."
From the March 22 edition of CNN Headline News' Glenn Beck:
BECK: OK. The pledge that you asked him to sign that he wouldn't.
BECK: He didn't even answer the question on that.
INHOFE: He uses 20 times the amount of energy as the average American and, yet, if you will look at the -- this movie, this thing that he has on, the last slide says: "Are you ready to change your -- the way you live?"
Now, so I said, "Are you ready to change the way you live, 'cause you're consuming 20 times the amount of energy?" and he would not respond to it. I asked him three times if you go back and review the tape.
INHOFE: So, I think that's it. Here's what we need to do. We had a pledge for him to sign, just to do what he's asking the rest of America to do, and I think, every week or two, we should say, "All right, it's been two weeks now. Have you signed the pledge yet?"
BECK: It is really -- one of the things in it that I heard yesterday in his testimony that I thought was disturbing was this -- what did he call it? -- a massive persuasion campaign. That sounded a little bit like Goebbels or Gore-bels.
INHOFE: Well, yeah. But also, we had a chance -- and this plays into this. In New York, there was a bunch of his people -- and this is The New York Times; they all love him -- and yet they said in The New York Times that he is getting so extreme in some of his examples that he's hurting his own cause.
INHOFE: And I told him that. And that is happening. I'm recognizing. We're seeing a major shift, Glenn, of the people who are his top supporters are coming over now and saying, "Hey, wait a minute. Let's look at the science again. This [inaudible] thing isn't working."
BECK: Hey, you know, Senator, I tend to agree with you on the fact that he's going to hang himself. I mean, he's -- to me, it almost seems like he is going to be the next Cindy Sheehan, where the Democrats ran out to embrace Cindy Sheehan and get their photo taken and be there when it was hot, but then, once the Cindy Sheehan thing started to be exposed on who she really was, I mean, you can't -- you won't find those pictures of those people anywhere.
INHOFE: I think that -- I think that's a great analogy, because, right now, if you watch very carefully, he'll -- he prides himself in trying to intimidate people or being condescending, and that just doesn't play. You know, people -- there's nothing wrong with humility. He ought to try it sometime.
BECK: Senator, when he was talking about some of the programs, I cannot help but think that -- what a lot of people don't -- you know, the freshmen in college that are, you know, gung-ho on the Earth, what they don't understand, because they haven't been around long enough, is that this really is nothing but a tax program.
There are millions, billions, and, globally, trillions of dollars at stake here, and that's what really this is all about, isn't it? A tax program?
INHOFE: It really is. Now, what I tried to do, is I said -- I went down to the floor in 1993 when we had the Clinton-Gore tax increase. It was that $32 billion tax increase.
This is a $300 billion tax increase -- 10 times greater than the other one. That means every man, woman, and child, or every family of four who's watching you right now will have to pay an additional $2,700 a year in taxes. That's huge.
And so he doesn't like to talk about that. And if you notice, he would never respond to that. Well, he knows it's true. In fact, I'll tell you this: The figures that he had when he was in the White House as vice president were $338 billion.
BECK: Senator, keep up the good work. Thank you.
INHOFE: Hey, will do. Thank you, Glenn.