Monday, August 12, 2013

They Deny Climate Science. Why Won't Reporters Call Them Science Deniers?

Dana RohrabacherAfter the party's drubbing in the 2012 elections, many political pundits speculated that Republicans would spend 2013 trying to seem less extreme. Instead, many are spending the August Congressional recess assuring the Tea Party that they are, in fact, 2 Extreme 2 Quit.

As first reported by +The Nation's +Lee Fang, Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA) has a bizarre theory that neatly ties his climate science denial into his broader delusions:
“Just so you'll know, global warming is a total fraud,” the 13-term lawmaker told a Tea Party group Thursday. Rohrabacher said the fraud has its origins with liberals at the local government level who want decision-making ceded to higher levels of government.

“You’ve got liberals who get elected at the local level [that] want the state government to do the work and let them make the decisions. Then at the state level they want the federal government to do it. And at the federal government they want to create global government to control all of our lives,” he said.
Republicans want to ban oral sex, ban gay marriage, ban a woman's right to choose, deport undocumented immigrants & send their children to massive government-run orphanages, ban workers from organizing into unions, and restrict which Americans get to vote. But it's liberals who want to use government to control your lives?

The Hill's Ben Geman adds:
Rohrabacher, whose remarks Thursday on climate began by disputing links between wildfires and global warming, is a longtime climate skeptic.
The science connecting man-made carbon pollution to climate disruption is much older and just as well established as the science connecting cigarettes to lung cancer. If a politician denied the link between cigarettes and cancer, we'd call them a science-denying shill who'd say anything for his friends at Big Tobacco.

Why do reporters tiptoe around politicians who attack climate science by calling them "skeptics"? As if they might judiciously change their minds depending on what's in NOAA's next set of satellite data? Dana Rohrabacher is a science-denying shill for industrial carbon polluters. It's OK to say that!

Here's the problem: Dana Rohrbacher hates to be called a science denier. Sure, he'll deny science all day. But if you call him on it, he'll claim to be a great student of science, because that's how Dana Rohrabacher would like to think of himself! That doesn't make it so.

Calling a science-denying politician like Dana Rohrbacher a science denier is 100% fair & accurate and reporters should do it more often. Are they really more interested in staying on politicians' good sides than being fair & accurate? (Don't answer that.)
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