The provocation? A comment by a conservative media watcher, Dan Gainor of the Media Research Center, on the Fox Business Channel—accusing the new Muppets movie of being “liberal” since the bad guy in the film turns out to be an oil tycoon. It was just part of Fox Business host Eric Bolling going on about whether liberals, through the flick, are “trying to brainwash your kids against capitalism.”
In the press conference, Kermit responds to the charge by noting that in the movie, the Muppets are actually riding in a “gas guzzling Rolls Royce.”
Miss Piggy then goes one better, calling the accusation “almost as laughable as accusing Fox News as being, you know, news.”
Now even Bill O’Reilly has weighed in, telling the Muppets to “watch it.” I think he may have been joking. I think.
I wouldn’t make so much of this, were it not for the fact that this kind of thing happens all the time. I mean, it was just last year that Fox picked a fight with SpongeBob Squarepants—because SpongeBob dared to be accurate about global warming.
Contrary to its stated commitment to stop funding climate denier groups, the Exxon funding spigot remained as open as the BP gusher, continuing to pollute the media landscape with oil-soaked misinformation designed to cripple international action on climate change.
Greenpeace’s ExxonSecrets project has documented the nearly $25 million spent by ExxonMobil since 1998 to fund climate denier groups.
Exxon-funded groups used their latest infusion of oil money to create a media frenzy over the “Climategate” non-scandal and other efforts to derail progress towards an international agreement to fight climate change at the COP-15 talks in Copenhagen last winter.
The goal of this campaign, which began around the time of the first Kyoto Protocol negotiations, was to assemble a group of like-minded “free-market” think tanks and pseudo-experts that would bring into question the scientific realities of climate change, create doubt with the public and politicians and effectively delay the introduction of clean energy policy in the United States.
It’s no coincidence that the groups pushing this story the hardest have a long history of taking money from oil and coal companies to attack the conclusions made by climate scientists.
What I wouldn’t do to have a few of these organizations private emails over the years!
Here’s a few of the groups I’m talking about and a very brief background on their previous activities, as well as funding sources:
Health care reform seems a long way from climate change but they share something very important in common: well funded interest groups that want to keep things just the way they are.
Take the Manhattan Institute. They are railing against proposed health care reform, churning out a dizzying number of reports and op-eds about why “Obama-care” is wrong for America. They also expend abundant effort slagging climate science, last year feting Danish doubter Bjorn Lomborg. The Manhattan Institute received $235,000 from ExxonMobil, as well as funding from various other conservative organizations.
Other groups working hard to derail Obama’s health care platform include the notorious Heartland Institute. Desmog Blog readers will remember their remarkably unethical efforts to associate unwitting climate researchers with their propaganda campaign against climate science.
Forget any real science, when it comes to right-wing bloggers apparently all it takes to disprove an entire body of scientific evidence is the conspiracy theories of a retired weatherman.
The blog portion of Brett Bozell's Media Research Center, Newsbusters, ExxonMobil funded, echo chamber is today asking, “if the founder of The Weather Channel spoke out strongly against the manmade global warming myth, might media members notice?”
Yes Newsbusters, I'm sure the media will report on a retired weatherman's rantings about a global conspiracy of scientists and environmentalists.
Sheppard writes: “So, folks like McIntyre, Fred Singer, Richard Lindzen, Tim Ball, Benny Peiser, Robert Carter, Anthony Watts, and all those around the world including myself who are exposing the flaws in the anthropogenic global warming myth are jesters deceiving the public.”
Well, yes, in fact that would be true if you consider that within the context of science, there are those who are actually doing research and publishing their findings in the peer-reviewed literature.
The right-wing outfit “Newsbusters” has targeted ABC News correspondent Bill Blakemore for his coverage of climage change.
Blakemore was the first major network correspondent to make the connection between weather extremes and global warming (in his recent segment on the 10-inch flood in Houston and the spreading wildfires several hundred miles away in Arizona. For breaking the long-standing reluctance of the media to make that connection, he deserves GREAT congratulations!
Democracy is utterly dependent upon an electorate that is accurately informed. In promoting climate change denial (and often denying their responsibility for doing so) industry has done more than endanger the environment. It has undermined democracy.
There is a vast difference between putting forth a point of view, honestly held, and intentionally sowing the seeds of confusion. Free speech does not include the right to deceive. Deception is not a point of view. And the right to disagree does not include a right to intentionally subvert the public awareness.