Crazy People Discuss Important Issue By Shouting A Lot

12 November 2007

FOX News has set up a 5-against-1 panel to discuss Hillary Clinton's recently released climate and energy plan. They discuss it by circumventing all of the plan's details, repeatedly calling the one pro-Clinton guy an "idiot," and acting as if any government regulation whatsoever is tantamount to "going back to the Stone Age."

Starting off the segment, a graphic appears on the bottom of the screen (where it stays for the next eight minutes), leadingly asking "HILLARY'S NEW 'GREEN' PLAN: WILL IT PUT AMERICA IN THE 'RED' ?" The blonde chick (who is supposed to be some sort of neutral moderator) immediately answers that question: "it's gonna cost a lot."

Jonathan Hoenig immediately chimes in with his brilliant insight, stating "I hate it" and then arguing that energy is good for making our lives productive. So far, there have been no arguments made. Everyone agrees that "energy is good" and nobody has ever argued against that position.

Then comes the invective: "These greens, these crazy wacky greens are against any use of the earth, and they're, like, more in favor of the prairie dog than letting me drive my car to work in the morning. End of story."

So far, there have still been no arguments made at all. Just lots of "I hate it" and "you're crazy." But the blonde chick is pleased. She laughs, as if Hoenig just made a good point or said something funny, and then simply says "he's taking aim at you" (referring to the one guy she brought on the show to mock).

The Greenpeace guy (John Passacantando) is really just the foil here. He says some vague things about how climate change is an important issue, but then the panel gets right back to the invective.

The blonde chick rolls her eyes and asks, "Do you believe in Hillary's plan?" Wayne Rogers (the actor from M*A*S*H) quickly chimes in: "I think Hillary's plan is idiotic." He proceeds to read something from the first page of her fourteen-page plan about a proposed "energy efficiency agenda," and then sarcastically asks, "What the hell does that mean?" It seems as if Wayne skipped the part of her plan where she talks about raising CAFE standards, raising efficiency standards of appliances through the Department of Energy, establishing a Connie Mae program to allow homeowners to better insulate their homes, updating public transportation to be more energy efficient, etc. Rather than discussing any of the details, Wayne would rather ask sarcastic questions and pretend that the plan is complete fluff.

Wayne goes on to pretend that there are no details about the costs (there are) and that there are no details about how it will be paid for (there are), summarizing that he thinks Clinton is "a crazy person" and that she's "irresponsible."

Rather than going through the rest of the segment point-by-point, I'll just summarize it here: a bunch of hacks shout at each other (particularly at the Greenpeace guy), pretend that they know something about this issue, make fun of Hillary Clinton, and then Jonathan Hoenig throws a bunch of Kleenexes around while saying "this must absolutely piss you off" (seriously).

UPDATE: The supremely excellent Climate Progress covers the segment here (and refers to yours truly). Best quote: "Of course, anyone who quits M*A*S*H after only three seasons, shouldn’t call anyone else crazy"

UPDATE II: Grist has better coverage of Clinton's energy plan here.

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