If Ken Burns lives long enough, he should be able to do a documentary on what life was like before cable TV and the Internet. Meanwhile, here’s what he thinks:
Burns says the proliferation of cheap production and distribution technologies for creative expression is a cause for optimisim but worries about audience fragmentation. “When I grew up, there were four or five channels and people basically shared a common canon of knowledge….Now people can seek their own self-satisfying sources of knowledge [which] is hugely dangerous.”
As a famous news anchor used to say, “And that’s the way it is…”
A typical day in Moranoland includes cynical, misleading headlines such as this:
A sad day in journalism: NYT’s Andrew Revkin promotes word ‘denier’ in global warming debate
Here is the supposed offending Dot Earth post, which discusses a recently published chart depicting a nexus of organized opposition to climate change. Of course, Morano’s faux indignation fails to acknowledge Revkin’s contextualized write-up:
But it’s important to keep in mind that not everyone skeptical of worst-case predictions of human-driven climate disruption, or everyone opposed to certain climate policies, is part of this apparatus.
What’s also important to keep in mind is how partisans shamelessly exploit the semantics of the climate debate at every turn.
UPDATE: Joe Romm rarely disappoints (or surprises):
Some try to downplay the central role of the denial machine in U.S. politics, but the fact is that what the deniers have accomplished in this country is unique in the world, going far beyond the spread of disinformation.
So two antagonists representing opposite ends of this debate fault Revkin for his interpretation of the chart. Make of that what you will.
It turns out that some leading moderate Republicans are chafing at the “anti-science” label being affixed to their party. The National Journal has the story:
Between 2005 and 2010, prominent moderate Republican Sens. John McCain of Arizona, Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, and John Warner of Virginia (now retired) were among Washington’s leading voices in the call to fight climate change, and authored cap-and-trade bills aimed at addressing the problem.
And they did so as leaders of their party: while running for president, chairing Senate committees, and working within the congressional leadership.
Now, moderate Republicans like McCain and Graham have quieted their voices on the issue, in part because acknowledging climate change puts them out of sync with the tea party base that has so energized their party, and because climate-change legislation stands no chance of passing Congress in the current political environment.
But quietly, many acknowledge a deepening GOP schism over the issue, as many moderates grow increasingly disturbed by their party’s denial of proven science. A number of influential Republicans who have left the battlefield of electoral politics are now taking action in an effort to change the GOP’s stance.
Some of that action described in the story is old news, but the larger concern about being tagged an anti-science party is growing in some corners of the GOP. And the response isn’t to blow smoke at it, but to actually face up to it.