Monday, May 03, 2010

Hey I Saw That Train Wreck!

Thanks, Brad Schaeffer, for discussing at length the truly bad idea that ABC News had yesterday, enlisting an idiot like Bill Maher to participate in the discussion panel on the morning news program. This guy is a fool - he is an anti-vaccine nutter, and clearly knows almost nothing. A few of Brad's observations:
The acerbic Maher is used to making outrageous and factually empty statements on his HBO talk-show and getting nothing but an approving nod from his guests and howls of affirmation from his unwashed peanut gallery in return. But when he made this claim: “I could criticize America in general for not attacking this problem [dependency on fossil fuels] in the Seventies. I mean, Brazil got off oil in the last thirty years we certainly could’ve,” he was woefully ill-prepared to be called out on it by the acutely observant Will who pressed him: “Bill, can you just explain to me in what sense Brazil ‘got off oil’?”
It was an uncomfortable moment of reality TV as Maher played the proverbial deer in headlights. “Uh…I believe they did. I believe they, in the Seventies they had a program to use sugar cane ethanol and I believe that is what fuels their country.” A Ralph Kramden “hamana-hamana” could not have betrayed less command of the issue. Will promptly reminded the comedian: “They still burn a lot of oil and have a lot of it off-shore.”
In case Maher needs some help, EIA statistics show that Brazil produces 2.4 million barrels of oil per day and consumes roughly 2.52mm bpd–ranking it #8 on the list of oil consuming nations. It is true that they may soon be a net oil exporter…but this because their production capacity has steadily increased as new fields are tapped while consumption has remained steady, not because they are “off oil.” In fact, the largest oil discoveries in recent years have come from Brazil’s off-shore, pre-salt basins in which Brazil’s state oil company Petrobras is investing $220 billion to explore. Off-shore exploration rights have also been sold this year to BP for $7 billion. That’s a far cry from “off oil” eh Bill? But why let reality and data stand in the way of a good liberal rant? And what was Maher’s final defense in this case? “I want to make sure I read that, I know I didn’t just dream that.”
Good Heavens!
And a quick summary:
By the time he tried to change his tune, the damage of Maher’s hate-speechifying was already done and his credentials as a bona fide far-left loon with no command of the facts were firmly established for all to see. One gets the feeling that Maher himself is just smart enough to paradoxically understand how much of a fool he looked at the hands of Will–who in turn actually appeared to be enjoying helping Maher self-destruct.
In the days of George Stephanopoulos I really liked this show, and to be honest I also quite like Jake Tapper, but of course the show is being handed over to Chrstiane Amanpour, so I am pretty confident I'll be watching Fareed Zakaria at 10am on Sundays, unless CNN Does some silly shakeup (as they recently did).
And make no mistake - George Will gets a lot wrong in my view, but I have never seen such a crazy self-immolation as by Maher on that show. Now if only they could replace that woman from The Nation with someone halfway sensible, though she is at least cute, unlike Maher.


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