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Daily Howler: Scripted by a mad Russian scientist, Fred Thompson announced: Mars is warming!
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THE ABDUSSAMATOVIAN CANDIDATE! Scripted by a mad Russian scientist, Fred Thompson announced: Mars is warming! // link // print // previous // next //
FRIDAY, MARCH 30, 2007

MONDAY: Goring Obama!

THEIR NEW DADDY: Last night, Chris Matthews assembled two trustworthy East Coast Irish Catholics—to sing the praises of Tennessean Fred Thompson! After all, when you need a new message to come out just right, you rely on those you trust—on the clan! And last night, a new message went out loud and clear: If he gets his *ss in the race, Fred Thompson will be their new daddy:
MATTHEWS (3/29/07): Let’s talk about gritty New Hampshire. I love New Hampshire. I always brought my kids up there when they were young. It is a state that looks for toughness. [Addressing Pat Buchanan] You won up there. It looks for grit. It looks for the outsider a bit. It’s great American state. It’s really live for your guy.

MARGARET CARLSON: The Granite State looks for granite.

MATTHEWS: They are looking for a tough guy who’s got a little five o’clock shadow, like you. They’re looking for a guy like you, Pat.

Here is Fred Thompson going in there. John McCain certainly deserves to be president, based on his contribution to this country over the years, but he ran once. How many chances do you get? And in comes Fred Thompson, looking like the Daddy party, if there ever was a guy that looked like the Daddy party, the Republican. Can he win this thing?
Good lord! McCain was out—and Thompson was in! And you knew this was the real Real Deal! After all, Chris hasn’t talked up five o’clock shadows since he clowned about Bradley that way, eight years back (see THE DAILY HOWLER, 2/21/07). But now he threw to Margaret Carlson. “Who’s your daddy?” Chris had asked. And Margaret knew the words to this song:
CARLSON (continuing directly): He does look like the dad. He has everything that Pat says. He’s handsome, he’s charming, he sounds like a president, he looks like a president. But Pat says he might not have the fire in the belly. That could help him, not having the hunger. Not being “willing to do anything” could help him.

It could help him. And, you know, he’s smart. He’s articulate. He knows his lines. He can hit his mark.
Good God! Thompson was handsome, smart, charming, articulate. He can hit his mark—and he looks like a president! And he isn’t willing to say and do anything! And by the way, darlings, Margaret should know! Who can forget how delicious it was when Lloyd Grove tattle-taled, long ago, in the Post’s “Reliable Sources:”
GROVE (4/28/00): There was major heartburn yesterday in the office of Sen. Fred Thompson (R-Tenn.) over the New York Post's report of a "catfight" between CNN host and Time magazine columnist Margaret Carlson and former Republican staffer Jeri Kehn, who the tabloid claims are rivals for the senator's affections. Kehn, whom the Post describes as a "33-year-old bombshell," told the "Page Six" column that she and she alone is the 57-year-old Thompson's "girlfriend," and that Carlson, 54, and any other alleged competitors should just back off.

"She just won't get the hint that he has a girlfriend," Kehn told the newspaper. "She calls his apartment all the time. I mean, what is the deal with these women? Don't they have any pride? It's the joke all over Washington that Margaret has this huge crush on him. And Fred is clearly not interested."
Darlings, it was simply delish! For the record, we checked the original item in the New York Post—and gagged a bit when we saw this:
JOHNSON (4/27/00): [O]ne top-level Washington scribe says it's Kehn who has the wrong idea: "Fred dates a lot of people," says our source. "I've talked to Fred about this woman, and he doesn't know what to do, because if you're a senator, you can't go around bad-mouthing people."

As for Carlson, the insider says, "She's dating someone now. She was with him [the new guy] at her dinner party for John McCain earlier this month, and she's quite happy. Fred was there too, but he was alone ... Margaret and Fred dated for a little bit, but it fell into a 'buddy' thing."
Carlson’s dinner party? For Saint John McCain? In fairness, McCain had just dropped out of the 2000 race. But lord knows, the second he did, Margaret threw a gay dinner party, honoring the sanctified solon—the one she threw overboard last night! But that’s the way this criminal class conducts the charade we still call “journalism.” Of course, we saw more of their ludicrous morés as last night’s gush-fest continued:
CARLSON: The theme song of Republicans should be “Some Day My Prince Will Come,” and they’re waiting and they’re hoping. And so Fred Thompson is not late at all. His moment is here.

MATTHEWS: Some day he will come along. Do you think he’s coming now?

CARLSON: I think he’s coming soon.

MATTHEWS: I notice it used to be you had to look like an anchorman to get the presidency. You needed to have a big thick head of hair. And he and Giuliani and McCain—

BUCHANAN: He looks like a big truck driver.

MATTHEWS: With a semi behind him.

BUCHANAN: Looks like a teamster, sure, a southern guy, a teamster. He’s in from Tennessee. He’s perfectly positioned, I think...
Have we said that these people are out of their minds? The GOP’s prince has come, they announced. And he looks like he’s driving a semi.

For the record, the biggest clowning came moments later, when Carlson said that Thompson would win a match-up with Hillary Clinton. Matthews pretended that he was just shocked. “Margaret Carlson! This is treason! Margaret, the sisterhood’s at stake here,” he clowned. Chris pretended that he was surprised to see Margaret choosing Fred over fellow gal Clinton. But who do you think are the “educated women” who Chris has heard trashing Clinton so much? We suggested some names last month. See THE DAILY HOWLER, 2/20/07.

By the way: That “top-level Washington scribe” was wrong when she told the New York Post that Kehn was the one who had the wrong f*cking idea. Oops. On June 30, 2002, Kehn and Thompson got married. We’ll guess they honey-mooned in Branson, as truckers so commonly do now.

DECONSTRUCTING STENGEL (some prior knowledge required): Last Sunday, Time managing editor Rick Stengel criticized Democrats for pursuing those U.S. attorney firings. Now, Stengel has pretended to explain his remarks—and several observers have noticed the fact that his explanations haven’t make too much sense. For example, Glenn Greenwald rolled his eyes here. Ditto Greg Sargent (click here).

Let’s explain what Stengel was doing when he offered his comment last Sunday. We apologize for our sense of certainty, but we’ve watched this gang a long time.

For starters, let’s describe a long-standing pattern: The RNC sends out a script, and journalists look for ways to promote it. In this case, the Matthews panel supported, en masse, an RNC framework: Dems are just playing partisan politics in their pursuit of these firings. All the pundits supported this script. But they found different ways to do so.

Here’s the key point of understanding: Depending on the positions they hold, different scribes will find different ways to support an RNC script. At conservative journals, scribes can simply recite the RNC line, no matter how stupid or bogus it is. But if you work for a mainstream news org, you have to be somewhat more clever.

Almost surely, that explains Stengel’s odd remark on the Matthews Show. To state the obvious, the attorney firings look like an actual scandal, so Stengel couldn’t say what pundits on Fox have constantly said: This whole thing is just a non-story. On the other hand, he wanted to agree with the general line set out by his host, Chris Matthews. Matthews was stressing all the bad faith involved in the Democrats’ unseemly conduct. (This sort of pander makes his show more friendly for conservative viewers.) Therefore, Stengel offered the odd complaint he has tried to explain this week. What he said kept the drumbeat of criticism against Dems alive. But it wasn’t an obvious steal from the RNC—or from Drudge, or from Sean or from Rush.

No, Stengel’s remarks last Sunday didn’t make much sense, as everyone has noticed—including Ana Marie Cox, who deserves credit for speaking up. (We’d love to start praising her work. By the way, has Stengel SHOUTED AT HER IN A VERY LOUD VOICE because of her transgression?) But Stengel’s remarks last Sunday fit a very common pattern. Last Sunday, Stengel was a mainstream journalist looking for ways to promote an RNC line. He couldn’t recite the script in its dumbest form. So he came as close as he could.

But then, everyone played along last Sunday. Incredibly, all five pundits aped Matthews’ line, saying the Dems were just playing politics. No one offered an obvious thought: Democrats should be probing this conduct. It’s the way our system works.

Final point: Stengel’s nastiest comments last Sunday were the ugly remarks he aimed at the Clintons (see THE DAILY HOWLER, 3/26/07). Of course, if you’re reading the “liberal” web, you won’t have to hear about that.

Special report: Mars is warming!


READ EACH THRILLING INSTALLMENT: All kooky-cons know it—Mars is warming! Read all four thrilling installments:
PART 1: A clueless scribe from an insider rag was told that Mars is warming. See THE DAILY HOWLER, 3/27/07.

PART 2: It was depressing, but C-SPAN's session showed us the shape of the age. See THE DAILY HOWLER, 3/28/07.

PART 3: Chris Mooney described three parts of an ongoing, four-part problem. See THE DAILY HOWLER, 3/29/07.
And now, in Part 4, the message comes clear. A mad Russian tells the world: Mars is warming!

PART 4—MAD RUSSIAN SCIENCE: On Monday, Caller 9 knew Gore was wrong; after all, he told C-SPAN, Mars is warming (see THE DAILY HOWLER, 3/27/07). But Caller 9 was hardly alone when it came to this troubling issue. On last Wednesday’s Washington Journal, C-SPAN previewed that day’s congressional hearings, featuring Gore and global warming—and one caller caught Rep. Rick Boucher (D-VA) and host Steve Scully by surprise. As Caller 9 would later do, this caller said, Mars is warming:
CALLER (3/21/07): I don’t quite buy the whole global warming thing yet...I read something like the Mars probe, about a temperature increase on Mars. Human beings don’t live on Mars; and what’s causing that temperature increase? And I’ve traveled—I travel quite extensively throughout the world, and I don’t really—and a lot of people around the world don’t really buy that whole global warming thing either.

BOUCHER: Uhhh—where did the gentleman say there were temperature increases?

SCULLY: I think he—he’s still on the line. Caller?

CALLER: Yes. There is a published article they did on Mars, about the Mars probe—

SCULLY: On Mars, the planet!

BOUCHER: On Mars, the planet!

CALLER: On the planet Mars, yes! And there’s a temperature increase from when they did the Mars probe. How does he explain that increase?
Boucher couldn’t explain that increase, and seemed quite surprised by the whole topic. But that just means that Boucher, like many mainstream journalists, hasn’t kept current with the “facts” which drive the discourse in the worlds of kooky-con radio.

In fact, recent evidence, including data from the Mars probe, has “pointed to a warming trend [on Mars] as Mars emerges from an ‘ice age.’” (We quote from a USA Today link; just click here). And kooky-con radio has seized on these facts to proclaim the theory which Boucher confronted. Omigod! Mars is warming too, like Earth—and that can’t be due to human activity! Inevitably, the full-blown narrative—the pride of talk radio—leads to a mad Russian scientist.

Readers, his name is Habibullo Abdussamatov—and yes, as you’ve probably already noticed, he has the word “bull” right in his first name! But then, Abdussamatov is also the head of space research at St. Petersburg's Pulkovo Astronomical Observatory, and his recent theoretics have made him the king of kooky-con warming science. Last month, Kate Ravilious provided some basic background at National Geographic News:
RAVILIOUS (2/28/07): In 2005 data from NASA's Mars Global Surveyor and Odyssey missions revealed that the carbon dioxide "ice caps" near Mars's south pole had been diminishing for three summers in a row.

Habibullo Abdussamatov, head of space research at St. Petersburg's Pulkovo Astronomical Observatory in Russia, says the Mars data is evidence that the current global warming on Earth is being caused by changes in the sun.

"The long-term increase in solar irradiance is heating both Earth and Mars," he said.
Perfect! “Abdussamatov believes that changes in the sun's heat output can account for almost all the climate changes we see on both planets,” Ravilious writes. This explains why his theory is like a papal “bull” in far regions of kooky-con radio.

Yep! Abdussamatov has hatched a design which debunks current warming theory. For that reason, his work has been praised to the skies in some regions, and people call C-SPAN to proclaim the good news: People, Mars is warming! Of course, these callers haven’t heard “the rest of the story”—the part Ravilious went on to explain. Uh-oh! Abdussamatov has a novel idea. But the vast majority of warming scientists say that it’s just “habibullsh*t:”
RAVILIOUS: Abdussamatov's work, however, has not been well received by other climate scientists.

“His views are completely at odds with the mainstream scientific opinion," said Colin Wilson, a planetary physicist at England's Oxford University.

"And they contradict the extensive evidence presented in the most recent IPCC [Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change] report."
Uh-oh! “The conventional theory is that climate changes on Mars can be explained primarily by small alterations in the planet's orbit and tilt, not by changes in the sun,” Ravilious explains. But Boucher—no student of kooky-con science—wasn’t ready with that for his C-SPAN caller. And five days later, the National Journal’s James Barnes seemed to lack the first clue when faced with Callers 5, 7, 9.

In short, “Abdussamatov” is Russian for “Don J. Easterbrook,” the fiery professor at Western Washington U who believes that we’re entering a period of cooling (see THE DAILY HOWLER, 3/19/07). Like Easterbrook, Abdussamatov is an outlier scientist—and, let’s face it, he may be a nut. But those who travel in kooky-con orbits hear his outlier views applauded. When they bring these views to C-SPAN, the Bouchers and Barneses don’t know what to tell them. They’ve never even heard the key fact: In some ways, it’s warming on Mars.

This is part of what Chris Mooney meant when he described the way “ideological think tanks provide alternative ‘facts’ and alternative ‘knowledge’” to conservative voters (see THE DAILY HOWLER, 3/29/07). But Mooney omitted one part of this system; he failed to mention the way our mainstream news orgs enable the spread of all this fake “knowledge.” After all, what happened to Easterbrook, whose views are light-years outside the scientific consensus? Of course! William Broad, of the New York Times, ran an astounding scam on the public. He told readers that Easterbrook disagrees with Gore—and he absent-mindedly forgot to say that Easterbrook disagrees with almost all warming scientists. In this way, the mainstream Times promoted the right-wing script: You really can’t trust Al Gore’s crazy facts. Meanwhile, why are C-SPAN callers so sure of their (fake) facts? Because the mainstream press corps is there to enable them. Because their fake facts never get challenged. Because the mainstream won’t dirty its hands.

William Broad played a scam on the public—and so did NPR’s Richard Harris. Omiogd! They could have provided an actual service; they could have explained the way a mad Russian scientist is being promoted by kooky-con fixers. But no! For reasons only they can explain, these mainstream “journalists” got in line with the prevailing RNC tale. Result? Caller 9 has heard that Mars is warming. He knows no people live on Mars—and his unchecked mind takes it from there.

THE ABDUSSAMATOVIAN CANDIDATE: Need any proof that Fred Thompson may run? Last week, he posted this pitiful commentary at National Review Online. It’s the written text of a live report—a report he did on The Paul Harvey Show. As the great man started, he told the whole world. Omigod! People! Mars is warming:
THOMPSON (3/22/07): Some people think that our planet is suffering from a fever. Now scientists are telling us that Mars is experiencing its own planetary warming: Martian warming. It seems scientists have noticed recently that quite a few planets in our solar system seem to be heating up a bit, including Pluto.
Do you think Thompson has any idea what he’s actually talking about? We’d guess that he’s clueless, but so what? Today, he’s in thrall to a mad Russian scientist. Click that link, then click again, to hear him tell the rubes: Mars is warming!

Final notes: Don’t worry about one thing. You’ll never see Broad, or Harris, or Barnes, do a report about Fred Thompson’s science! Sorry! The kooky-con script says that Al Gore’s the liar, and these weak-minded boys get in line with such guidelines. Under the themes that these weak boys accept, raving fakers—fakers like Thompson—can hoax rubes as much as they want.

One last point: Kooky-con radio rings out today with unstoppable praise for the book discussed here. Kooky-con voters are told it’s all true—and mainstream orgs pretend that it doesn’t exist. Our mainstream scribes are far too fine too dirty their hands with the tales told to rubes. They’re eager to tell you that Gore is all wet. But they knew they must ignore unstopppable sources of bullsh*t.

This is the way our discourse now works. Career liberals don’t like to discuss it.