Posted by Curt on 1 May, 2017 at 4:28 pm. 3 comments already!


David French:

The only people who can’t recognize that our nation has a “smug liberal” problem are smug liberals. Case in point, smug liberal (and television comedienne) Samantha Bee. On Sunday, CNN’s Jake Tapper asked Bee to react to a pre-election Ross Douthat column that called out Bee and other late-night comics in part for creating a comedy world of “hectoring monologues,” full of comedians who are “less comics than propagandists — liberal ‘explanatory journalists’ with laugh lines.”

We’re all familiar with the style. It features the generous use of selective clips from Fox News, copious amounts of mockery, and a quick Wikipedia- and Google-search level of factual understanding. The basic theme is always the same: Look at how corrupt, evil, and stupid our opponents are, look how obviously correct we are, and laugh at my marvelous and clever explanatory talent. It’s like sitting through an especially ignorant and heavy-handed Ivy League lecture, complete with the sycophantic crowd lapping up every word.

Bee, the host of TBS’s Full Frontal, of course, couldn’t see the problem and not only told Tapper that she didn’t think there was a smug-liberal problem, she also howlingly added that in her own show, “We always err on the side of comedy.”

Yep, they sure are hilarious (language warning):

The irony is that at the exact moment when Bee was denying America’s smug-liberal problem, smug liberals were in full meltdown mode over Bret Stephens’s first column for New York Times. Stephens is a Pulitzer Prize–winning journalist, anti-Trump conservative, and a former columnist for the Wall Street Journal. In his essay for the Times, Stephens had the audacity to — gasp — address the possibility of scientific uncertainty in the climate-change debate.

Let’s be clear about what Stephens actually said. Here’s his summary of the current state of climate science:

While the modest (0.85 degrees Celsius, or about 1.5 degrees Fahrenheit) warming of the Northern Hemisphere since 1880 is indisputable, as is the human influence on that warming, much else that passes as accepted fact is really a matter of probabilities. That’s especially true of the sophisticated but fallible models and simulations by which scientists attempt to peer into the climate future.

Here’s the translation: Science teaches us that humans have helped cause global warming, but when we try to forecast the extent of the warming and its effects on our lives, the certainty starts to recede. In addition, the activism has gotten ahead of the science. Indeed, Stephens even quotes the New York Times’ own environmental reporter, Andrew Revkin, who has observed that he “saw a widening gap between what scientists had been learning about global warming and what advocates were claiming as they pushed ever harder to pass climate legislation.”

Not only did the “hyperbole” not “fit the science at the time,” but — Stephens writes — “censoriously asserting one’s moral superiority and treating skeptics as imbeciles and deplorables wins few converts.”

As if on cue, parts of liberal Twitter melted down. Stephens was instantly treated as, yes, an imbecile and a deplorable. Not only did the vast majority of commentators ignore his argument, they treated it as beneath contempt. But can anyone actually doubt that climate predictions are uncertain? Does anyone doubt that climate activists’ rhetoric has far outstripped not just the scientific consensus but even the bounds of good sense? This 2008 Good Morning America report is just too funny not to repost:

Note that GMA’s dystopian future — with Manhattan sinking under the waves — is set in 2015.

Bizarrely, even the commentary calling for Stephens’s head inadvertently make his point. For example, David Roberts writes in Vox that “the New York Times should not have hired climate change bullshitter Bret Stephens,” but buried in the middle of Roberts’s harangue is this “to be sure” paragraph:

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