route 66, media hucksters dobbs and stossel deserve each other

R66

Remember that time at the zoo when the monkeys in separate cages threw food and crap at each other. Lou Dobbs and and John Stossel having a media shootout is like that, except the zoo monkeys are probably smarter. Lou Dobbs Rips Stossel: A ‘Self Important Ass’ With ‘Myopic Idiocy’. Inn which Lou claims he has lots of Latin friends and never promoted the wacky “Aztlan” conspiracy theory that Mexicans aim to reclaim much of the west for Mexico. Lou also pulls things out of that part of the human anatomy where the sun never suns that the vast majority of the prison population are illegal aliens – CNN Special on Latinos Stokes Debate Over Dobbs. There are no statistics to support that assertion. CNN is a major news network. Even allowing for some inevitable bias by news networks, as they’re humans and humans tend to have biases, making up statistics is not so much bias as a carefully calculated lie on behalf of an agenda ( Dobbs made the prison claim multiple times, but hey he did eventually apologize.) Stossel is not much better in terms of veracity. He’s a little more slippery in pin down in terms of ideology, but for the most part Stossel in a far Right libertarian. He has said that his agenda is to battle what he calls bad science, but Stossel just happens to believe in paid for play science put out by right-wing think tanks and corporate lobbyist. Teacher John F. Borowski wrote this article in 2004 about Stossel, Teachers, Before Buying “Tampering with Nature” for the Classroom, Know the Truth about John Stossel

On April 20 & 23, 2001, a group of children, ages 8-11, eagerly awaited the opportunity to discuss the environment on TV. Their interviewer? John Stossel. Deftly, what had been represented to be a program showcasing the children’s fluency in science was turned into a witch-hunt. Stossel set the tone and agenda. Leading them on with hooks like, “It sounds so terrible, aren’t you scared?” he manipulated them into saying they were afraid in front of the camera. Then, quoting statistics from Sanera’s Facts Not Fear, he “proved”? there is no environmental crisis, that recycling is a “sham”, that caribou herds have increased since drilling for oil began in Alaska, etc. Not once did he focus on the confident place the children spoke from…their hearts and minds. He intimidated the children so that their grasp of issues, like the considerable downsides of fossil fuels, was never addressed. He went on to question the motives of their teachers and advisors, accusing them of exploitation. The mirage of film editing now could show the children in the poorest light.

Sure enough, when “Scared Green” now morphed into “Tampering with Nature” was shown, it was a one-sided, deeply critical of environmental education and cast environmental woes as inconsequential. The piece avoided hard issues, employed “yellow journalism” and was loaded with critics of environmental protection and environmental education. Now, this film is for sale for use in classrooms? Despite pleas for ABC to reprimand Stossel after the showing of “Tampering with Nature”, ABC turned a blind eye to these new low in environmental reporting. Hey, they are the “Wonderful World of Disney” known for making lies (I mean dreams) come true.

Some two years later, I wonder when ABC will give equal time for the defenders of environmental education? Will educators like me, who directly experience the power and enlightenment of environmental science classes everyday, have the time, access and money to counter this onslaught of formidable critics and slanted facts? Don’t bet on it. The Stossel, Sanera and Disney/ABC connection demonstrates that money and power guarantee access to a giant public audience with no rebuttal. In the end, somewhere between the commercials and the spin, the truth will shrink to invisibility in this “age of information”.

The Mr. Sanera mentioned is a spokesperson for the anti-eco-education POV of the Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI). Where does CEI get a lion’s share of its funding? Amoco, Dow Chemical, General Motors, Texaco, Pfizer and Philip Morris tobacco company among others. Companies that buy scientific conclusions that support their agenda and use the media to push junk science, while using even good science to mislead the public. Borowski wrote a follow-up article here, I Didn’t Call John Stossel a “Corporate Shill”, But I Should Have!

Dobbs and Stossel may honestly disagree, who knows if they have any genuine convictions, but they do seem to share the same addiction to sleazy journalism, are shameless media hucksters  and have egos much larger then their intellects.

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