Ambush journalism tactics are often effective, unless, of course, the target is as on his game as Oklahoma Republican Sen. James Inhofe.
In recently released footage, a pack of global warming alarmists, led by journalist Mark Hertsgaard, attempt to surprise Inhofe after waiting an hour and a half outside a hearing of the Committee on Environment and Public Works.
In late January Hertsgaard explained his big scheme to “confront the climate cranks” in an article in The Nation.
“Our plan is to confront the climate cranks face to face, on camera, and call them to account for the dangers they have set in motion. We will highlight the ludicrousness of their antiscientific views, which alone should discredit them from further influence over US climate policies,” he wrote.
The tables were turned, however, when instead of making Inhofe — whose cause célèbre has been questioning the global warming agenda — look foolish, the senator made mince meat of his would-be ambusher. Fortunately, Matt Dempsey, Inhofe’s communication’s director, was there to catch it all on camera.
Mark Hertsgaard later posted his own, highly edited version on his website. Not surprisingly, the full version tells a much different story than the edited version.
In the unedited footage, Inhofe goes back and forth with Hertsgaard about the veracity of climate science, refuting Hertsgaard’s claim that all scientists agree that global warming is man-made by citing the scads of scientists who have come out in opposition to that claim.
Mark Hertsgaard (MH): Why does your party continue to deny what the National Academy of Sciences and virtually every scientific organization…
Sen. James Inhofe (JI): You know you ask the same question over and over again. Did you happen six days ago to be at the hearing at the House where I testified?
MH: I was not, sir.
JI: See I answered all those questions in detail. The science is mixed. We all know the science is mixed. The economy is not mixed because the economics are pretty well established.
MH: How is the science mixed when the National Academy of Sciences and every…
JI: We have reports all you have to do is go back and look, I have given numerous talks on the floor…We started off with a list, I believe, of maybe 40 scientists who had different views, then it went up to 2- or 300, then it went to 900 or so. So there are a lot of scientists who don’t agree. I don’t take as gospel everything that comes from any particular scientific group.
MH: When every scientific organization in the world says this, sir.
JI: That is not true.