Matthews Calls Palin A 'Troglodyte' For Not Buying Global Warming
Did you know that if you don't believe man is responsible for global warming you're a prehistoric cavedweller completely unaware of what's going on in the world?
So said MSNBC's Chris Matthews during a discussion on Wednesday's "Hardball" when he referred to Sarah Palin and everybody else that doesn't agree with Nobel Laureate Al Gore's view of climate change as "troglodytes."
"She`s got to be smarter than this," argued Matthews despite complaining moments later about how the former governor gives autographs: "She doesn`t write the book, and then she scribbles some indecipherable sign on the book as a signature."
Sharing this lowly opinion of the former vice presidential candidate were the Washington Post's Eugene Robinson who called Palin's op-ed about climate change in his own paper Wednesday "a mess," and the Financial Times' Chrystia Freeland who said Palin's views on this subject were "radical" and "dangerous."
Add it all up and "Hardball" viewers were treated to quite a Palin hatefest (video embedded below the fold courtesy our friend at Story Balloon, partial transcript):
CHRIS MATTHEWS, HOST: We`re back. Time for the fix with the "Washington Post`s" Eugene Robinson, who is an MSNBC political analyst, and the "Financial Times`" Chrystia Freeland. Thank you both for joining us.
Take a look at this. This is an interesting international fight. I think the world is going to be watching this. Sarah Palin, the possible next Republican candidate for president, has an opinion piece in today`s "Washington Post." She writes, quote, "the agenda driven policies being pushed in Copenhagen won`t change the weather, but they would change our economy for the worse." Interesting language there. Let`s look at Al Gore here, too. Here he is with Andrea Mitchell on NBC. Let`s listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
AL GORE, FMR. VICE PRESIDENT: Global warming deniers persist in this era of unreality. After all, the entire north polar ice cap, which has been there for most of the last three million years, is disappearing before our eyes. Forty percent is already gone. The rest is expected to go completely within the next decade. What do they think is causing this?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MATTHEWS: Well, that is a great question. Chrystia, I want to go with you. You write for the "Financial Times." I think the world laughs at the United States sometimes when we come out as a bit troglodyte about these issues. The world knows there is climate change. Everybody knows, except maybe the "Wall Street Journal," that there`s climate change. On their opinion pages -- the smart people who write the news columns know what`s going on.
What is going on here? Is Sarah Palin really challenging? People know that she knows there`s climate change. Damn it, she lives in Alaska. She knows what`s going on up there. What is going on here with her lingo?
CHRYSTIA FREELAND, "THE FINANCIAL TIMES": Well, I was really surprised by one thing in her op ed, which was that she actually said that she isn`t sure that climate change is caused by human actions. So, that to me was really, really interesting, and quite a radical position for her to take. I think a pretty dangerous one, because --
MATTHEWS: Who`s writing this stuff for her, Randy Scheunemann or somebody? Is this some incredible ideologue -- she`s got to be smarter than this. I don`t care what you think of her politics. Doesn`t she know the reality of the ice cap? Doesn`t she see?
FREELAND: What she says, Chris, as of course, you know, is she says -- you know, she doesn`t deny that the climate is changing, but the explanation to which she alluded in her op ed was that maybe this was just cyclical and natural and the sort of thing that has happened in the past. And it is true that the climate has changed a lot in the past. I think it`s also true that the weight of scientific evidence, even if you set aside the East Anglia storm in a tea cup -- tempest in a tea cup 00 is that human action is affecting the climate.
MATTHEWS: I think the industrial age we live in, the last hundred years has had an effect.
EUGENE ROBINSON, "THE WASHINGTON POST": No, the Palin piece, frankly, is a mess, because she trumpets the fact that -- she set up a special panel when she was governor of Alaska to try to understand and deal with things like the thawing of the permafrost. You know, her whole state was thawing. And then she says, but, you know, these are just natural and cyclical changes, with no evidence to back that up, with no acknowledgement that the weight of scientific evidence is against that hypothesis. It`s just a mess.
MATTHEWS: Here`s the point, internationally, is there a world laughing at us for being still back in the Scopes trial, the monkey trial back in Tennessee in the 1920s? Are we still back -- perceived in the world to be back there, not believing in any kind of Darwinism, any kind of science, anything, Keynesian economics? Are we just being laughed at, as opposed -- as people who just don`t learn, who hate knowledge? What is it? What`s our perception?
FREELAND: Actually, I think the world has an incredibly high respect for America. And I think America is not just creationism to people outside the United States. It`s also Google, right? America is still the land of invention and opportunity.
What I do think that the smart political point that Sarah Palin did make in that op ed -- and I think Gene has written a column about this as well -- is we are starting to get to the point where the discussion about the environment is going to be about real economic costs, and real winners and losers. And that`s where I think maybe she thinks she can score some political points, by reminding some people, it`s going to cost a lot of money and the impact will be differential.
MATTHEWS: That`s the cheapest shot in the world. Everybody knows that. It`s so obvious that she`s playing to the crowd. Obviously, it`s not going to be pleasant. Why would we be talking about -- it`s obvious what she`s doing.
ROBINSON: Yes, it is obvious. And she`s setting herself up to be able to say, he wants to raise the price of gasoline for your car --
MATTHEWS: Because he wants to do it, not because it`s a challenge.
ROBINSON: Not --
MATTHEWS: By the way, I love these signatures she does. She doesn`t write the book, and then she scribbles some indecipherable sign on the book as a signature.
Honestly, why do these folks hate this woman so?