Keith Olbermann Wednesday claimed that conservative talk radio host Rush Limbaugh and former Alaska governor Sarah Palin are trying to kill us all by disinforming the public about the dangers of global warming.
Speaking with Newsweek's Howard Fineman about how conservatives are using the recent snowstorms in the Northeast to refute Al Gore's catastrophic climate claims, the "Countdown" host said, "[L]ife on earth is going to be threatened because the people who recognized and warned about climate change did not just go with that phrase, climate change, and instead chose global warming, opening this opportunity up for Rush Limbaugh and Sarah Palin to kill us all."
Earlier the factually-challenged MSNBCer declared, "And, of course, we have Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh, the Wall Street water carriers, the corporate clowns, who get rich by tricking listeners into voting against their own interests, laughing about how silly it is to believe in extreme weather change in the middle of extreme weather" (video embedded below the fold with full transcript and commentary, h/t Story Balloon):
KEITH OLBERMANN, HOST: Good evening from New York.
A blizzard has buried much of the northeast, much of the nation`s capital, and much of Congress`s sanity. What the record snowfall has exposed, however, is just how ignorant leading deniers are about what even the Bush Pentagon recognized as a threat: climate change. They think it`s disproved by snow.
And Democrats are responding to a snowstorm that, in fact, may exemplify climate change by naturally backing down on legislation to combat climate change -- legislation Republicans opposed because even though it would have cut taxes for the middle-class, too, you know, you, it also would have cut the profits of big polluters.
While the snowfall shut down much of the capital`s day-to-day business, including progress on the jobs bill, key Democrats now say it now might also spell the end, for now, of the climate change bill. Why? Because people are idiots!
Senate Energy Chairman Jeff Bingaman remarking about this storm, quote, "It makes it more challenging for folks not taking time to review the scientific arguments. People see the world around them and they extrapolate." And no one is extrapolating stupider than the people in the pockets of the energy industry. Quote, "It`s going to keep snowing in D.C. until Al Gore cries `uncle.`" Get it? Al Gore. Quote, "Where`s Al Gore now?" See, Al Gore.
And, of course, we have Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh, the Wall Street water carriers, the corporate clowns, who get rich by tricking listeners into voting against their own interests, laughing about how silly it is to believe in extreme weather change in the middle of extreme weather!
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)
GLENN BECK, FOX NEWS HOST: The snow is hammering Washington, D.C., again. I believe God is just saying, "I got your global warming here, eh? You want a piece of global warming?"
(END AUDIO CLIP)
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
LIMBAUGH: It`s just another nail in the coffin of the whole global warming thing. And each -- you know, every day like this, where is Al Gore? Where is the media asking Al Gore what`s going on with this?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
OLBERMANN: It`s snowing, moron! No one is asking about Al Gore,
of course, because the former vice president did not personally invent climate change. Scientists have predicted for decades that climate change will bring with it extreme weather. And, yes, last month was the hottest January on record since satellites were first used to track global temperatures.
What happens when the earth warms up? More water evaporates from the oceans, like steam -- meaning for those places where it`s still below freezing, there will be more snow. The National Weather Service today confirmed this -- surprise -- the snowiest winter on record for Washington, so far.
Let`s bring in, fresh from the Iditarod dogsled race, relocated this year from Nome to D.C., MSNBC political analyst, Howard Fineman, also a senior Washington correspondent and political columnist of "Newsweek" and the author of the "The Thirteen American Arguments."
Much thanks for your time and your travel efforts tonight, Howard.
HOWARD FINEMAN, MSNBC POLITICAL ANALYST: No problem. No problem, Keith.
OLBERMANN: Virginia Republicans posted and then quickly pulled today this Web ad mocking the Democrats for supporting climate change legislation. Is there no sense that Virginia, the state they are from and represent, happens to be suffering right now acutely due to this storm, precisely because of the kind of climate change they are defending?
FINEMAN: No, I don`t think there is any sense of that. I think that -- number one, Republicans have had their eyes on this cap-and-trade bill, the climate change bill, from the very beginning. They`ve been out to kill it from the very beginning. That`s number one.
Number two, a lot of the attacks on climate change data and theory have had an effect, especially on Republicans. There was a poll recently, Keith, that said, now, about only half of people who call themselves Republicans believe that the climate change thing is for real. And that has resulted in a change in the overall numbers, but these are the Republicans speaking to their own base.
OLBERMANN: But in 2000, during the Bush administration, the National Intelligence Council concluded that more than 30 U.S. military installations face heightened risk because of rising sea levels, which is a direct consequence of climate change. Why don`t McConnell and DeMint care about the troops?
FINEMAN: Well, as it happens, I was talking to Mitch McConnell, the Republican leader, earlier today. And I`ve covered Mitch forever, going back to --
OLBERMANN: Yes. Yes.
FINEMAN: -- when he was county judge in Kentucky. And Mitch sees the world through the eyes of the Kentucky coal operators. This is a coal opportunity, in his view, and that`s how he sees things. He sees the energy problems as having coal as one of the main answers, if not the main answer. And as far as changing river levels and coastlines and so on, that`s what the Corps of Engineers in the Navy are for. Come on.
OLBERMANN: All right. And there`s not much of a danger in the sea rising to cover Kentucky -- is that the idea? So he doesn`t care.
FINEMAN: Yes. You know, we`ve -- they`ve already rearranged all the rivers and lakes there anyway. That`s why I say, the Corps of Engineers, you bring them in and they rearrange them some more. No problem.
OLBERMANN: Cut off the tops of the mountains.
FINEMAN: Sure. Sure.
OLBERMANN: This is what this boils down to, though: life on earth is going to be threatened because the people who recognized and warned about climate change did not just go with that phrase, climate change, and instead chose global warming, opening this opportunity up for Rush Limbaugh and Sarah Palin to kill us all.
FINEMAN: Well, I do think that labels matter. And in retrospect, simply focusing on warming was a mistake, just in terms of the politics and the salesmanship of what is undoubtedly a really, really big problem. But it`s also now gotten all wrapped up in Obama, in Gore, in the whole big government idea.
You know, conservatives and Republicans, they worry about big government. Unless it`s the national security state, then they want a lot of big government. But in this case, they`d rather let the coal operators and the nuclear plant operators and so on, you know, have their -- have their way.
OLBERMANN: Three of my four questions to you tonight have been about Republican idiocy on this subject. Now, let me turn to Democratic idiocy on this subject.
OLBERMANN: How is the majority party`s takeaway from the display of extreme weather turning out to be surrender on a bill that fights manmade or man-influenced extreme weather?
FINEMAN: Well, I think -- I think, I`m sure from the White House`s point of view, I think, what Jeff Bingaman said -- which is basically giving up in a sense -- is not what they wanted to hear.
On the other hand, I`m not sure how committed the White House is to the cap-and-trade bill that they put forward and jammed through the House at the beginning of the session. You know, at the beginning of last year, they were all proud of themselves for that, but the thing is complete languished. This is a case where presidential leadership and explanation is required.
You know, we keep saying that Barack Obama gives such a good speech and he`s a good explainer. I don`t really know how good an explainer he is. He didn`t end up explaining the health care reform bill all that well. It was very complex.
Same here -- it`s a big, complex bill. But you can`t assume everybody understands the science behind it. And that`s what the president has to do. He`s got to get out there and explain it if he expects to have political activity on this.
OLBERMANN: Maybe he can just get up and say, "You know what? If it weren`t snowing already and we`d eliminated snow, it would be too late to do anything and doesn`t make a difference how much of a deficit we have. So, let`s spend $800 trillion a day, because we`re all going to die in nine years, anyway."
FINEMAN: He should try that. Yes.
OLBERMANN: I`ve written a speech for him.
MSNBC political analyst, Howard Fineman, also of "Newsweek," also author of "The Thirteen Arguments," now --
FINEMAN: You didn`t have to say all of that, but thank you.
OLBERMANN: Now out in paperback and available without a prescription -- thank you, Howard.
FINEMAN: You`re welcome, Keith.
So, in the course of seven minutes, Olbermann accused Limbaugh and Palin of trying to kill people with global warming skepticism while claiming that Limbaugh and Beck are getting rich by tricking the public into voting against their best interests.
During the same segment, Fineman accused Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) of ignoring the dangers of climate change because he's more concerned with coal producers in his state, and isn't worried about the supposed threat to rivers and the coastline since the Corps of Engineers has already rearranged Kentucky's waterways.
It really is disgusting, isn't it?