It is a sign of the unseriousness of the mainstream media that the NBC program "Meet the Press" will be hosting a climate debate Sunday featuring a person who plays a scientist on TV.
Yes, tomorrow it is "Bill Nye the Science Guy" versus Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) on NBC's "Meet the Press."
The TV show "Bill Nye the Science Guy" may have been about science, but it was science for kids and Nye had script writers. And before that, Nye spent time doing a little comedy show in Seattle, playing silly characters such as "Speed Walker."
In the past, I've analyzed Bill Nye's performances in TV interviews and debates about climate change. Nye has repeatedly debated Climate Depot's Marc Morano, and, to steal part of a line from Muhammad Ali, during an early match-up, on CNN's Piers Morgan Tonight, Morano beat Nye so bad, Nye needed a shoehorn to put his bow tie back on.
So did Nye come up with some new arguments when Fox hosted a re-match? No, he didn't bother. He trotted out the same weak arguments, such as comparing the population of the Earth in the 1700s to the population of the Earth today. That's not even close to a credible attempt to prove that carbon dioxide is causing temperature change, let alone soon-to-be-catastrophic change. And so Marc Morano trounced him again.
Nye isn't an unintelligent man -- he has a degree in mechanical engineering and has earned patents in that field -- but he's spent many years in entertainment, and that's no way to hone debate skills.
So why would Meet the Press, supposedly a serious show, book Bill Nye to debate Rep. Blackburn? In my view, it's because Meet the Press isn't a serious show. Although it's nowhere near true that 97% of all climate scientists believe in the catastrophic global warming theory, there are some scientists out there who do believe in it, and some of them are known to enjoy publicity. But what is likely to get higher ratings, a semi-celebrity debating a Member of Congress, or a scientist?
Clearly Meet the Press knows its audience, and knows it is the former.