April 13, 2010

Everyone in the journalism business knows that Bill O'Reilly's ambush crews are among the more outstanding examples of the gaping lack of anything resembling journalistic ethics at the Fox News Channel.

But no one wants to talk about it. So like clockwork, we can count on Jesse Waters and his intrepid crew ambushing various people -- some of them public figures, some of them private citizens.

Their most recent victim was Al Gore, who knows a thing or two about journalism. He recognized what Waters was up to and told him flatly at the outset: "I don't like ambush journalism."

Finally, Gore had to get in Waters' face to explain to him he had no intention of being interviewed under those circumstances. O'Reilly seems to think that this was some sort of coup.

But notice that Waters does get off two questions. And they're very revealing, because both are predicated on falsehoods. In other words, Waters' questions are lies.

In order:

A. "What's your reaction to the fact that the Arctic ice is increasing?"

Actually, the Arctic ice cap is indeed shrinking dramatically, with 2007 being the worst year on record. However, things got slightly better in 2008 and 2009: they were only the second- and third-worst ice-cap melt years on record.

See, for folks on the right, that constitutes an "increase." But only for folks on the right.

B. "Are you embarrassed at all by Climategate, sir?"

Hmmm. I dunno about Al Gore, but since the scientific work and the scientists involved have been completely exonerated and the entire "Climategate" dustup revealed as a right-wing hoax that served double duty as propaganda and a smear campaign, it sure would be tempting to answer this one:

"Not at all, Jesse. And aren't you embarrassed at all for having promulgated a hoax and a smear?"

Of course, that is much wordier than the simple, handy, universal answer to any and every question we recommend for anyone ambushed by Jesse and his pals:

"Andrea Mackris."

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