May 11, 2009

It's been quite awhile since I've seen a right-wing meme as gobsmackingly stupid as the one John Stossel was promoting last week on Fox, notably on Glenn Beck's Friday show.

At ABC, the headline read:

John Stossel Says Killing Endangered Species Would Protect Them

Now, if you go read the text, it is a somewhat thought-provoking piece suggesting that the way to save certain endangered species -- such as the tiger, which is a victim of poaching for its prized body parts -- is to begin farming them. It's worked with a handful of other species, such as the bison and the rhino.

But the headline -- and the meme that Stossel pushed on Fox -- was that the way to save endangered species is to farm and consume them.

Which is, perhaps, one of the most monumentally stupid ideas anyone's ever proposed. The logical outcome of Stossel's argument is that ultimately we need to begin farming all the planet's wild animals.

Of course, the vast majority of endangered species are inedible and not particularly desired by humans to begin with, so that leaves them out of the farming equation.

Moreover, human consumption of a number of species -- most notably sharks -- is primarily responsible for their endangerment in the first place.

Finally, what we know actually does work with endangered species is this: We protect them from human predation and endangerment. And we protect their required habitat. In certain specialized cases, doing that may mean creating commercially protected spaces for them, such as with the bison and the rhino, in addition to their normal wild habitat. But feeding a market for their body parts is always a bad idea.

This is hardly Stossel's first venture into cockamamie science: He's a veteran global-warming denier too.

My friends the endangered killer whales, I think -- who of course no one wants to eat, much less farm -- might have an appropriate response to Stossel's proposal to farm them too:

Can you help us out?

For nearly 20 years we have been exposing Washington lies and untangling media deceit, but now Facebook is drowning us in an ocean of right wing lies. Please give a one-time or recurring donation, or buy a year's subscription for an ad-free experience. Thank you.


We welcome relevant, respectful comments. Any comments that are sexist or in any other way deemed hateful by our staff will be deleted and constitute grounds for a ban from posting on the site. Please refer to our Terms of Service for information on our posting policy.