May 9, 2010

Bill Maher hit back at George Will after their little dust up on This Week where as I noted, PolitiFact fact-checked Bill Maher and his claim that "Brazil got off the oil". Maher concedes that he did get it wrong and that he was remembering an ad run by Bill Clinton in 2006 where he said imagine if we can stop being dependent on foreign oil like Brazil.

Maher: I want to say one more thing about the oil spill. I was on, I was in D.C. this weekend, and I did "This Week." I did not realize that there are shows like this on in the morning. And Sunday, they were very nice to me. George Will obviously had it out for me and doesn't like me. That's okay. That's not mutual. I've been a fan of George Will and reading, I'm just a sucker for good writing. He knows how to write, he's an excellent prose stylist...

I mean you know, sometimes a guy can be full of shit, but he writes well. And, you know, he got me on something technical. I said Brazil got off the oil and we could too. We were talking about the oil spill. And yes, Brazil did not exactly get off the oil, but after the '70s, the spirit of what I said was correct. After the '70s oil crisis, they tried a lot harder than we do, and like half their cars now run on, on synth-fuel, ethanol.

Okay, what I was remembering was there was an ad out here in 2006 for Prop 87, which was for us to get off oil, and Bill Clinton did the ad. And Bill Clinton said in the ad, "Imagine if we can stop being dependent on foreign oil. Brazil did it. If Brazil can do it, so can California." Now, I'm sure the conservatives are saying, "Well, yeah, there's one mushy-headed liberal listening to another mushy-headed liberal and getting your facts wrong."

Well, okay, so we didn't get it exactly right. But, you know what? The bigger question is why haven't we actually gotten off the oil? And part of the reason is because of global warming deniers like George Will. And he knows better. He knows better and he uses facts, or parts of facts, way more erroneous than I did. In one of his columns, he said, "According to the University of Illinois Arctic Climate Research Center, global sea levels now equal those of 1979." Well, there is no Arctic Climate Research Center at the University of Illinois, but there are climate scientists, and they said, "We don't know where Mr. Will is getting his information. Our data shows that in February '79, global sea ice was 16.79 million square kilometers, and in 2009 it was 15.45, a decrease in sea ice the area the size of Texas, California, Oklahoma combined.”

…These aren't views, these are misshapen facts.

Bill Maher should have pointed out that George Will criticized him for saying Brazil got off of oil, but that Bill Clinton ad he cited didn’t say they got off of oil. It said they got off of foreign oil. I've criticized Maher for not following issues well enough if he's going to be on television commenting about them. I'll give him credit for admitting he's wrong and addressing an issue, unlike most of the talking heads and our sorry excuse for a media out there. And I assure you George Will is never going to admit he's wrong about anything... ever.

And while we're on the topic of conservatives never wanting to admit they're wrong about anything, how lame was David Frum's defense of George Will? Good grief.

Media Matters has more on George Will’s hackery that Maher pointed out in this segment.

Lashing out at critics, George Will spreads more falsehoods in new global warming column:

SUMMARY: In a column obtained by Media Matters in advance of its publication, George Will falsely claims that in his February 15 column, he "accurately reported" on the contents of an Arctic Climate Research Center document on sea ice data. In fact, while Will suggested the ACRC data undermine the scientific consensus that humans are causing global warming, the document actually states that the sea ice data are consistent with the outcomes projected by climate-change models. Read on...

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