After the panel on Fox News Sunday spending some time opining about how bad the Gulf oil spill disaster is going to be for the Obama administration an
May 16, 2010

After the panel on Fox News Sunday spending some time opining about how bad the Gulf oil spill disaster is going to be for the Obama administration and the MMS under Ken Salazar without managing to mention the name Dick Cheney, Brit Hume does his best to try to minimize how bad the spill actually is. Think Progress has more on Hume's hackery.

Brit Hume Shrugs Off Oil Spill: ‘Where Is The Oil?’:

This morning, Fox News anchor Brit Hume scoffed at the BP oil disaster in the Gulf of Mexico, wondering, “Where is the oil?” Hume followed the lead of Rush Limbaugh and Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour (R), who have been aggressively downplaying the disaster and bristling at comparisons to the 1989 Exxon Valdez spill. During the Fox News Sunday roundtable, Hume dismissed the expert analysis that many times more oil have spilled already than the Exxon Valdez disaster, a point raised by fellow panelist Juan Williams.

...Independent experts, using both surface and subsea estimates, believe the vast sea of oil gushing from multiple leaks on the seabed surpassed the Exxon Valdez weeks ago. “Scientists are finding enormous oil plumes in the deep waters of the Gulf of Mexico, including one as large as 10 miles long, 3 miles wide and 300 feet thick in spots.” “The millions of gallons of crude, and the introduction of chemicals to disperse it, have thrown this underwater ecosystem into chaos, and scientists have no answer to the question of how this unintended and uncontrolled experiment in marine biology and chemistry will ultimately play out. ” Read on...

Hume's idea of an "adult conversation" is apparently lying through one's teeth.

Transcript via Lexis Nexis below the fold.

HUME: It is probably too much to expect that we have an adult conversation about this, but that's what's needed. The first thing that needs to be said is that offshore drilling on the outer continental shelf is more environmentally hazardous than drilling closer in, but the environmentalists won't hear of it and we don't do it.

The second thing that needs to be said is that the single most fragile and vulnerable form of oil acquisition is in tankers. And when you look at the record, the spills that come from tankers account for a lot more of the spilled oil -- I mean, way more of the spilled oil than do leaks from offshore or other oil rigs.

So to whatever degree we end up closing down offshore drilling off our own shores, that's going to have to be made up for in tankers coming from countries, in some cases, not allied with us who are bringing it to us. And that's why it makes sense for us to try to explore on and off the coast of the United States.

WILLIAMS: You know, I think we have -- well, first of all, don't you think this spill now is thought to -- is going to be in excess of what happened with Exxon Valdez?

HUME: Let's see if that happens.

WILLIAMS: And the second point...

HUME: Let's see if that happens.

WILLIAMS: Well, OK. But what was...

HUME: I mean, there's a good question today if you're standing down there on the gulf, and that is, "Where is the oil?"

WILLIAMS: Where is the oil?

HUME: It's not on -- except for little chunks of it, you're not even seeing it on the shores yet.

WALLACE: But there are some new reports that there are greater amounts of it on the ocean floor.

HUME: Oh, yes, there's -- that's true, but you know where the greatest source of oil that seeps into the ocean is? It's from natural seepage from under -- from subterranean deposits. That's where most of it comes from, not from drilling accidents.

So what's badly needed here is some perspective on our energy policy and also on the hard realities of what really goes on when it comes to oil spillage.

WILLIAMS: But I think it's going to damage the environment in the gulf and it's going to damage tourism, going to damage fish. I don't think there's any question this is in excess of anything that we've previously asked...

HUME: We'll see if it is.

WILLIAMS: ... the ocean to absorb.

HUME: We'll see if it is.

WILLIAMS: Right. But I think...

HUME: The ocean absorbs a lot, Juan...

WILLIAMS: I'm sorry?

HUME: ... an awful lot. The ocean absorbs a lot.

WILLIAMS: I -- you know, I think Rush Limbaugh went down this road. "Oh, the ocean can handle it." I just think, you know, we have to take some responsibility for the environment and be responsible to people who live in that area, vacation in that area, fish in that area.

It's just wrong to think, "You know what? Dump it on the ocean and let the ocean handle it." Why can't we...

HUME: Who said that?

HAYES: Nobody's making that argument.

HUME: Who is saying that?

HAYES: Nobody's making that argument.

HUME: Who is saying that?

HAYES: I think as a policy matter, the president would be absolutely foolish to say, "OK, we're going to have some broad moratorium on offshore drilling." It simply wouldn't work. And when you think about the potential economic impact that that would have by cutting this out, I think you're talking about something pretty dramatic.

WALLACE: All right. We have to take a break here.

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