Tuesday, January 7, 2014

The Polar Vortex

In Rush Limbaugh's latest rant, he claims that the polar vortex is a theory that the left just dreamed up:
"Do you know what the polar vortex is? Have you ever heard of it? Well, they just created it for this week."
According to Limbaugh, this new theory was needed to allow a bunch of left-wing "wackos" to continue to push the "global warming agenda," despite the evidence right in front of our eyes that it's actually extremely cold outside. I don't usually waste my time criticizing Rush Limbaugh. I think he's not as dangerous as he is sometimes made out to be, and I admire his mastery of the radio medium.

But this time I have to say, Rush! Do you think you can just say anything?  Where did you get your license to just make stuff up like that? Do you feel no sense of responsibility at all to stay somewhat true to the facts? I'll admit that the term "polar vortex" does sound like something out of a science fiction thriller. But is that all you need to put forward a new conspiracy theory?

Because whatever comments you want to make about global warming, it would only take about 2 minutes of research to discover that the theory of the polar vortex has been around for decades. Whatever you might think of this theory (and I'm not aware that you have any scientific credentials that would allow you to comment on it), it was clearly not made up this week, and you have no support whatsoever for suggesting that it was. I mean, if you're going to charge that there is some kind of vast left wing conspiracy among all of the TV meteorologists and others reporting on the severe weather, don't you have some responsibility to document that charge in some tiny little way? Find us an example of one meeting of left wing wackos dreaming up a phony new theory to explain the origins of our cold winter. Document to us that the term "polar vortex" was never used prior to last week.

If you can't do that, you've got nothing, Rush. You're just making stuff up. You're stirring up the kind of conspiracies that you accuse your political adversaries of promoting. And you claim to be better than that. You claim to promote excellence in broadcasting. So how about a little regard for journalistic standards?

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