Conservative Media Push Anti-Gore Documentary

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Wednesday, October 14, 2009 at 6:00 am
noteviljustwrong.com

noteviljustwrong.com

On October 7, Phelim McAleer joined the Society of Environmental Journalists. Three days later, he took advantage of his new membership to attend former Vice President Al Gore’s speech to the group in Madison, Wis., and to rush up to the microphone afterward to ask a question. Reading from a small scrap of paper, an assistant filming the whole thing, McAleer asked Gore about a court case brought by British parents who challenged the veracity of nine facts in Gore’s documentary “An Inconvenient Truth,” and argued that the film should be taken out of schools.

“Do you accept the findings,” asked McAleer, “and have you done anything to correct those errors?”

Image by: Matt Mahurin

Image by: Matt Mahurin

Gore had heard this before. McAleer, a journalist-turned-documentary filmmaker, was promoting an upcoming documentary, “Not Evil Just Wrong,” which takes aim at environmentalists in general and Gore in particular. The film’s official premiere was only a week away. So Gore tried to move on. “Well, I’m not going to go through all of those,” he said. “The ruling was in favor of the movie, by the way. The ruling was in favor of showing the movie in schools.”

But while dismissing the question, Gore joked that one of the controversies in his documentary was whether polar bears were endangered. “Word didn’t get to the polar bears,” he chuckled.

McAleer saw an opening and took it. “Well, the number of polar bears have increased, and are increasing.”

Gore raised an eyebrow. “You don’t think they’re in danger, do you?”

“The number of polar bears have increased.”

“Do you think they’re endangered?”

“The number of polar bears have increased.”

The event’s organizers mobilized, cutting the sound on McAleer’s microphone as he continued to pose questions. Moderator Tim Wheeler called it a “Warholian moment,” implying that McAleer had wrought 15 short minutes of fame out of the encounter. He had a point. Within 48 hours, McAleer had appeared on “Fox and Friends,” “Your World With Neil Cavuto,” and “Lou Dobbs,” and video of the encounter had appeared on “The O’Reilly Factor.”

Phelim McAleer on Fox News (YouTube)

Phelim McAleer on Fox News (YouTube)

This is shaping up to be a big week for McAleer and his co-director Ann McElhinney, and a celebratory moment for climate change skeptics everywhere. Two years ago the pair of Irish journalists broke the mold for conservative documentaries with “Mine Your Own Business: The Dark Side of Environmentalism,” a look at a Romanian town’s battle against foreign environmental activists who wanted to stop the building of a local gold mine. That portrait of poor, benighted Europeans flummoxed by jet-setting elitists set the stage for “Not Evil Just Wrong: The True Cost of Global Warming Hysteria,” which was funded, according to McAleer, by less than $1 million from wealthy real estate investors. The slick documentary, by turns sardonic and grim, could do for opponents of the green movement what “No End In Sight” did for Iraq War opponents or — ideally — what Gore’s “An Inconvenient Truth” did for McAleer’s foes.

“The strengths of the climate change skeptic movement, the ‘let science be science’ movement, have always been intellectual,” said Fred Smith, the president of the Competitive Enterprise Institute, a Washington think tank that goes after greens. “The strength of the alarmist movement has always been emotive. This movie brings the human element in. It’s the first attempt, of a serious type, to put a human face on disastrous environmental policies.”

The film’s publicity campaign has targeted the conservative activists who should be most interested in watching Al Gore get ripped to shreds. Its promotional team includes movement new media pros like Danny Glover, formerly of National Journal, and Elizabeth Terrell, formerly of the David All Group. They’ve held pre-screenings for bloggers and brought the film to every major conservative conference of 2009, including the Values Voter Summit and Americans for Prosperity’s Defending the American Dream Summit. At the Conservative Political Action Conference, McAleer and McElhinney spoke right before Rush Limbaugh, whose presence helped them fill the Omni Shoreham’s ballroom in Washington.

“The left has figured out how this is done,” said Andrew Breitbart, the conservative new media mogul who anchored the CPAC panel. “This is primary tool they use to influence political debate: one-way communication using film and television. We need to get into this game. Here you have a movie that is fact-based, that tugs at the heartstrings.”

The 90-minute documentary alternates among interviews with climate change skeptics, embarrassing encounters with environmentalists, and emotional looks at people whom McAleer and McElhinney say are being victimized by well-meaning greens. Some of its content will be familiar to conservatives who’ve long considered Gore, Greenpeace, and other environmentalists nothing but hoaxters.

Patrick Moore, a founder of Greenpeace who has become a critic of the group, appears in several interviews to make the case that environmentalists are hyping a non-existent threat of man-made global warming. “I don’t think it would be a bad thing for this earth to warm up,” says Moore, arguing that man-made warming might be staving off the effects of an ice age. In a brutally sarcastic narration, McAleer says that “environmentalists claim, and children believe, that melting glaciers and colder ice will cause catastrophic sea level rise.” To bring that point home, he interviews schoolchildren in Northern Ireland who’ve been convinced by Gore-style propaganda that sea levels are rising and polar bears are dying.

McAleer and McElhinney quickly move on to more obscure topics. In interviews with conservative civil rights leader Roy Innis and Ugandan activists, they argue that Rachel Carson’s campaign to ban the pesticide DDT was a case of junk science winning out over facts, and one that has led to the death of millions of Africans from malaria. A white American scientist is made to look like a buffoon who is horrified by the prospect of a DDT-soaked Uganda with more people and fewer birds. “Imagine Elton John without a piano!” she says.

That isn’t the only trick the directors borrow from Michael Moore. The case against cap-and-trade legislation is made with visits to Vevay, Ind., a small midwestern town with a profitable coal plant that employs thousands of people. McAleer found the location, he told me, because the energy company went to Vevay instead of a town in Spain after that country passed stricter environmental regulations. Vevay residents like Tim and Tiffany McElhany are shown fretting about the jobs they’d lose if coal was banned. The film ends with Tiffany McElhany trekking to Al Gore’s Tennessee mansion to deliver a letter, begging him to look again at the science and reconsider his ways. It’s a perfect illustration of the film’s message: Not only are environmentalists misguided, they’re ruining the lives of ordinary people of whom they know nothing.

“I hear a lot about clean coal,” McAleer said at a Washington screening of the film. “I don’t know the science but I think clean coal is crap. That guy in the film, Tim McElhany, has a white car, and he lives beside a coal plant.”

Some conservative films like last years “An American Carol” have been given mass releases that backfired when audiences failed to show up. “Not Evil Just Wrong” is bypassing that route, being sold directly over the Internet for $20, with buyers encouraged to wait until October 18 at 8 p.m. ET and press “play” at the same time. The website tells prospective viewers that the diffuse release plan can be a way to “have your own cinematic tea party.” According to McAleer, around 4,500 copies of the film have been distributed for screenings that could include dozens of people. McAleer, who is based in Washington will join Breitbart, Wall Street Journal columnist John Fund, and several conservative scholars for a special screening at the Heritage Foundation; on Tuesday afternoon, the conservative American Family Association forged a deal to stream the film live for anyone else who wanted to see it.

“We may at last be getting our Michael Moore,” said Fred Smith. “A virtuous Michael Moore!”

Follow David Weigel on Twitter


Comments

26 Comments

Tweets that mention Conservative Media Push Anti-Gore Documentary « The Washington Independent -- Topsy.com
Pingback posted October 14, 2009 @ 6:50 am

[...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Jenny Navan and CplScience Jobs, WashIndependent. WashIndependent said: Conservative Media Push Anti-Gore Documentary http://bit.ly/hytc7 [...]


The Divine Conspiracy Blog » Blog Archive » Not Evil Just Wrong
Pingback posted October 14, 2009 @ 3:05 pm

[...] Washington Independent takes a look at the upcoming documentary, Not Evil Just Wrong. Posted in Politics | No Comments » [...]


strangely_enough
Comment posted October 14, 2009 @ 4:21 pm

“The strengths of the climate change skeptic movement, the ‘let science be science’ movement, have always been intellectual…”

That's too funny for words, and coming from the president of CEI, as self serving a statement as can be imagined.
What next, “Lead- it's not toxic, stupid”? “Living downwind from a coal plant is good for you”?


chrisjay
Comment posted October 14, 2009 @ 6:05 pm

Timing's pretty good for this: the Fed has just announced that they're releasing a couple of major federal environmental studies that the Bush Administration had deep-sixed.
LOL I had completely forgotten about An American Carol. Huh, had Toby Keith in it and it STILL stiffed, imagine that…


SoSad69
Comment posted October 14, 2009 @ 7:14 pm

These guys are about as smart as a sack of hammers. Yeah, keep those coal mines a pumpin because they create jobs. Put a face to the climate legislation impact. it'll be funny to see their faces when things get really bad and they realize it's too late. But, like republican's. You can have a mountain of data and millions of supporting experts and millions of facts and yet you're still wrong. that's typical republican thinking. there's no changing their minds. They believe whatever Rush or Fox News tells them to believe. Such a joke. I'm glad I'm not associated with concervatives and or Republicans. Morons the lot of them. All about cash and capitalism. And what are they looking out for the faces of people? They didn't think about that for the 8 years that Bush was spending willy nilly. Bush spent twice as much as Clinton. Yes, twice as much as Clinton and now the concervatives whine about how a liberal operates. Where were the teabaggers when that was happening I wonder.


Swami_Binkinanda – backtype | CockBot
Pingback posted October 14, 2009 @ 10:46 pm

[...] :: Conservative Media Push Anti-Gore Documentary [...]


Sammy
Comment posted October 14, 2009 @ 11:53 pm

One group wants to move forward, the other wants it to be the 1960s again, where white people have all the advantages, rivers catch on fire, we're in wars with no clear exit strategy.

We can't let them win.


Sammy
Comment posted October 14, 2009 @ 11:55 pm

The GOPs new tag line:

“Vietnam, the Cuyahoga, Segregation…those were the days!”


Roald A
Comment posted October 15, 2009 @ 2:19 am

Many thanks to the previous commenter “Sammy” for offering a perfect example of how it is NOT the right-wingers who are the ones to play the race card on such topics. I would invite him, though, to ask Al Gore, “what efforts have you undertaken to assure us that global warming isn't the result of natural conditions?”


wayoutwest
Comment posted October 15, 2009 @ 3:26 am

Right arm Sammy, Their fighting but losing and we will not be stopped.

The river on fire reference brought back memories of the Detroit river ablaze. Ah those were the days.

The coal industry is running Orwellian propaganda ads in NM claiming that co2 is good for us and we must believe them, or else!

Look at mother nature on the run in the 21'st century.


Shawty305
Comment posted October 15, 2009 @ 4:31 am

Wrong… how about watching the video Fox was covering? Al Gore refused to even let this journalist ask a question. That ALONE is news. This documentary is secondary to that fact, no doubt about it.


Gore’s Hockey Stick Shatters as Climatologists Caught Fabricating False Trends - private_citizen’s blog - RedState
Pingback posted October 15, 2009 @ 9:46 am

[...] former vice president feigned outrage when a filmmaker dared to challenge his dogma. McAleer asked Gore about a court case brought by British parents who challenged the [...]


Sammy
Comment posted October 15, 2009 @ 4:03 pm

Conservatives – we're trying to move this country forward – it's no longer 1960 – your wife probably earns more than you now and no longer waits on you hand and foot, rivers no longer catch on fire, if possible we'd like an exit strategy for a war (if the administration who started it didn't actually want to win it), and minorities are no longer hated, in fact, they'll soon be in the majority.

We realize you prefer the progressive thinkers of the Middle Ages, but we're a bit ahead of ya'll. We don't feel like waiting for you to become learned.


Sammy
Comment posted October 15, 2009 @ 4:05 pm

A new tag line for Rush/Beck/Hannity lovers:

“Vietnam, the Cuyahoga, no Affirmative Action…those were the days!!!!”


chrisjay
Comment posted October 16, 2009 @ 5:39 pm

Don't care to respond to the HARD news of Bush-era suppression of EPA data?
Didn't think you'd want to, though you imply constantly that you're all about busting junk-science—-that's the meme you're peddling and it won't fly.


jtriggs
Comment posted October 19, 2009 @ 8:51 pm

Mr. Weigel seems to be a bit cavilier in his discription of some of the events in this article. First, he claims that Mr. McAleer “rushed up to the microphone” and provides a link to another article for support. However, his linked article only states Mr. McAleer was in line and asked his question when his turn came and the only reference to 'rushing' in the article was not related to Mr. McAleer.
Second, Mr. Weigel quotes the exchange between Gore and McAleer about the polarbear population but he leaves out part of Mr. Mcaleer's last statement (prior to the mic being cut) where in addition to his reassertion that the bear population is increasing (a fact) he goes on to say “how can they be indangered if their population is growing?”


JB Harrison
Comment posted October 21, 2009 @ 3:30 pm

31,000 USA scientists have signed a statement that “global warming” is NOT man made.
There's some outstanding data to back it up.
But, don't let facts get in the way of name calling.
BTW, according to a recent article in National Geographic, ethinol is basically carbon neutral (it generates as much carbon in production as it saves in the gasoline it replaces). That didn't stop the legislation mandating it (which raised basic food prices substantially).


LockeIsAGod
Comment posted May 12, 2010 @ 10:28 pm

your a funny little man… the 60's really… do some easy research and see the presidential party that ruled the sixties…. almost the whole time it was… drum roll… democrats… twat… i wish i could spit on people like you

http://www.apples4theteacher.com/holidays/presi…

http://www.buzzle.com/articles/a-list-of-presid…


peter graminiano
Comment posted May 17, 2010 @ 10:24 pm

Sammy you are right on.


lv
Comment posted August 9, 2010 @ 1:43 pm

Thanks for sharing!


Discount Louis Vuitton
Comment posted August 20, 2010 @ 3:17 am

That didn't stop the legislation mandating it (which raised basic food prices substantially).


Gucci hysteria
Comment posted August 21, 2010 @ 12:53 pm

“Vietnam, the Cuyahoga, Segregation…those were the days!”


Roald A
Comment posted August 21, 2010 @ 3:23 pm

Notice how the latest commenter is reduced to repeating the same ridiculous premise line from Sammy several spots below, but neither he nor Sammy bother to answer the question I posed 10 months ago. The challenge remains for anyone: ask Al Gore, “what efforts have you undertaken to assure us that global warming isn't the result of natural conditions?”


home theater seating
Comment posted September 27, 2010 @ 9:43 am

Timing's pretty good for this: the Fed has just announced that they're releasing a couple of major federal environmental studies that the Bush Administration had deep-sixed.
LOL I had completely forgotten about An American Carol. Huh, had Toby Keith in it and it STILL stiffed, go figure…


weeds season 5 episode 13
Comment posted September 27, 2010 @ 8:36 pm

The river on fire reference brought back memories of the Detroit river ablaze. Ah those were the days.

The coal industry is running Orwellian propaganda ads in NM claiming that co2 is good for us and we must believe them, or else!


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