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Massachusetts Liberal

Observations on politics, the media and life in Massachusetts and beyond from the left side of the road.

Monday, June 05, 2006

An Inconvenient Truth

The most depressing moment of An Inconvenient Truth, Al Gore's movie about the reality of global warming, is not when you realize the data about C02 levels and temperature increases and the dramatic images of shrinking glaciers mean we're in deep doo-doo (to quote a different Bush).

Stark as that reality is, the most depressing moment comes when you compare Gore's declaration that the topic is the most important moral issue of our time with the reality of America today. Because at virtually the same moment, George W. Bush, and the "Moral Majority" -- once known as "compassionate conservatives" -- declared that banning gay marriage is one of the major moral imperatives of our time.

I've been suffering from outrage fatigue lately. Writing about the lies, distortions and venalities of the Theocons who seized control of our government provided an outlet for a lot of pent up anger at the sad state of affairs that has come to characterize this nation can be satisfying, if you see results. But there aren't many and so I'm fatigued.

Fatigued by the lack of accountability for people who condone wars fought under false pretenses (and the killing of innocents -- both soldiers and civilians) while proclaiming they are the only ones with "values."

Fatigued by the indifference to those who trash our Constitution with illegal spying (when legal options are easily and readily available) all in the name of preserving our liberties.

Fatigued with the lack of outrage toward those who loot our treasury, offering handouts and sweetheart deals for the friends, protecting their own assets from taxation while dumping the burden on our children and grandchildren.

Fatigued by incompetents such as the Army Corps of Engineers who stood by as New Orleans was washed away or the cronies at the Department of Homeland Security who declared there are no national icons in New York, only Omaha.

But mostly fatigued with the incessant stream of lies and propaganda from people who deny clear and convincing evidence and continue to lead us on a path of fiscal, physical and moral destruction.

Say what you will about Al Gore -- he's stiff, he's humor challenged and he can get on your nerves with his sense of self-righteousness) sort of like the White House occupant who stole the job).

But he has compiled a damning collection of evidence that the peril is real and closer than you think.

And what's been the media reaction to the movie? Much as is has been to the issue itself. In trying to be "fair and balanced," the media has given greater credence to the cranks who downplay the issue (or edit unpleasant truths) than the scientists who say the phenomenon is real.

And when the media do look at the issue it is inevitably through a political lens. In one sense that is fair. Al Gore is a politician, one at the center of what will likely be the most controversial election in this nation's history.

But given the political media's preference for horse races over issues, the questions invariably turn to whether Gore is using the book to tee up for 2008. Or what this does for him in a hypothetical race with Hillary (subscription required).

I'm also fatigued with a media that, like an incurable addict, looks for the easy story. When we will take this issue seriously?

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