- The Washington Times - Tuesday, May 5, 2015

The practice of treating celebrities like scientific experts continues. An ambitious new study of network broadcasts by Media Research Center business analyst Mike Ciandella has tracked “the climate hypocrites and the media who love them,” offering insight into “the not-so-green habits of Hollywood gasbags.” Yes, well. These are the famous folk who jet in to fancy global forums, condemn average Americans for causing climate change, then roar off into the sunset courtesy of fossil fuel. Journalists can’t get enough of it despite the inevitable carbon footprint.

“The same media go out of their way to ignore or excuse the hypocrisy of celebrity environmentalists who fly their private jets around the world, rent megayachts and live in massive mansions,” says Mr. Ciandella.

The study, which analyzed both the coverage and the lifestyle patterns of a dozen outspoken celebrities, found that ABC, CBS and NBC featured 25 in-depth, unquestioning interviews with green-minded stars in the last six months of 2014 alone. Film director James Cameron warned of ecoterrorism and a future world “in shambles” because of climate change — “yet he owns an impressive private collection of motorcycles, cars, dirt bikes, a yacht, a helicopter, a Humvee fire truck and a $32-million submarine,” the study author observes.

Leonardo DiCaprio ironically stood in front of the United Nations warning that ‘if we do not act together, we will surely perish’ — just three months after he had flown to Brazil on a private plane to borrow an oil billionaire’s 470-foot yacht,” Mr. Ciandella says, cautioning, “Actors aren’t climate scientists.”

The analyst has a recommendation for journalists.

“Celebrities may be famous, but that doesn’t mean that they should automatically get a platform to promote their eco-agenda. Journalists need to recognize that just because someone is well known doesn’t mean they are well informed,” says Mr. Ciandella. Find the complete study from the conservative research organization here: MRC.org/business.

DEMOCRATS TEAR INTO PASTOR HUCKABEE

It took the Democratic National Committee only moments to scurry after Mike Huckabee, who announced Tuesday that he would run for president in 2016, advising his audience: “I don’t come from a family dynasty, but a working family. I grew up blue-collar, not blue blood.” The Democrats, however, were waiting for him, as is their pattern with Republican presidential hopefuls.

Mike Huckabee’s decision to throw his hat into the GOP ring tells us all we need to know about who the Republican Party is and what they believe,” says Democratic National Committee press secretary Holly Shulman, who is critical of the candidate’s social conservatism and his vow to repeal the Affordable Care Act.

“It’s one thing to spout off nonsense on his TV show, but for Mike Huckabee to present his ideas as legitimate policies for a presidential campaign is insulting to the American people, though I can’t say I am particularly surprised. I mean, have you heard the rest of the Republican hopefuls?” she continues. “Mike Huckabee’s vision for America is out of touch, in many cases completely out of line and would take the country backwards.”

The presidential pastor, however, is on message and already bound for Iowa, staying in touch with the down-home heartland. Mr. Huckabee meets with the employees of a fire hydrant and valve manufacturer in Oskaloosa on Wednesday, to be followed by a free rally in a historic barn in Urbandale. “Food from Jethro’s BBQ will be provided, with music by country recording artist Brandon Alan,” the campaign advises. Thursday finds Mr. Huckabee at double meet and greets at Charlie’s American Grill in Sioux City and the Pizza Ranch in Cedar Rapids.

MR. BECK PONDERS HUCK

Independent media maven Glenn Beck does not think Mike Huckabee has much chance to win the presidency — and he has a theory about what’s behind it all “in the smoke-filled rooms of the establishment GOP,” he says.

“I think he’s being put in as a spoiler. I think that’s the only thing. I really do. I think he’s there because he’ll pull religious votes away from Ted Cruz. And that’s the one that big government progressives are afraid of. The establishment is afraid of Ted Cruz and Rand Paul. They’re going to do everything they can to make sure those two are nowhere to be seen when it comes to Election Day. And so if you want to take care of Ted Cruz, you go after the religious base. And you split the religious base. And that’s what Mike Huckabee is doing,” Mr. Beck told his TheBlaze TV audience following the candidate’s announcement.

FREE SCHOOLING ON IOWA

From our oh-go-ahead desk comes news from Iowa State University. The campus will offer free online classes explaining the workings of the Iowa Presidential Caucuses, to be conducted by political professor Steffen W. Schmidt, who will cover history, protocols, process, the role of the media and more. Students work at their own pace, and though they don’t receive college credits, they do earn a certificate.

Classes begin in September, but enrollment is now underway here: www.Iowacaucusesmooc.org.

WHAT’S BERNIE UP TO?

People continue to be curious about Sen. Bernard Sanders, the only other declared Democratic hopeful outside of Hillary Rodham Clinton. Numerous inquiries have arrived at Inside the Beltway seeking insight. Well, here’s something: The Vermont independent has something planned for Wednesday with Rep. Brad Sherman, California Democrat. The pair will introduce the “Too Big to Fail, Too Big to Exist Act.”

Well, OK.

“Under this legislation, any institution that is too big to fail will be broken up to avoid more government bailouts and future risk to our economy. Congressman Sherman is co-chair of the House CPA caucus and has served on the House Financial Services Committee for 19 years. The legislation is endorsed by the Independent Community Bankers of America, which represents over 6,000 of our nation’s 6,589 banks,” Mr. Sherman’s office advises.

DRILL, BABY, DRILL

It is an issue sure to surface in 2016: A new poll by Consumer Energy Alliance finds that Iowa voters support Arctic offshore energy production, with 52 percent supporting and 32 percent opposed. New Hampshire voters are also drill-friendly: 54 percent support it, 35 percent oppose. Eight out of 10 voters in both states also say that energy issues will sway their decision in the poll booth.

“Candidates for 2016 races will have to have a strong position on energy-related issues in general and on Arctic exploration specifically,” says David Holt, president of the nonprofit, which represents a coalition of businesses and groups. “Support for a robust domestic energy policy that uses all of America’s energy resources is key to a candidate’s chances of victory.”

POLL DU JOUR

77 percent of likely U.S. voters say illegal immigration is a serious problem.

63 percent say that gaining control of the U.S. borders is more important than legalizing undocumented workers already living here.

63 percent say the U.S. military should be used along the U.S.-Mexico border to prevent illegal immigration.

58 percent say providing a pathway to citizenship for undocumented workers already living in the U.S. encourages more illegal immigration.

47 percent say Congress should move to stop President Obama’s executive amnesty program.

30 percent say it’s more important to legalize those already living here than gain control of the borders.

Source: A Rasmussen Reports survey of 1,000 likely U.S. voters conducted April 29-30.

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