Friday, August 10, 2007

Testing the 30 Second Rule

The 30 Second Rule: You can tune into Rush Limbaugh's radio program randomly and if he's not already in the process of lying, he'll be lying within 30 seconds.

As I've said before, I've been testing this rule for almost a year now, and I've yet to see it fail. Yesterday I got in my car and turned the radio to Limbaugh. He was in the process of saying that global warming is a hoax and that one of the "central theses" of the hoax - that 1998 was the hottest year on record - has been refuted by mining executive (gee, what a surprise) Steve McIntyre. Here's the transcript.

If you look at the transcript, the place where I stopped listening was at the first break in said transcript - that's about all the Rush I can stomach at a time. But that was enough for me to assume that it was more typical Rush bullshit, and I felt no need to bother looking into it any further.

So today as I'm doing my blog surfing I see that the usual idiot blogs are in a fury over this story. This time I took an additional couple of minutes and looked into the story enough to see that NASA had indeed revised some of its temperature figures. Yet, I was still certain that the story was being over-hyped, especially since I noticed that the revised temp's were just for the United States and not for the entire planet.

Next I checked around the 'net to see if I could find any commentary from anyone who wasn't a global warming denialist ideologue. I couldn't find any, so I e-mailed science journalist James Hrynyshyn about it.

Here's his response. Yep, the 30 Second Rule remains intact.

Sadly, though, some damage has already been done, as you can tell by the Update to Hrynsyhyn's post. Like Alonzo said, it's depressing that its so easy (and even profitable) to lie to the public.

Update: To really get a visual depiction of just how disingenuous (and/or stupid) the exxagerated outrage over the revised temperatures is, take a look at the graphs in this post at Deltoid.


spocko said...

Al Franken had on a guy who was a "Ditto head" and he was a friend of Al's. Al played a clip and Rush would lie. The guy sometimes admitted it was a lie, but he would say, "But it's indicative of a larger truth!"
One reason Rush is powerful is that he has the ability to tie things that people really believe into things that are lies. For example remember that LVT Steel guy at the AFL-CIO debates? Rush attacked him by saying, "I don't know about you, but when I don't work at a place anymore I don't expect them to keep paying me." Now on the face of it that makes sense, but of course what he doesn't acknowledge is that the contract that was agreed upon at the time was binding and it wasn't the same as a salary someone is paid while working.

Paul Sunstone said...

Would you call Limbaugh a pathological liar in the sense that he probably could not tell the truth even if wanted to?

Hume's Ghost said...

I think he's a pathological bullshitter

I expect that Limbaugh does have the capacity to recognize truth, but I suspect that mental habits he have developed seriously cripple his ability to do so.

This is a person who as late as the mid 90s was saying that nicotine is not addictive. If he can somehow convince himself that is true there is something really wrong with him.

Anonymous said...

Rush bullshitting is one thing, in that everyone expects it. Even the dented-heads.

NPR interviewing Thomas Friedman yesterday is something else entirely.

Audio Here