Saturday: Think Russian meddling in our elections is bad? Mike Myer explains the extent of their anti-fracking propaganda
Since this is another column attacking liberals (aren’t they all?), Myer starts by setting-up his usual straw-man:
Among some liberals, two contentions have become virtual articles of faith:
1. The Russians elected Donald Trump president.
2. Hydraulic fracturing science is settled, and the practice is bad for human beings and our environment.
Sorry, Mike, but I don’t know any liberals who believe #1 as stated. (“Influenced”, perhaps, but I think that would be down their list on why Trump won the election.) Myer is in need of an angle for a column and so he sets up a false equivalency -- that if you believe that Russians elected Trump, you must realize that their “phony environmentalism” (in Myer’s words) has had an even bigger influence on the fracking debate in this country:
Bottom line: The Russians have been doing a lot more to keep us from drilling for gas than they have to keep us from having Hillary Clinton as president.
This idea, that the Russians are behind the anti-fracking movement in America, has been around a while in right wing, pro-fracking circles. (DeSmog Blog has a documented history and analysis of this movement, including the most recent revelations here). More recently, the intelligence report on the Russian involvement in our presidential election mentioned it and consequently it has reinvigorated their efforts.
The proposition that the Russians are behind the anti-fracking movement has, however, not picked up many followers beyond the far-right. Earlier today I news-googled “Russian anti-fracking campaign” and for the most part, the only news sources that are writing about this supposed revelation are extreme right-wing ones. For those who don’t spend a lot of time reading far-right news sources, the first six sources listed are the Washington Examiner, Newsmax, Washington Free Beacon, Powerline, Death and Taxes, and Daily Caller. Breitbart was missing but the rest make up a who’s who of far right political sites. By the way, the seventh source listed is Saturday's Mike Myer’s column. (Okay, I’m guilty of “guilt by association” but that’s still a mighty interesting group to be associated with.)
That’s also to say that these sites can’t be accurate. They can. Like the Myer column, I just wish they presented a more balanced perspective and didn't let their political biases distort everything they wrote about.
What better way to celebrate the life and work of Dr. Martin Luther King than to have Mike Myer write a column on “How Would King React To Trump?”
Mike Myer’s Sunday column begins by elaborating on that question:
On the eve of our national celebration of the civil rights leader’s life, and less than a week before Trump becomes chief executive, it’s a pertinent question. That is so especially because of accusations that Trump is a racist.
Myer then suggests that we read Reverend Darrell Cummings' column, “No Matter How You Voted, Pray for Next President,” in the same section. It's an interesting reference in that Reverend Cummins notes the controversies surrounding the president-elect and concludes:
There is no way for me to know what Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. would have said or thought about it. The truth is, I would be one of the least qualified people in the world to speak on his behalf. It is an honor that is too great for me to endure.
Lacking Rev. Cummins' humbleness, Myer, on the other hand, tells us that King would have worked for Clinton but that once she lost:
I think he would have adopted a much less hardline, vindictive approach than have many of Trump’s foes.
Why? Among other reasons:
King would have seen a convincing demonstration that while racism still exists, there is no way it can be viewed as a defining feature of our nation.
Really? It’s no longer "defining," as Myer argues, because we elected a black man president? (Has he ever talked to any of Trump's "deplorables" about President Obama?)
Let’s see. The editor of a newspaper that has never once criticized Donald Trump for his many racist statements tells us that Dr. Martin Luther King would not have been very critical of Donald Trump. What a surprise!
I’m sure he hasn’t read the Myer column but Chauncey DeVega, writing at Salon, addresses these points from a different perspective:
Martin Luther King Jr. Day is a public ritual in America. To that end, King, who when alive was one of the most hated and unpopular people in the United States, is transformed into a public saint and hero. . . .
The Republicans will claim King as well. They will do this by constructing a fictionalized narrative where he was a “black conservative” instead of a democratic socialist. . . .
The public ritual involves the castration of Martin Luther King Jr.’s radicalism. Again, the “I Have a Dream” speech will be victimized, truncated and excised to ignore its true meaning and weight. There will be few mentions of how in that speech King advocated for reparations for black Americans, and a more humane and peaceful country. By extension, the March on Washington will be used as a type of shorthand that leaves out the other necessary components of its purpose — “for Jobs and Freedom” is apparently, even in the 21st century, too radical a proposition for many American elites and citizens.