Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Did we buy Idaho for the potatoes?

Cable talkshow personality Glenn Beck may be on edge these days. Might the controversial host, who probably has made as many friends as enemies in his career, now have to worry about Governor Sarah Palin (AK) after making an Alaskan-sized gaffe?

On a recent episode of Fox & Friends, Beck attempted to criticize the American Clean Energy and Security Act, but instead ended up confusing not only his history facts, but his climate change ones as well. Check out the text below, or watch the video (via Think Progress):
CARLSON: But nowhere in that bill is anything about reducing our dependence on foreign oil.

BECK: None. […]

You know Donald Trump, I want to talk to this guy. When he was on the show just a few minutes ago I was thinking how can you not be laughing at us? How can the world not be laughing at us? We have all these resources. Why did we buy Alaska in the 1950s? We bought Alaska for the resources. And now we say no!
As the folks at Think Progress point out:
Beck’s attempt to rewrite history to fit his talking point is also troubling. For clarification, Alaska was purchased in 1867 for $7.2 million and soon became known as “Seward’s Folly,” named for Secretary of State William H. Seward, because at the time it was widely regarded as foolish to spend so much money on remote tundra. (Perhaps Beck was thinking of Alaska becoming the 49th state in 1959.) The resources the U.S. was after in 1867 weren’t oil, but fish, furs, and the prospect of closer proximity to Russia from the North American continent.
Of course, besides getting his dates wrong, 'Beck's Folly' also consisted of claiming that "nowhere in that bill is anything about reducing our dependence on foreign oil," a statement which couldn't be further from the truth. The entire bill works towards that goal; not only will ACES spur investment in renewable energy, but it will also help create homegrown green jobs that can't be shipped overseas.

But really, who can blame Beck for not liking the bill? I don't think there's any money earmarked in their for him to hire a new fact checker, a staff member he clearly could use.