A bold new crew of radicals swept into Congress to remake environmental policies, and the news media immediately called out their poisonous and extreme proposals.
If you're thinking about this freshman class of knuckleheads who has given us the 2019 "Green New Deal," the answer is no. We're not talking about them.
We're talking 1995, when Newt Gingrich and Co. took over the House. They were the nuts. And, by God, were they dangerous!
ABC's Peter Jennings narrated a promo on July 9 of that year, saying: "Next week on ABC's 'World News Tonight,' a series of reports about our environment which will tell you precisely what the new Congress has in mind: the most frontal assault on the environment in 25 years. Is this what the country wants?"
That's not subtle — "the most frontal assault on the environment." It's as if the Republicans wrote legislation to poison the air and water and execute all the endangered species.
Jennings wasn't alone. NBC News was pretty sure we were all going to die. It offered a competing promo on July 17: "Safe food, safe water, safe air, safe transportation: You have this protection now, but you might be about to lose it. Why? Watch a special In Depth report on 'NBC Nightly News' tomorrow."
Who needs paid political advertisements with the "news" networks offering free commercials like this?
Days later, NBC reporter Roger O'Neil concluded a report on changes to the Endangered Species Act. "(I)f the plants and animals can't survive, what future is there for the human species?" he asked. As the Snail Darter goes, so goes all humanity.
Now the socialists are running the show at the Democratic National Committee, and to say they're not ready for prime time is an understatement. Theirs are policies grade schoolers might love. Or maybe even they would laugh at the inanities prescribed.
So are the media at all concerned?
When leftist radicals in Congress led by Sen. Ed Markey and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez held a press conference on Feb. 7 pushing their Green New Deal, for once there were no nightly news stories on ABC or CBS or NBC. Even they were ashamed. They've been promoting AOC for months ... and now this?
These radicals called for building "high-speed rail at a scale where air travel stops becoming necessary," as a now-removed blog post of frequently asked questions released by Ocasio-Cortez's office said. Because instead one could take the train to Guatemala? Brazil? Mongolia? This was no typo. They weren't kidding.
"We set a goal to get to net-zero, rather than zero emissions, in 10 years because we aren't sure that we'll be able to fully get rid of farting cows and airplanes that fast," the post said.
"Get rid of farting cows and airplanes" in 10 years? This was not an elaborate April Fools' Day prank. This was a sincere proclamation of a radical agenda. They also believe in providing economic security "for all who are unable or unwilling to work."
How to get out of this mess? Saikat Chakrabarti, chief of staff to Ocasio-Cortez, arrived at a solution as incoherent as the proposals. Ol' Saikat tweeted: "An early draft of a FAQ that was clearly unfinished and that doesn't represent the GND resolution got published to the website by mistake. ... Mistakes happen when doing time launches like this coordinating multiple groups and collaborators."
So the first draft was idiotic. How could a polished proposal based on these inanities be any better?
But Ocasio-Cortez had an even more ridiculous explanation. She tried to claim there were "doctored" versions floating around the internet, but these proposals came from her own social media accounts. Even the Washington Post "fact-checkers" concluded, "No one created 'doctored' versions of the Green New Deal that included these outlandish proposals."
This part of the story is delicious. Just days before, CNN "Reliable Sources" host Brian Stelter hailed and interviewed Chakrabarti with the words "AOC'S MASTERY OF SOCIAL MEDIA" on screen.
It's so nice to be a Democrat with today's network-news environment. No ABC or NBC anchor will narrate a commercial sternly warning, "Air travel. A cheeseburger. A glass of milk. You may have them today, but you may be about to lose them! Is this what the country wants?"
L. Brent Bozell III is the president of the Media Research Center. Tim Graham is director of media analysis at the Media Research Center and executive editor of the blog NewsBusters.org.