For years I've talked about the nonstop exaggerations and biased observations of the American news media. In a recent commentary, I pointed to the media's obsession with New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg as a prime example. Promoting Bloomberg as a viable third party Presidential candidate creates controversy, excitement and headlines- thereby raising news ratings and profits (even if, in fact, Bloomberg is as boring as watching paint dry, and he has little chance of winning the Presidency). That's my media! They never fail to let me down- and they never let facts or professional objectivity get in the way of a good story.
But this past week featured perhaps the most exaggerated and ridiculous media headline yet. Did you notice the nonstop headlines about the weather in Vegas, Phoenix and the Southwest USA? It was hard to miss. Day and night they were featured in every national newspaper and news broadcast. The headlines literally screamed: "It's Excessively Hot in Vegas and Phoenix!" The media droned on and on for days about the record-setting heat. Can you imagine? Heat in the summertime in Vegas and Phoenix? It boggles the imagination! How could it be so hot in the desert in the summer? Hard to believe, huh? A real tragedy in the making. Oh my God- it must be global warming destroying the world.
Now why would hot weather in Vegas be such a big deal for the national media? Could it be because it was a slow news week, and the greedy hypocritical liberal media had to find something to put in the headlines to raise ratings? Remember, slow news days equal lower ratings, which add up to lower profits. So it's important (and profitable) for the media to manufacture a sensational headline to get you fearful, shocked, and agitated.
If possible, outright panic is even better. Scary negative headlines about life and death struggles add up to higher ratings (as viewers huddle in fear at the edge of their sofa watching the "latest breaking news exclusive").
The media desperately needs something…anything…to force their viewers to feel negative, stressed out, and helpless about the latest and greatest earth-shattering life and death crisis coming to your world. After all, negativity and controversy sells like nothing else. A man rescuing a puppy from a fire is occasionally worth a few viewing points…but an axe murderer-rapist terrorizing your town is worth a whole bunch of rating points…while a celebrity in a sex or drug scandal is like hitting the news ratings lottery (see Paris Hilton). And a dead celebrity in a sex scandal cooked to death by record-setting heat induced by global warming- WOW, it just doesn't get any better than that!
But wait, there's more to exaggerated media headlines than just ratings and profits- the liberal media desperately wants to brainwash the public into fearing the dreaded "Global Warming" (Just as they tried to do in the 1970's with headlines about "Global Cooling"). Because tthere is one thing that the biased liberal media puts above profits- trying to influence elections to get their liberal Democrat friends elected. The threat of global warming is a perfect excuse to induce viewers to vote for liberal politicians with schemes to raise taxes and spending in dramatic fashion, create new rules and laws to control our lives like "Big Brother," damage big business, and vastly increase the size and scope of big government. "Global warming" destroying the planet is a bleeding heart liberal's dream-come-true! Nothing slams home the point and motivates record amounts of fear more powerfully than headlines reporting on record setting heat- wrecking lives, wreaking havoc, inducing misery, and literally killing Americans! Even if that "record heat" happens to be taking place in Vegas and Phoenix- heck the media will take whatever they can get during a slow news week.
Keep in mind that this Libertarian Presidential candidate lives in Las Vegas. I think I know a thing or two about the place I call home. I've got a newsflash for the media- It's hot in the summer in Vegas! REAL HOT. So hot you can boil eggs on the sidewalk. So hot that you only go outside to swim in your pool, or get into your air conditioned car to drive to your air conditioned office. Have you heard of air conditioning? That's why almost two million people now live in Vegas- that amazing modern invention called air conditioning actually gets us Las Vegans through those hot summer days. Can you imagine that? I guess the geniuses of the liberal news media have never heard of this newfangled invention called air conditioning. Perhaps they were distracted all these years since air conditioning was invented because they were so busy making up nonstop exaggerated news headlines.
In the 20 years I've been doing business in Vegas, and the almost 6 years I've lived there, I've noticed a fact of living here – it's always hotter than hell in the summer. It's been that way since the beginning of time (or at least since the last Ice Age). That's why virtually no one lived here in Vegas until the invention of air conditioning. But with air conditioning, even 115 degrees is no big deal. Thanks to the miracle of air conditioning, it's always a perfect 72 degrees in my home. Imagine that.
I clearly remember doing a photo shoot for a TV show I was starring in about 15 years ago. It was 108 degrees at 9 PM on the Vegas Strip. Yes, I said 108 degrees at 9 o'clock at night! But there was no "boogie man" known as global warming back then. There were no headlines about the excessive heat in Vegas. It was just business (or weather) as usual. We all knew that it was hot in the summer in Vegas. We just called it "hotter than hell." Imagine that- it didn't make news headlines…it didn't scare us…there was no panic in the streets. We just sweated a lot. We expected it to be hot in the desert in the middle of the summer. It as no big deal.
For those of you who live in New York or Boston or Philly and have never been to Vegas in the summer…it's 100 degrees or more virtually every day from mid-June through late September. EVERY DAY. Most summer days are well above 100 degrees. My memory (which is like an elephant) tells me that 105 to 108 degrees is pretty much a typical summer day in Vegas. On most summer days it reads somewhere around 110 to 118 degrees on my car's thermometer by late afternoon (the hottest point of the day in Vegas). So why the "breaking news flash" last week for excessive heat in Vegas. Vegas weather is always excessive 90+ days a year in the summer. Was global warming to blame for each of those excessive days, 90+ times a summer, for the past 100 years of record-keeping?
Phoenix weather (which is usually 5 degrees or more warmer than Vegas) is also always excessive in summer. I just read a book about Arizona during the days of the Wild West- the book's author casually mentioned that in the summer it was common for settlers to see 120 degree days. Was global warming to blame in 1870 too? Did 120 degree heat in Arizona make the headlines across the country in those days? I think not. It was expected- Phoenix last I checked is located in the middle of the Sonoran Desert! BREAKING NEWS FLASH: If you don't like heat, you shouldn't move to Vegas or Phoenix.
Trust me- I've felt 106 degrees (an average daily temperature in July in Vegas), and I've felt the occasional 113, 114 and 115 degree day. News flash- there's little or no difference! Anything over 105 feels the same. A 115 degree day in the desert Southwest does not deserve national headlines. Yes, we tied "record highs" in Vegas and Phoenix last week. But do you know what tying "record highs" actually means? It means we tied or broke records set in prior years- when there was no "global warming." So what was the excuse back then? Weather happens. Records change all the time. Records are made to be broken- just like in Baseball. It gets hot. It gets cold. That's the point of weather- it changes.
Is "global warming" happening? I don't know. I'm not a scientist. But neither are liberal Democrat politicians or their liberal journalist lackeys. The fact is that even scientists don't know. Some think it is happening. Some don't. But scientists are like economists, doctors and weathermen. Weathermen can't seem to accurately predict what is going to happen in the next few hours without screwing up (constantly). Economists are rarely right about either the economy, or the direction of interest rates. And as far as doctors, ask 5 MD's about a patient and you'll often get 5 different opinions (guesses). These are the respected, exalted "experts" of the world with fancy degrees and big incomes. Yet their predictions are often wrong, and their opinions (guesses) often contradict one another. Global warming might be happening…or not. And if it is, it may be man's fault, or not. For millions of years, the earth has experienced periods of warming up and cooling down (ever hear of the Ice Age?). If global warming is in fact upon us (which by the way, I think it probably is), can we do anything about it? The earth itself is so powerful that our efforts to reduce pollutions and carbon emissions could in fact be futile- after all, humans have only a miniscule effect on Mother Nature. All the pollution and gases released by America, China and India combined are like a needle in a haystack when compared with what is naturally produced by nature.
Is global warming a threat we should be paying attention to? Of course it is. Do I sleep better at night knowing that scientific minds far more brilliant than mine are studying it? Of course I do. Should we be looking for reasonable ways to reduce pollution and carbon emissions? Of course we should. My point in all of this however is to understand that it isn't cut and dried. The facts are not all in yet. Let's not agree too quickly to radical environmental changes that could damage our economy, destroy our high quality of living, and put millions of Americans out of work. All in the name of something that is not yet fully understood. And let's be careful when basing our opinions or snap judgements on stories we read or watch in the news media. Understand that the news media has an agenda. It isn't all the news that is fit to print or broadcast…but rather: All the news they think (based on their bias) that you should hear. Oh, by the way-have you heard? It's HOT in Vegas today. Really hot.