Sunday, April 6, 2014

#987: John Nolte

John Nolte is a Breitbart news editor and a crazy wingnut conspiracy theorist. Oh, there is little beyond the ordinary about Nolte – we really don’t need to go on at length about him, since you can pretty much figure him out on your own – but that just shows that the fanatically crazy has been mainstreamed, not that Nolte is anything but a gibbering lunatic. A typical example: When Obama, on a visit to Belfast, said “If towns remain divided – if Catholics have their schools and buildings, and Protestants have theirs – if we can’t see ourselves in one another, if fear or resentment are allowed to harden, that encourages division. It discourages cooperation,” that should be interpreted as a standard, platitudinous, vague and innocuous statement everyone with which we can all agree, right? Well, run it through the wingnut mind of John Nolte, and you get a quite different interpretation; Nolte saw a “chilling” attack on religious education, and according to Nolte, Obama’s speech showed that “leftists like Obama loathe parochial schools because they put children outside of the reach of government,” and drop them into “an environment void of Bibles and trans-fat but loaded with condoms and victimhood.” And the clincher? “Obama singles out Catholic and Protestant schools, and not Islamic schools.” Yes, it is the kind of persecution complex and paranoia that should really merit professional help, but I suspect that Nolte’s standard fan base will nod in agreement instead.

Indeed, a really illuminating illustration of the mindset of people like John Nolte can be gained from his review of the documentary The Tillman Story (before it was finished). First, he complained that the “leftist media” was going to laud the documentary uncritically: “Will they be skeptical? Will they fact check? Will they even bother to pretend there might be another side to the story? These are rhetorical questions.” Of course the leftist media wouldn’t be skeptical in their praise, Nolte concluded. Therefore – without any reference to its contents – since the leftist media is going to love it, it must be a leftist propaganda movie that omits and distorts the facts. A better example of intellectual implosion through projection you’ll be hard pressed to find.

Nor is Nolte very favorably inclined toward gay marriage. More importantly, he has called out the supporters of marriage equality for their dirty rhetorical tactics. For instance, some have called the Family Research Council “anti-gay”, something Nolte vehemently denies, claiming instead that “it’s anti-Christian” (in addition to being ugly rhetoric) to call them anti-gay. Of course, the fact FRC leaders routinely call gay people pedophiles, support laws that criminalize homosexuality or even designate it as a capital punishment in other countries, objected to the Supreme Court’s overturning of such laws in the US, and explicitly call for recriminalization of homosexuality, is … just a difference in opinion. Gay people are the haters, together with the “anti-Christian leftists in Hollywood, the mainstream media, and GLAAD.”

Of course, Nolte is a climate change denialist, but that comes with the job description. His reasoning in general show so little aptitude for evidence, reason or truth that one wouldn’t really be surprised if he were a flat-earther as well. He has, for instance, called “global warming believers” today’s “climate deniers” since they apparently don’t think cold temperatures in winter refute global warming and because they don’t lend proper weight to the recovery of Arctic sea ice.

Diagnosis: Just a sample, but it gives you a reasonable indication of what kind of guy we’re dealing with here. 

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