Thursday, October 6, 2016

#1729: Daniel Henninger

Daniel Henninger is a wingnut journalist, Deputy Editorial Page Director of The Wall Street Journal – which means that there probably are quite a few people reading his columns – and a Fox News contributor. Most of his columns (we haven’t kept a close tally) seem to concern issues related to economics: He achieved some note for instance with his 2008 column where he blamed the economic crisis on the War on Christmas, and argued that the attacks on Christmas are leading us to a “Mad Max” type environment (yeah, I did, for once, link that one – you really have to go see the crazy on display). It’s almost as if he believes that the War on Christmas is a real thing, rather than just a rhetorical and idiotic ploy to rally the troops, as most wingnut pundits know perfectly well. It is interesting to note that Henninger blamed Obama for the rise of Donald Trump; the fact that he actually believes that there is a War on Christmas would probably get him closer to the correct explanation.

As with so many people of his ilk, Henninger is a climate change denialist, and his climate change denialism has led him to being responsible for one of the most inane arguments we have ever seen: Henninger blames the anti-vaccine movement on climate scientists, because climate scientists have eroded the “credibility and authority of science”. Of course, Henninger tries to make it look like he is saying that the very fact that there is public controversy is what erodes public trust in science, but he doesn’t explore why there is a public (not scientific) controversy, because what he really means is that climate change is fraud and scientists, corrupted by research grants, are being dishonest, thereby eroding trust among those who haven’t done any scientific research themselves that would allow them to legitimately evaluate the scientists’ conclusions – as he points out, climate change can’t be happening because it’s backed by Al Gore, John Kerry and Europe’s Green Party, and Henninger doesn’t agree with any of them on political issues. So, climate scientists are responsible for the anti-vaccine movement. Once again, the reasons that make Henninger distrust scientists and reject global warming would surely get one far closer to explaining the existence of the anti-vaccine movement.

Diagnosis: Wingnut lunatic. The fact that anyone listens to his inane rantings (we’ve only provided two examples here, but they give you the flavor) should scare you shitless.

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