Ted Nesi’s Saturday roundup column gives Rich Davidson, the spokesman for far-left-radical Democrat U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse, room to offer some spin related to the senator’s push to make a crime of disagreeing with him on climate change:
Simply denying climate change isn’t what Senator Whitehouse believes could violate federal law. Like courts found with tobacco companies, it can be a violation of the federal civil RICO statute when companies engage in an enterprise designed to mislead the public about the dangers of their products. The senator’s questions to the attorney general were to learn whether the Department of Justice is doing its due diligence to investigate whether fossil fuel special interests are leading a coordinated fraudulent effort to deceive the American people.
Two observations. First, the entire effort, including Whitehouse’s public pronouncements and especially the hearing with the attorney general, is an excellent example of how government can make the process the punishment and use broad threats to chill speech and activity. What company or organization wants federal law enforcement agencies rifling through its files or telling the public that it’s under investigation for potentially criminal activity? This sort of “due diligence” is thug government.
Second, it doesn’t get nearly as much press coverage as it should — particularly when the media presents Whitehouse’s tyrannical overtures as just a bit of he-said-she-said politicking (at worst) — but in this entire controversy, it’s the government that looks like a more likely candidate for RICO investigations. Consider, for example, the relatively minor matter of an Obama administration video promoting propaganda about how “climate change” is producing polar vortexes (i.e., how global warming makes winter colder). When the Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI) requested through official channels that the video be corrected and then requested documents substantiating the refusal of that request, the White House Office of Science & Technology Policy (OSTP) engaged in a time-and-money wasting exercise to keep its documents secret, lying about the nature of the video.
Now, one could interpret the White House’s actions as evidence that it wants to hide its efforts to deceive the public, or one could interpret them as a bid by an over-sized organization that overspends its revenue by hundreds of billions of dollars every year to drain scarce resources among its ideological opponents. Either way, Sheldon Whitehouse comes out looking objectively worse as a representative of the people of Rhode Island.
If only there were some way the news media could provide residents with an accurate picture of their junior senator and the schemes of which he’s a part…