Chris Hayes: Global Warming Is the ‘Single Most Important Thing We Face’

According to MSNBC anchor Chris Hayes, global warming apparently trumps terror concerns such as ISIS. While much of the country is covered with snow and facing brutal cold, Hayes appeared on the February 17 edition of Last Call to warn: “The single most important thing we face globally is the fact that we are heating the planet to a level that is never before been tried, while also trying to have human civilization.”

Talking to host Carson Daly on the program that airs at 1:30 in the morning, Hayes predicted, “100 years from now, people will look back and be like, 'How did they talk about anything else, ever?'  Like, didn’t they understand they were sitting tied to train tracks with a train coming?”  

This is the same man who, on October 19, 2012, compared the battle over climate change to the fight against slavery in America. (Over 600,000 people died in the Civil War.)

In a rapid fire segment, Hayes conceded this interesting possibility “Ted Cruz as president of the United States is more likely than I'm comfortable with.”

Regarding Obama's remaining time in office, the journalist predicted, "Economic improvement of the kind we've seen over the last six months particularly, extended two more years, you will see Barack Obama hit 60 percent."

On the subject of ratings, the MSNBC host insisted:

CHRIS HAYES: We don't have the luxury in our business of approaching journalism and the news in the way that certain legacy media institutions can. Which is, this is the day's news in the paper of record, right? We're more like a tabloid newspaper. We've got to put something on the cover that you're going to pick up and buy. Because we are, particularly at 8:00pm., like we're up against The Voice, okay? And The Voice is super entertaining. So, the question is, you're going to sit down and it's like, "I'm going to watch the news with Chris Hayes." We have to work very hard to bring those eyeballs to us.

Despite Hayes’s “hard work,” his program, All In, is consistently rated very low, usually behind Fox News and CNN.

A partial transcript of the February 17 segment is below:

1:37

CHRIS HAYES: People see Hillary Clinton more as being one of the folks in charge than an outsider trying to kind of challenge them. Elizabeth Warren has figured out a way to authentically channel a progressive populist frustration. Christie is too damaged. He is a very talented politician. He cannot survive the primaries. Ted Cruz as president of the United States is more likely than I'm comfortable with.  My name's Chris Hayes, I'm the host of All in with Chris Hayes at 8:00pm on MSNBC. Also, I'm editor at large at The Nation magazine. Wrote a book. Journalist, at large. We've got this very wide aperture in what we do but, we don't do it in the kind of neutral tone, I think, of a traditional newscast. Right? We do it with personality and perspective and point of view. 

HAYES: We don't have the luxury in our business of approaching journalism and the news in the way that certain legacy media institutions can. Which is, this is the day's news in the paper of record, right? We're more like a tabloid newspaper. We've got to put something on the cover that you're going to pick up and buy. Because we are, particularly at 8:00pm., like we're up against The Voice, okay? And The Voice is super entertaining. So, the question is, you're going to sit down and it's like, "I'm going to watch the news with Chris Hayes." We have to work very hard to bring those eyeballs to us. So, I think what ends up happening is when people think about media and the modern media landscape, they think about two kinds of models. One is objective, neutral, right.? And then the other often is just sheer polemical ranting. Most American media properties, from the time when we had the Founders writing pamphlets, okay, have existed between those two poles. The newspapers at the birth of the country were much closer actually to polemical rants than they were to the objective newspapers of today, right?  And in between just bloodless he said, she said journalism and totally demagogic ranting, there's a whole lot of space. There's space to do journalism that responsible and factual and informative and curious and open-minded. But also is honest about some set of political convictions or world view. It becomes the case that media outlets have an incentive to cater to the political convictions of their audience if that means they're going to have more success in the battle for eyeballs. But, of course that will also have the effect of further polarizing that same audience. So, there is a degree to which there is some kind of cycle happening. The embedded subtext is that it's a bad thing. It's not clear to me that that's true. I mean, people having polarized views means conflict, but politics is conflict and democratic politics is the peaceful, non-violent resolution of said conflict. The civil rights movement was massively polarizing, but it wouldn't have been good if everyone just sort of got along and embraced the status quo, right? So, a lot of times progress requires polarization.

[On how Obama will end up in the last two years.]

HAYES: One trajectory is George W. Bush who ends his last two years in 35-30 percent approval rating. The other is Reagan and Clinton who go up to 55-60 percent in their last two years. Almost entirely driven by the economy. Barack Obama right now sits right between them at 50 percent. Economic improvement of the kind we've seen over the last six months particularly, extended two more years, you will see Barack Obama hit 60 percent.

HAYES: The single most important thing we face globally is the fact that we are heating the planet to a level that is never before been tried, while also trying to have human civilization. That's a real big experiment to run, with human beings live in real time. It is the kind of challenge that 100 years from now, people will look back and be like, "How did they talk about anything else, ever?”  Like, didn’t they understand they were sitting tied to train tracks with a train coming?

Scott Whitlock
Scott Whitlock
Scott Whitlock is the associate editor for the Media Research Center's NewsBusters.org site.