Filmmaker and noted global warming skeptic Phelim McAleer yesterday experienced first hand the disdain for a free press some Copenhagen attendees exhibit during an interview with Fox Business Channel's Neil Cavuto.
Dressed in a polar bear costume with a sign inquiring as to the whereabouts of controversial climate scientist Phil Jones, McAleer was forced to raise his voice above the shouting environmentalists behind him. In the latter segment of the interview, one crazed activist threw something at McAleer (he says it was a vegetable, though it is unclear in the video), striking him in the head (video below the fold - transcript to be added shortly).
McAleer, who produced the film "Not Evil, Just Wrong," questioning Al Gore's statements on global warming, has been silenced on a number of occasions for trying to ask Gore and others about seeming inconsistencies in climate data, and about the ClimateGate scandal.
CAVUTO: What kind of reaction are you getting in that getup?
McALEER: A very negative reaction actually, when people realize just who I'm looking for in copenhagen.
CAVUTO: Who are you looking for?
McALEER: Well I'm looking for professor Phil Jones of the Climate Research Unit, the man at the center of ClimateGate, of the leaked emails, so I'm here looking for this professor who told his colleagues to delete data, delete emails, and try to hide the decline, and again I'm getting some response here from the audience, a lot of boos and claps, they're trying to interrupt this interview, and they don't like me mentioning Phil Jones. A lot of people who are skeptical about climate change are called deniers. I think the true deniers are the people here at this conference. They're denying that ClimateGate exists. And I'm getting a lot of boos behind me, I don't know if you can hear them.
CAVUTO: Phelim do you have any security or at least anyone with you who's big?
McALEER: I don't know they wouldn't attack a polar bear, would they? ... they don't like people, journalists asking questions about ClimateGate... I'm just a journalist, I'm just here asking questions, something that most journalists should do and now they're trying to shout me down
CAVUTO: What's amazing, if you were to turn the tables, and they were to be shouted down in a similar context, they would be all over the other news channels, 'look how they're being treated', but it's okay, you're fair game. It's kinda funny.
McALEER: Yeah well I'm just a journalist [inaudible] in the environmental world, in the climate world, you have to suspend your normal journalistic principles, and not ask hard questions, you're not allowed, you get microphones turned off, security guards, and now they're singing songs, chanting. And I suppose at least I know I'm causing them to think twice because they're reacting the way they are. ... All I wanted to do was have a simple interview with [Phil Jones] but obviously you can see here that's not a popular request. When I ask people, would you like to talk to me they say of course, and then i say I'd like to talk about ClimateGate and they walk away or they boo or they react in this way.
CAVUTO: Clearly all CNN viewers. ... What do you make of the way this is being presented?
McALEER: Well I didn't even want to get into the details of the emails. Al Gore has repeatedly said in interviews the emails are 10 years old. The most recent email in ClimateGate, it was 6 weeks old. So I just wanted even for him to correct the record. It seems that every time Al Gore gives an interview he drops a large scientific error, the earth's core's millions of degrees, the oldest email is 10 years old. It's getting to be a habit, he's a serial accident prone speaker, and I just want to check his science, and I want him to correct the record. And then maybe we'll get into the details of the emails. But Al Gore I suppose doesn't seem to want to answer difficult questions. But these are very important questions because we're talking here about an agreement that would be one of the biggest tax hikes in American history, in world history,
[object hits McAleer in the head]
CAVUTO: Whoa! For God's sake.
McALEER: Some environmentalists have just fired a vegetable at me.
As shown in the video, Gore refused to answer questions on the latter when McAleer confronted him (and his entourage) in Copenhagen. McAleer's microphone was disconnected, and security attempted to remove him, when he tried to ask Dr. Stephen Schneider about the controversy. His mic was also disconnected when he confronted Gore about ClimateGate in October.
It is a sad day for journalists everywhere when they can no longer ask questions of the world's leaders without being silenced or even assaulted. McAleer is no doubt accustomed to the derision and scorn reserved for him and other skeptics by the global warming community. But violence towards him is a troubling trend for anyone that cares about journalistic integrity and freedom of the press.
What a tolerance bunch those environmentalists are.