Move over, Mike Malloy -- you might not be the most unhinged man in media.
Malloy's competition for this dubious distinction comes from Mike Papantonio, co-host of the radio show "Ring of Fire" when he isn't chasing ambulances to drive up billable hours or appearing on MSNBC. (audio clips after page break)
On Tueday, Papantonio filled in on Ed Schultz's radio show and managed to make Schultz seem balanced by comparison.
Papantonio was talking with Daily Beast contributor Rick Outzen, his goofy sidekick whenever Papantonio sits in for Schultz, about hydraulic fracturing, aka fracking (audio) --
OUTZEN: I was just looking on Yahoo, BP just leased 84,000 acres in Ohio. Now what could go wrong when BP gets into fracking?!
PAPANTONIO: Why did they do it? Because the politics allowed 'em to do it.
PAPANTONIO: It used to be you had a political system that said, wait just a sec, let's look at what, let's look at how fracking has destroyed the health of thousands of Americans, has killed thousands of Americans, has contanimated the aquifer, has poisoned the air, has destroyed actual soil that'll never be rejuvenated and be usable. But in Ohio, look at the story behind the story. The Republicans allowed it to happen because they're not even a political party, Rick. They're not a political party. All they are is a corporate entity.
Yes, hard to believe Panantonio actually says things like that, not so hard to believe he didn't cite a scintilla of evidence. Then again, how could he when searching for it would prove time consuming and futile? Reckless left-wingers aren't known for their patience.
Is fracking dangerous? That it is -- to phony "green" jobs that liberals prefer to the ones that actually produce energy. Over at Townhall.com, Paul Driessen wrote a March 28 column titled "Fracking: An Existential Threat to Green Dogma."
"Horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing is a true 'game changer'," Driessen writes. "In less than two years, this proven but still rapidly advancing technology has obliterated longstanding claims that we are running out of petroelum. Instead, the USA now finds itself blessed with centuries of oil and gas. ... By making more natural gas available, fracking has reduced the US price for this clean-burning fuel to under $3 per thousand cubic feet (or million Btu), compared to a peak of $8 a few years ago."
"... In response, eco-activists are spreading unfounded fears about this proven technology," Driessen writes, claiming that "unregulated fracking companies are operating with little concern for ecological values and causing cancer, earthquakes and groundwater contamination. ... Drilling and fracking have been carefully and effectively regulated by states for decades. As studies by the University of Texas and various state agencies have documented, there has never been a confirmed case of groundwater contamination due to fracking. Even EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson acknowledged that to a congressional panel."
Fracking has already created tens of thousands of new jobs, writes The Weekly Standard's Kevin D. Williamson, "and tens of billions of dollars in new wealth has been injected into the ailing U.S. economy, since Marcellus production really picked up around 2008. Pennsylvania and West Virginia saw 57,000 new Marcellus jobs in a single year, as firms ranging from scrappy independents to giants such as Royal Dutch Shell poured billions of dollars into shale investments -- land, equipment, buildings, roads, machinery: capital, in a word. Massive capital.
"Cheap, relatively clean, ayatollah-free energy, enormous investments in real capital and infrastructure, thousands of new jobs for blue-collar workers and Ph.D.s alike, Americans engineering something other than financial derivatives," Williamson writes. "Who could not love all that?"
Who indeed, aside from obvious suspects like Papantonio and Outzen who'd prefer perpetual double-digit unemployment in the Rust Belt.
Papantonio doubled down on his idiocy about energy during the same show, suggesting this about the Strategic Petroleum Reserve while talking with a caller about high gas prices (audio) --
PAPANTONIO: One thing you do immediately is you say, I'm letting all the reserves out. Look, you, you have, you have Exxon running against Obama. That's the truth, they're running against Obama. You have the oil companies running against Obama. If I'm Obama, I'm saying, OK, let's mix it up some, man. You want to mix it up? Let's mix it up. I'm going to mix it up by letting reserves out. I'm going to mix it up by windfall tax. You want to play games with the executive branch? Let's play some games.
Yes -- "letting all the reserves out." Consider yourself fortunate this man does not wield anything resembling actual power.
Papantonio wasn't done there. He also treated Schultz's audience to a textbook example of the incoherence he fobs off as analysis (audio) --
The votes, Mr. GOP, that you're going to pick up from groups like the teabaggers or the white supremacists, they're not worth the cost in the long-lasting harm that you've inflicted on your party. And don't be so willing to believe that the American people are so stupid that they believe that a Sarah Palin or a Michele Bachmann or a Rick Santorum or a Romney are serious leaders, instead of just being political caricatures of circus clowns. Yeah, I mean the American public is reading and they comprehend most of the time on about a sixth- or seventh-grade level, but ultimately they figure it out.
Stop belittling those stupid Americans as stupid. "Ultimately they figure it out," Papantonio assures us, unlike him, who remains stubbornly clueless.
Just out of curiosity, if Barney Frank switched parties, would Papantonio still call him a teabagger?
(h/t, Brian Maloney at Radio Equalizer)