MSNBC Host Says McCain Joke 'Perpetuates' Energy Problems
It bothers some in the media that presumptive GOP presidential nominee Sen. John McCain,
MSNBC mid-day anchor Alex Witt interviewed former Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott on August 7 about McCainâs strategy to ridicule his opponent.
âBut sir, when John McCain picks up this tire-gauge issue and you know â throws it about back and forth, doesnât he just perpetuate the problem?â Witt asked. âI mean, if you were advising him, wouldnât you say, âCan you leave it alone?â or does it work for him?â
Lott disagreed with Wittâs assertion about McCain perpetuating the problem. Prior to the interview Witt told viewers that Lott is now a lobbyist for the oil and gas industry.
âNo, I think that the air gauge thing emphasizes how actually frivolous the Obama, you know, proposals are with regard to energy,â Lott said. âSure, and everybody says inflate your tires more, turn your thermostat up a little bit more. But is that going to solve the problem? Sure we want conservation. We should give people tax incentives to insulate their homes better and do other things to conserve energy. Thatâs not enough. You canât solve this problem just by shrinking your usage. Youâve got to produce more.â
âThe other thing is, they are making fun of a step that every expert says would absolutely reduce our oil consumption by three to four percent,â Obama said. âItâs like these guys take pride in being ignorant. They think itâs funny that theyâre making fun of something that is actually true.â
Witt wasnât the only journalist expressing frustration over McCainâs criticism. CNN dedicated several segments to proving Obama right, including one on the August 5 âElection Center.â Time magazineâs Michael Grunwald also took Obamaâs side in an August 4 article posted on Time.com.
But John Hinderaker of Power Line debunked the claim that tire inflation could save as much oil as could be produced by exploration and drilling in restricted federal lands and waters in a post on August 5.
Hinderaker cited estimates of at least a trillion barrels of oil in currently restricted areas and in untapped oil shale. The estimates of available oil used to make Obamaâs claim valid were âabsurdly low,â according to Hinderaker.