Video: Law and Order star tells Congress to stop off-shore drilling

posted at 12:55 pm on May 11, 2010 by Ed Morrissey

Is it just me, or does anyone else miss the “dun-dun!” music at the beginning of Sam Waterston’s statement to the Environment and Public Works subcommittee today? Waterston didn’t appear at the hearing today as a Hollywood actor but as an activist for Oceana, the organization founded by Ted Danson to protect the waterways of the world. Waterston doesn’t just want a stop to the drilling that produced this accident, but to all offshore drilling.  He doesn’t mention, however, how the US will power the television screens that tune into his show and the vehicles that allow him to fly to Washington to blast exploration:

Guess what?  There is no such thing as a risk-free venture.  Somewhere between the Moon landing and today, the US has become so risk-adverse as to handcuff its vital interests in energy production.  The Gulf spill is awful — and I agree with Bruce McQuain at QandO that the lack of a “go to hell” plan for deep-sea exploration should have been addressed long ago.  Instead of jury-rigging solutions with no idea of their effectiveness, this kind of potential disaster should have had a technological solution prior to drilling at 5,000 feet.

However, just as firmly, the US needs to get its energy from its own resources.  Can we afford to suspend drilling operations off-shore?  Not for long, and not while we’re blocking exploration on land, such as in ANWR and in the shale areas of the interior West.  Will Waterston and Oceana back exploration on land in exchange for a temporary moratorium for off-shore drilling?  Somehow, I rather doubt it.

Related Posts:

Breaking on Hot Air



Trackback URL


You know, before we started using this black goo for energy it used to bubble on the surface. We used so much that we now have to drill for it.

lwssdd on May 11, 2010 at 2:11 PM

Just another example of why I quit watching the show.

Repubtallygirl on May 11, 2010 at 2:13 PM

Tell you what Sam, we’ll ban offshore drilling if you promise to suck on the tailpipe of your idling limousine at the Emmy’s next year, okay?

trubble on May 11, 2010 at 1:11 PM

I don’t watch Law and Order anymore, but I would watch that.

NebCon on May 11, 2010 at 2:13 PM

I have not watched Law and Order very much the last few years. I liked Law & Order when Fred was around to tell Sam to stuff it.

jeannie on May 11, 2010 at 1:24 PM

Never mind Fred Thompson, if the Republicans want to counter Waterson with another Law & Order alum, they should bring Angie Harmon and/or Michael Moriarity up to Capitol Hill.

(You’ll also note the Manhattan DA’s office was running a lot better on L&O ratings-wise when they had more Republicans staffing it. Kind of the opposite of “Cheers” where the Ted and Woody behind the bar were the flaming libs, while the customers paying the money were the conservatives.)

jon1979 on May 11, 2010 at 2:14 PM

Then legalize industrial hemp already. Henry Ford even made a hemp car (lighter weight but stronger than steel) which ran on hemp biofuel.

I’m so sick of this filthy fascist government having its boot on America’s economic throat in order to protect its special interests (cotton, corn, steel, etc.) I could scream!

“Hemp is of first necessity to the wealth and protection of the country.”
– Thomas Jefferson

“Make the most you can of the Indian Hemp seed and sow it everywhere.”
– George Washington

“We shall, by and by, want a world of hemp more for our own consumption.”
– John Adams

“Why use up the forests which were centuries in the making and the mines which required ages to lay down, if we can get the equivalent of forest and mineral products in the annual growth of the hemp fields?”
– Henry Ford

Rae on May 11, 2010 at 2:18 PM

Waterston doesn’t just want a stop to the drilling that produced this accident, but to all offshore drilling.

Fine by me…

… best arguement for onshore drilling!

Drill, baby, DRILL!!!

Seven Percent Solution on May 11, 2010 at 2:21 PM

I just keep seeing that baby from the Etrade (competition) commercial where he is talking to Frank and is telling him not to play the lottery. Frank doesn’t win….again…and the baby says something like “Hey Frank, look at this…my shock face..DOH”! and slides down in his high chair! Cracks me up everytime.

sicoit on May 11, 2010 at 2:27 PM

i seriously don’t understand why Congress would entertain a celebrity giving “testimony” to the Environment and Public Works sub-committee. They are not scientist that do research and study these issues for a living. They are just another person with an opinion. Why does Congress waste their time with this nonsense?

On the plus side…if Congress is wasting their time with stupid stuff, that is less time for them to pass laws that restrict my freedom.

ramrants on May 11, 2010 at 2:27 PM

shock=shocked…fingers are just not working right today.

sicoit on May 11, 2010 at 2:30 PM

Will he next address Congress about the scourge of robots threatening senior citizens?

Caiwyn on May 11, 2010 at 2:32 PM

Why does Congress waste their time with this nonsense?

Our Congress is made up of semi-literates like Maxine Waters, corrupt perverts like Barney Frank, liars like Harry Reid, criminals like Harry Reid, circus clowns like Al Franken and all around worthlessness herself, Nancy Pelosi.

Having an actor in the building is appropriate, although a child actor would be most appropriate, to talk to the other juvenile delinquents.

NoDonkey on May 11, 2010 at 2:52 PM

I wish Waterston would just shut up and leave issues like this to real experts like Meryl Streep.

GreenBlade on May 11, 2010 at 2:57 PM

Sure, let him walk the walk and do without all the benefits of oil and petroleum products.

rgranger on May 11, 2010 at 3:00 PM

No one lucky enough to witness this halfwit’s performance on Celebrity Jeopardy would take him seriously on any subject. I was watching it with my brother, and we actually discussed whether Waterston might be a little retarded.

Infidoll on May 11, 2010 at 3:23 PM

Why, I do believe that Oceana is the name of one of the countries in 1984. Isn’t that a coincidence. Things that make you go “Hmmmmm.”

Kafir on May 11, 2010 at 3:27 PM

I remember years ago Ed Asner testified on First Amendment rights. “I’m not a newspaper editor but I play one on TV.”

mydogspot on May 11, 2010 at 3:27 PM

Every time I hear one of these celebrities saying hare-brained things, I remember what someone calling in to a radio show once said. He may have been talking about Linda Ronstadt or Carole King or someone like them, when he said:

“They’re like musical instruments — they make a beautiful sound, but there’s nothing inside them.”

KyMouse on May 11, 2010 at 3:31 PM

Law and Order has become the dramatic version of WH talking points

On last night’s show a family court judge referred to NYs “shame” in not permitting gay marriage. None of the other characters batted an eye.

Pervygrin on May 11, 2010 at 3:38 PM

Drill baby, drill.

geo on May 11, 2010 at 3:47 PM

Wait, aren’t we at war with Oceana?

Oh, sorry. Orwell’s 1984 was Oceania wasn’t it? I was thinking you had a still image from an upcoming 1984 movie…

gekkobear on May 11, 2010 at 3:52 PM

Drat, you beat me to it.

profitsbeard on May 11, 2010 at 1:28 PM

gekkobear on May 11, 2010 at 3:53 PM

Someone should check to see if TD Ameritrade invests money with oil companies or facilitates stock trades with them…I mean, if you’re going to testify against oil, should you act in commercials for businesses that support it?

ICBMMan on May 11, 2010 at 3:55 PM

The end times are definitely at hand.
We have Hollywood celebrities formulating energy policy.
I know, Let’s get Carrot Top on Capitol Hill to give us his solutions to the international monetary crisis.

Dr. Carlo Lombardi on May 11, 2010 at 3:56 PM

I’m surprised that Homer Simpson’s take on the matter hasn’t been posted yet:

“Actors, what don’t they know?”

viking01 on May 11, 2010 at 4:01 PM

Testimony before congress should be limited to amateur liars. Actors are professional liars, it’s not fair.

Merovign on May 11, 2010 at 4:21 PM

I really really hate that show.

roux on May 11, 2010 at 4:30 PM

Hey, Sam — you weren’t elected to anything. Your opinion is worth less than jack and squat.

ya2daup on May 11, 2010 at 4:39 PM

Lenny Briscoe is spinning in his grave.

When Ben Stone (Michael Moriarity) left the show, did he relinquish his license to practice law? If not, bring him back.

I don’t think Jack McCoy has ever been the same since Claire Kincaid was killed in the car crash.

BuckeyeSam on May 11, 2010 at 5:00 PM

The congressmen should have just asked him one question after another about the tv shows he is in, life as an actor, and any other item NOT related to drilling they could think of!

Now that kind of complete disrespect for an ‘expert witness’ would have been tv worth watching.

Freddy on May 11, 2010 at 5:37 PM

Sam Waterston is an expert on offshore drilling? I had no idea. /s

I hate when celebrities get on their soapboxes. Save for a handful who are actually informed, most of them are completely ignorant and easily misled, just repeating talking points someone with an agenda has convinced them are true.

NoLeftTurn on May 11, 2010 at 5:48 PM

I suppose this is why L&O (including SVU and CI)has turned into a touchy-feely- p*ssy-a$$-wimp-sh*t-bleeding heart-oh-those-poor child-rapists-and-cop-killers ” garbage propaganda-fest ! I am sure most actors in the show hold these views as well. No wonder Fred Thompson left !

cableguy615 on May 11, 2010 at 5:52 PM

What a laugh: every breath you take is a risk.

You want risk free? You know what to do…

karl9000 on May 11, 2010 at 7:19 PM

Sam Waterston… AKA the reason I stopped watching Law & Order

Jones Zemkophill on May 11, 2010 at 7:32 PM

I attended a concert in Charleston SC a couple of years back when this dim bulb was asked to read a poem he wrote accompanied by the local symphony orchestra. Except for the voice, all of it was pablum and nonsense. Yep . . . perfect for a congressional hearing.

kens on May 11, 2010 at 7:38 PM

It use to be okay when it dealt with actual issues ripped from the headlines and not changed to the point it was the same old lefty crap being shoved down our throats.

Plus, they change the story so much it was no longer based on current issues that were controversial. It’s always religion bad. Conservatives bad. Straight people bad.

Blake on May 11, 2010 at 7:50 PM

Hey, he boinked my roommate when I lived in NYC. That’s when I first learned the meaning of st*rf*ck*ng. And, yes, he was married at the time.

Blake on May 11, 2010 at 7:52 PM

Hey, he boinked my roommate when I lived in NYC. That’s when I first learned the meaning of st*rf*ck*ng. And, yes, he was married at the time.

Blake on May 11, 2010 at 7:52 PM

Sounds like a typical garden variety Lib Kook to me!

cableguy615 on May 11, 2010 at 9:31 PM

Let’s see: for congressional hearings we have had Waterston for oil drilling, Meryl Streeeep for ALAR.

Who’s next?

friendlygrizzly on May 11, 2010 at 10:30 PM

Toward the end, all I ever saw the Lenny Briscoe character do is mouth anti-Bush and pro-Brady talking points. The acting was fine, but I have too much self-respect to ever do lines like that.

friendlygrizzly on May 11, 2010 at 10:41 PM

LOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOL!!….Oh goodness!!! He plays brains on TV, he thinks he has brains in the real world?…LOLOLOLOLOLOL..priceless!!..If only Matt Damon could join him!...I’m Matt Damon!!

christene on May 12, 2010 at 12:17 AM

Hopefully Sam is going to give those of us who can’t afford $5 a gallon a lift

DarkKnight3565 on May 12, 2010 at 12:23 AM

Apparently, if you want expert testimony on any subject at all, you need to get an actor!

After all, actors are professional pretenders, so they fit right in with politicians…and many of them are even teleprompter-qualified!

landlines on May 12, 2010 at 11:00 AM

Note to Sam Waterston:

Another name for a “risk-free” existance is slavery!

landlines on May 12, 2010 at 11:06 AM