WaPo: Kerry has a Brian Williams problem

Actually, John Kerry has more of an Al Gore problem, which shouldn’t discourage my Republicans for Gore movement but might disturb Kerry’s ideas about running for president. Ironically, this Washington Post fact check by Glenn Kessler (yes, I checked this time) also involves Gore tangentially, and is reminiscent of Gore’s claims to have invented the Internet during the 2000 campaign. In this case, though, Kerry claims to have organized the first Senate hearings on climate change along with Gore and Tim Wirth — hearings which Kerry not only didn’t organize, but didn’t even attend:

Frankly, with the failure of the computer models and the increasingly religious basis of global-warming claims, why anyone would rush to take credit for this is mystifying. However, Kerry did make that claim, and he’s been making it for years — almost a decade, as Kessler documents … before he rips it to shreds:

Rafe Pomerance, in a chapter on the “public awakening” to climate warming in a 1989 book, “The Challenge of Global Warming,” highlights the Gore hearings, as well as 1986 hearings chaired by Sen. John Chaffee (R-R.I.), as calling attention to the impact of greenhouse gases. The Chaffee hearings “transformed the priority of the greenhouse issue, making it more important in policy discussions,” Pomerance wrote.

Then came Hansen’s testimony on June 23, 1988, before the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee. That hearing was chaired and organized by then-Sen. Timothy Wirth (D-Colo.), who later told an interviewer that, for a bit of stage effect, he chose a particularly hot day in the summer—it turned out to be a record high–and left the windows of the hearing room open the night before. Thus witnesses were sweltering and wiping their brows as they testified about global warming. …

This is not the first time Kerry placed himself at this hearing. Back in 2009, Kerry even mentioned opening the windows: “On a sweltering June day, some Senate staff opened up the windows and drove home the point for everyone sweating in their seats during Dr. James Hansen’s historic and tragically prescient testimony.”

But neither Kerry nor Gore was a member of the Wirth committee[.]

When asked for a response, Kerry’s flack said it referred to a number of hearings in which Kerry was involved, even if he wasn’t in attendance. Kessler’s not buying it:

Gore might have bragging rights about organizing one of the first hearings, but not Kerry. Kerry was not even a participant in the most important hearing of that time; he simply spoke at a hearing that took place the following year. And yet, like Brian Williams claiming to have come under fire in Iraq, Kerry has repeatedly placed himself at the center of the action—and the narrative.

He earns Four Pinocchios.

Kerry has a long history of embellishing his record, so this isn’t any new phenomenon. Politicians love to puff themselves up, and Kerry loves puffery even more than the average politician. When it comes to the anthropogenic global-warming alarmists, puffery comes with the package. Kudos to Kessler for the four Pinocchios, but we’ve come to expect that from Kerry anyway.


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Jazz Shaw 10:01 PM on January 31, 2023