Fox News’ Latest Dumb Anchor

Sometimes I think being really, really dumb is a prerequisite for being a Fox News anchor, especially for the Fox and Friends morning show (the collective IQ of Steve Doocy, Brian Kilmeade and Elizabeth Hasselbeck must barely reach triple digits). And now they have Clayton Morris reporting for them, who is scarcely much brighter. This is the guy who fell for the “Obama is going to ban donut sprinkles” nonsense last week and now he’s making this terrible argument:

“The EPA came out in 2007 [under President George W. Bush] and said, ‘You know what? Ozone exposure, not a big deal, we can find no evidence that it has adverse effects’,” Morris explained. “Well, the Obama administration has dug through and tried to find people that say that ozone still is bad for you, and they’re going to push through this ozone regulation, the costliest in American history.”

Co-host Peter Johnson Jr. added that new coal ash regulations were also going to cost $20 billion.

“Just when you thought you were over-regulated already,” co-host Ainsley Earhardt sighed. “I haven’t heard ozone layer in forever.”

“I know!” Morris exclaimed. “Or do you want to bring back acid rain?”

“Remember acid rain,” the Fox News host laughed. “Whatever happened to acid rain? It was ruining cars. Whatever happened with that?”

What happened? EPA regulations worked and reduced it dramatically, beginning in 1980 and continuing through policy changes in both Bush administrations. Today, the problem has been reduced by about 2/3. But he’s so ignorant of that he thinks a pro-regulation argument is an anti-regulation argument.

POPULAR AT PATHEOS Nonreligious
What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • Reginald Selkirk

    “I haven’t heard ozone layer in forever.”

    Ozone at ground level is a pollutant. This has nothing whatsoever to do with the ozone layer in the upper atmosphere.

    I remember when Dan Quayle, during a debate of vice presidential candidates, confused the ozone layer issue with the greenhouse gas issue.

    October 5, 1988 – The Bentsen-Quayle Vice Presidential Debate

    This administration – and I support this administration and its environmental efforts – has moved in the area for the first time to deal with the ozone problem. We now have an international treaty, the treaty that is commonly referred to as the Montreal Treaty. For the first time we are talking about the impact of CO2 to the ozone layer.

    Being a scientist, I noticed this immediately. I was disappointed when the press never picked up on it or followed it up in any way.

  • Nick Gotts

    Ignoramus Ainsley Earhardt also doesn’t know the difference between ground-level ozone (it is a highly-reactive gas and does indeed damage health), and the stratospheric ozone layer – essential protection against ultraviolet light from the sun. You don’t hear much about the latter because the Montreal Protocol greatly reduced the production of ozone-layer destroying chemicals (primarily CFCs), and the damage to the layer is starting to be reversed.

  • garnetstar

    As Nick Gotts linked to, ozone is indeed dangerous. But, just to spell it out for Fox & Friends:

    Ozone is *corrosive*. Like chlorine gas or hydrochloric acid. If you breathe ozone, you destroy lung tissue. The end.

    For asthmatics or people whose lungs are already somewhat compromised, destruction of more lung can cause acute effects. For the rest of us, I’m not keen on losing lung tissue either.

  • Michael Heath

    Nihilism has taken over conservatism; I wonder if it’s always been dominant within libertarianism. It’s a symptom, not a root cause, but it’s definitely in evidence within both movements.

    I see nihilism increasing though I’m skeptical that’s true. Perhaps it’s stable but more easily observed since both the conservative and libertarian movements enjoy political power and due to my being both more mature and far better informed than I was a few decades ago.

  • Nemo

    Co-host Peter Johnson Jr. added that new coal ash regulations were also going to cost $20 billion.

    “Just when you thought you were over-regulated already,” co-host Ainsley Earhardt sighed. “I haven’t heard ozone layer in forever.”

    What I find interesting here is the way that a coal industry regulation is immediately translated to “just when you thought you were over-regulated already”. Me? No, I don’t feel personally oppressed when the coal industry is regulated. Are they complaining about the cost, because it will ostensibly be passed on to everybody? OK, that’s what… about $60 per capita? Geez, feel the boot heel of tyranny on your neck.

  • caseloweraz

    For future reference, I give you the blog of a woman who is very concerned about — and knows a lot about — the effect of ground-level ozone on plants, primarily trees.

    Wit’s End

  • U Frood

    Acid rain was ruining cars? That was the big problem with acid rain?

  • some bastard on the internet

    (the collective IQ of Steve Doocy, Brian Kilmeade and Elizabeth Hasselbeck must barely reach triple digits)

    I dunno, Ed, I’d say that Kilmeade could easily hold that back to well below triple digits.

  • some bastard on the internet

    @U Frood

    I can deal with the skin being stripped from my flesh, but mess up the paint on my ‘Stang?! Oh, HELL’S NO!!!

  • tuibguy

    Ozone machines are very useful for cleaning odors out of automoblies. So, if you buy a car from a smoker you can take it into a body shop to have them put the machine in the car for about 12 hours and it will do some science magic to take the odor out. The thing is, that after the ozone machine has done its business, the car needs to be well-ventilated for another 12 hours before it is safe to drive in.

    People have short memories on things like the ozone layer, and acid rain. Forests in the northeast and in Canada were being destroyed until we took action and installed scrubbers in the smokestacks of coal-fired power plants; now it’s so long ago that pines and maples were stripped bare of needles and leaves that people think it was a false alarm. Now that people can swim and fish in (most of) Lake Erie they don’t care about the regulations that cleaned up the industrial and residential sewage being dumped into it.

  • Al Dente

    Co-host Peter Johnson Jr. added that new coal ash regulations were also going to cost $20 billion.

    I wonder if the Dan River coal ash spill rings a bell with Johnson. How about Kingston, Tennessee?

  • observer

    Just for grins I looked up the 2007 EPA policy statement on the health effects of ozone — the one that allegedly says it’s harmless. Not surprisingly, the paper says exactly the opposite. In fact it spends almost 600 pages saying exactly the opposite.

  • jimmiraybob

    “…regulations were also going to cost $20 billion.”

    It’s as if $20 billion would be teleported to the center of the sun instead of going to support and grow new engineering/technology as well as manufacturing, sales, transportation and maintenance of new equipment and supplies.

  • raven

    Remember how the Y2K bug was going to crash all our computers? Never happened. It never happened because a lot of people got together and fixed the problem in advance.

    Remember the ozone holes at the poles. The ozone layer was supposed to be gone. It never happened. That is because we reduced chlorofluorocarbon use as refrigerants.

    Remember how Ebola was supposed to spread over much of the earth and kill millions in 2014. Never happened. Billions of dollars and thousands of brave people, some of whom caught Ebola an died, fought that epidemic. It isn’t over yet but it is on the downhill right now.

    Remember how the US cities were perpetually smogged up to the point it hurt to breathe and most waterways were polluted? Thanks to the EPA and many Americans, the USA is a far more healthful and desirable place to live today.

    The point is, occasionally we humans can identify problems and…fix them. These Fox NoNews idiots are just baggage being dragged along behind our society and holding it back.

  • raven

    As EB notes, acid rain isn’t so much a problem because we fixed it. Another huge success for the EPA and the American people who support it.

    It’s gotten low enough that lakes in the Adirondacks that were so acid all their fish died, are now…being restocked with fish.

    The environment haters really appall me. When I grew up, the air in LA was so bad, that it hurt to breathe some days and in one day, your car would be covered with a film of oil. A river near my house up north was biologically dead and you wouldn’t think of swimming in it. These days it is popular for canoes and kayaks and supports fish, including a salmon run.

    I wouldn’t want to live or grow up in a Fox NoNews world. Sort of a cross being Orwell’s 1984 and the Dark Ages.

  • weatherwax

    #9 some bastard on the internet says: “I can deal with the skin being stripped from my flesh, but mess up the paint on my ‘Stang?! Oh, HELL’S NO!!!”

    You can laugh. I had a friend who was a police hostage negotiator. One guy had holed up in his house and swore he’d go down shooting. Until the negotiator told him what a shame it was that the tear gas would strip the paint off his new sports car. That go him out quick.

  • Jennifer Chavez

    There’s an additional layer of foolishness in the Fox comments insofar as the earlier regulations that “worked” were set to prevent environmental harms but did not adequately address harms to human health – asthma, premature deaths, and so on. So for anyone to say “didn’t we fix the ozone problem?” shows that they have no clue which “problem” they’re even talking about.

  • Gvlgeologist, FCD

    Raven,

    Sort of a cross being Orwell’s 1984 and the Dark Ages.

    I’m thinking that they want a world like Bladerunner, only moreso.

  • chuckonpiggott

    And a point of interest on the coal plant gas stack scrubbers is the waste by-product is synthetic gypsum. The drywall in your house could well have been made from it. My employer, a major gypsum manufacturer, produces drywall that is over 95% recycled material. This also reduces the mining of natural gypsum.

  • scienceavenger

    “Just when you thought you were over-regulated already,” co-host Ainsley Earhardt sighed.

    This is one of those Fox mantras, regulations strangling America, that never ever has evidence presented to support it. You’d think they could put together a graph showing the negative correlation between number of regulations and economic growth, given how enormous this cause-and-effect relationship supposedly is, but mysteriously they never get around to it.