For the past week, Fox News’ Sean Hannity has been using the snow storms that have wreaked havoc on the Northeast to bolster his belief that climate change is not real. They “seem to contradict Al Gore’s hysterical global warming theories,” Hannity said on Monday.
Last night, Hannity continued with the meme during a telephone interview with Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), claiming that the New York Times “tomorrow is going to blame global warming on the record snows” (the Times merely reported on the “debate heating up“). Hannity then asked sarcastically, “Do you agree with that analysis?” But McCain — who has long been a fierce advocate of addressing climate change, including co-sponsoring cap-and-trade legislaton — laughed and played along. And instead of challenging Hannity’s global warming denial, the Arizona senator quickly changed the subject:
HANNITY: I was just looking at my notes apparently, the New York Times tomorrow is going to blame global warming on the record snows in D.C. and Philly. Do you agree with that analysis?
MCCAIN: Absolutely! I think they made some movie that showed that the earth was going to freeze over as a result of global warming. I never quite understood that but you know I didn’t stand real high in my Naval Academy class. By the way, back to the [counterterrorism] people around the president.
While McCain was unwilling to challenge Hannity, he has done it before. During the last presidential campaign, he refuted a global warming denier:
So why did McCain back down to Hannity? The Times noted yesterday that McCain “once led the global warming debate,” but he “is likely to keep his distance even more over the next six months due to a primary challenge” from conservative former Republican congressman and global warming denier, J.D. Hayworth. “I believe his famous quote is, ‘I don’t see how you can be a conservative and not support cap and trade,’” Hayworth said, adding, “Well, I sure can. And most Arizonans can.”