Topic: Media Research Center
It was apparently a slow day at the Media Research Center a couple weeks back, because Geoffrey Dickens decided to have a fit about Neil Young appearing on "The Charlie Rose Show" and featuring a clip of Young singing a song opposing fracking:
Within seconds after playing the clip the PBS host also asked Young about his new memoir in which the singer “covers everything from his love of cars and painting to his crusade for Mother Earth.” However, Rose never once asked the environmental activist if he felt guilty about all the fossil fuels he’s used in his cars or his painting. Rose also never mentioned all the fossil fuels used in the promotion of Young’s over 50 year-long career in the production and transport of his vinyl records, tapes, CDs. Rose also didn’t bring up the fossil fuels that were utilized in sending Young, his band and crew members on all those tours over the years.
Wow. Dickens is bashing Young for using "fossil fuels" in his painting? Really, Geoffrey? And Dickens seems to have overlooked the fact that he converted one of his beloved cars, a formerly gas-guzzing 1959 Lincoln Continental, to run on cellulosic ethanol.
Besides, Dickens is about a decade late in calling out Young's alleged hypocrisy. The Toronto Star reported:
A vocal champion of environmental issues for most of his career, Young nevertheless managed to conveniently ignore the dichotomy inherent in his fetish for gas-guzzling, fume-belching classic automobiles until he and Crazy Horse took their earth-conscious rock opera Greendale on the road in 2003.
One day after the accompanying movie was finished, Sarah White — a friend of Young’s daughter enlisted to play an activist protesting against oil companies and a “villainous, anti-environment, pollution-spreading corporation” called POWERCO in the Greendale film — cornered him and, “with all of the intensity of youth unbridled,” called him a hypocrite for going out on tour with a fleet of fossil fuel-reliant trucks, buses and airplanes immediately after making a stand against the very same sort of wastefulness onscreen and on record. It stung. And it stuck.
“She was absolutely right,” he writes in Special Deluxe. “Imagine a character in my own story telling me that I was hypocritical for not practising what I was preaching. That was a seminal moment.”
“Yeah, it made a big difference to me,” Young now says of that conversation. “I had the feeling already that we had to do something different, but this young lady made a very clear point. It’s just knowledge. You just accrue knowledge. If you’re interested in something, you gather knowledge.”
From that point on, as documented in Special Deluxe’s sharpened third act, Young set about dutifully reconfiguring his tour transportation to ensure that it ran on renewable, lower-emission biofuel whilst versing himself in the science of climate change and renewable energy to a customarily “obsessive” degree.
If Dickens had bothered to do any actual research before writing his item, he would have learned not only about the converted Lincoln but also that Young has been running his tour transportation on biofuel for years.
But then, the Media Research Center isn't really about "research," it's about promoting an ideology and trotting out tired old insults like "hippie" to smear anyone who opposes them.