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Monckton's Mendacious Musings

Christopher Monckton is a birther and a climate change denier, two things that seem to explain how he became a WorldNetDaily columnist.

By Terry Krepel
Posted 6/5/2014

Christopher Monckton

The only criteria for becoming a WorldNetDaily columnist these days, it seems, is slavish devotion to right-wing talking points no matter how false and hatred of Barack Obama no matter how deluded.

That would seem to explain how Christopher Monckton, Viscount of Brenchley, has been named a WND columnist. In touting Monckton's appointment in August 2012, WND stated that Monckton is an "internationally known challenger to the claims of climate-change alarmists." WND doesn't mention that Monckton has no scientific credentials -- his degrees are in classics and journalism -- and is a full-blown climate denier who gets things wrong.

Monckton kept up the Obama-bashing in his inaugural WND column, complete with plug for Aaron Klein's guilt-by-association Obama-bashing book.

Indeed, Obama-bashing and climate denialism have been the mainstays of Monckton's WND column. Let's look at how Monckton has used his column to do that.

Birther dead-ender

Even as WorldNetDaily has largely given up on promoting birther conspiracies, Monckton's rabid birtherism has continued unabated. Monckton ranted in his Dec. 31 WND column:

In the House, there are probably enough votes to bring forward a bill to impeach Mr. Obama. Taking advantage of having gotten away with riding roughshod over the Constitution with his Donald Duck “birth certificate,” he has bypassed a largely supine Congress time and again, from Benghazi to Soetero”care” to the tyrannical legislative powers wielded by the sinister, out-of-control EPA in flagrant defiance of Article I, Section 1, of the Constitution.

Monckton goes on to tout Joe Arpaio and Mike Zullo's joke of an investigation into Obama's "eligibility," conveniently ignores all the evidence that debunks Arpaio, Zullo and other birthers. Monckton also ignores the careless errors Zullo's investigation has made, which include fabricating evidence by using the wrong racial codes for Obama's certificate. But then, facts and reality have never been something birthers like Monckton care much about.

Monckton lamented in his May 13 column that Fox News is too liberal for him. But since Monckton is a birther dead-ender, he's mad that Fox won't cover President Obama's birth certificate anymore:

Consider the question of the Obama “birth certificate.” On any view, this is an interesting story. An experienced, credible and much-decorated sheriff has published detailed and compelling evidence raising grave questions about the authenticity of several documents related to the identity of the occupant of the White House, and one of these documents remains on the White House website to this day.

Yet most news media have never subjected the “birth certificate” to scrutiny. Indeed, remarkably few have even been willing to admit that there is an investigation at all, still less to provide any reasonably detailed or factual account of its progress.

Actually, Fox has devoted significant airtime to birther conspiracy theories. The problem, which Monckton is apparently unwilling to admit, is that the birther conspiracies have been discredited. Even an outlet like Fox News will eventually stop reporting things that aren't true.

That's a trait that apparently doesn't apply to Monckton.

Repeating a false chain email

Monckton wrote in his Nov. 19 column:

Half a century earlier, in 1787, Alexander Tyler, professor of history at the University of Edinburgh, wrote of the fall of the Athenian Republic 2,000 years previously:

“A democracy is always temporary in nature; it simply cannot exist as a permanent form of government. A democracy will continue to exist up until the time that voters discover that they can vote themselves generous gifts from the public treasury.

“From that moment on, the majority always votes for the candidates who promise the most benefits from the public treasury, with the result that every democracy will finally collapse over loose fiscal policy, (which is) always followed by a dictatorship.

“The average age of the world’s greatest civilizations from the beginning of history has been about 200 years. During those 200 years, these nations always progressed through the following sequence: from bondage to spiritual faith; from spiritual faith to great courage; from courage to liberty; from liberty to abundance; from abundance to complacency; from complacency to apathy; from apathy to dependence; from dependence back into bondage.”

Here are some revealing figures from professor Joseph Olson of Hamline University Law School, St. Paul, Minn., kindly sent to me by a reader. I have taken them on trust, but if they are true, they are fascinating.

Obama won 19 states, Romney 29. Obama won 600,000 square miles of land, Romney 2.5 million. Obama won counties with a combined population of 127 million, Romney 143 million. The murder rate per 1,000 residents in counties won by Obama was 13, Romney 2.

“In aggregate,” says the prof, “the map of the territory Romney won was mostly the land owned by the taxpaying citizens of the country. Obama territory mostly encompassed those citizens living in low-income tenements and living off various forms of government welfare.”

Does that sound familiar? It should. Monckton copied a long-discredited chain email into his column.

As ConWebWatch documented way back in 2004, there is no Alexander Tyler who was a professor of history at the University of Edinburgh; there is an Alexander Fraser Tytler who was indeed an 18th-century Scottish history professor, but there's no record he ever said such a thing.

And while there was (and perhaps still is) a Professor Joseph Olson and there is a Hamline University, Olson confirmed to Snopes that "he had no authorship or involvement in this matter." Also, the numbers falsely attributed to him were wrong when they attached to the names of Al Gore and George W. Bush, and they are most certainly even more so now since the exact same numbers are used with the names simply changed to Obama and Romney.

Monckton also describes Alexis de Tocqueville's "Democracy in America" as having been published in 1830; in fact, it was published in two volumes in 1835 and 1840. You'd think a self-proclaimed America-phile like Monckton would have gotten that correct.

If Monckton will just blindly copy-and-paste random chain emails into his column without checking them out first, it doesn't exactly bode well for his insistence that manmade global warming doesn't exist.

Hypocritical attacks

Monckton ranted in a March 2013 WND column:

This week a lifetime achievement award for services to water conservation was given to Peter Gleick, who has openly confessed that he used wire fraud to steal and then publish confidential documents belonging to the Heartland Institute of Chicago. His excuse? Well, he disagreed with its opposition to the climate hysteria that he so fervently and profitably espouses.

Gleick admitted that he had created a bogus email address in the name of a member of Heartland’s board. He had persuaded Heartland to log the new address into its server. He had posed as that board member to obtain confidential documents. He had added a fabricated document that he had not received from Heartland. He had then widely circulated the stolen and fabricated material, causing considerable damage to Heartland but little, it seems, to his own reputation.

Heartland complained to the State’s Attorney General in Illinois, who, after months of prevarication, absolutely refused to prosecute the self-confessed identity forger, wire fraudster and thief.

In the United States, which is no longer a free country, the Supreme Court has long stamped out the necessary right of the individual to bring a private prosecution when the public authorities – sometimes for improper reasons – refuse to do so.

This is pretty rich criticism coming from Monckton, who himself committed fraud a few months earlier by impersonating a delegate from Burma at a global warming conference in Qatar, then using the fraudulently obtained seat to peddle his climate denier spiel until getting kicked out.

Monckton probably doesn't think the so-called "Climategate" emails should be similarly ignored because they were fraudulently obtained, or that those who fraudulently released the emails should be prosecuted.

Climate denialism

WND occasionally promotes Monckton's climate denialism to actual news status, as it did in a Jan. 6 article by John Griffing:

The attendees at the recent global “climate” conference in Doha, Qatar, most of them highly influential and powerful in their home countries, were treated to a special address recently.

“There has been no global warming for 16 years (actually 18 or 19 years, on closer examination),” the speaker said. “Even if warming were to occur at the predicted rate this century, it would be many times cheaper to adapt ... than to attempt, futilely, to mitigate it today. An independent scientific enquiry would be a good idea, to make sure that the conferences on the climate were still heading in the right direction.”

Those words are what Christopher Monckton of Brenchley, described as the high priest of climate skepticism and a regular columnist for WND, recalls telling the stunned crowd of affluent attendees.

He addressed the conference, which had just finished hours of consultation and discussion of how to prepare for the catastrophe long predicted by Al Gore, that of global warming.

As if he was protecting the WND columnist from the facts, Griffing failed to tell his readers the real circumstances around Monckton's "special address."

The Guardian reported that Monckton fraudulently impersonated a delegate from Burma, and he was ejected from the Doha conference about a minute into his speech after his deception was discovered. Monckton had been seen at the conference dressed in a traditional Arab attire while distributing leaflets on his anti-global warming views. This video depicts Monckton's stunts at the conference.

In addition, Monckton's claim that there has been no global warming for 16 years is just as dishonest as his behavior at the conference. As Discovery News explains:

The key point here is in the arbitrary starting point. Climate scientists note that while the underlying long-term trend is unmistakable, it can be masked by short-term natural variations. And 1998 was an exceptionally hot year as a result of a very strong El Niño that created a lot of atmospheric warming. (In fact, it currently occupies the bronze medal position, behind 2005 and the race-leading 2010.) Move the starting point to 1999, and the picture changes considerably.

And that picture shows that if you include more years, the overall trend is one of increasing temperatures.

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