Glenn Beck: ‘Dang dong darn it’

“Dang dang dong darn it. Dang dang darn it. Dang. Darn it. Dang dang.”
 
That’s what passes for intelligent political discourse on the Glenn Beck radio show when it comes to clean air and protecting our children from harmful air pollutants like arsenic, mercury, soot, smog and carbon.

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Beck and his co-host, Pat Grey, were reacting Thursday to a new television ad from American Family Voices that hits Congress for considering legislation that would prevent the EPA from updating pollution standards on everything from arsenic to mercury to carbon pollution. The ad, rightfully so, indicates that if we don’t reduce these harmful emissions, we are essentially leaving them in our air, water and food for children to consume. Scientific research has found that existing pollution standards have prevented 160,000 early deaths annually, including nearly three hundred infants each year.

Beck and Gray mock the ad, calling it “fear mongering,” and express pretend surprise at the notion that arsenic is dangerous to children. “I didn’t know we weren’t supposed to feed our kids arsenic!” one of them exclaims, shortly before bizarrely reading off a list of their children’s’ names and declaring each one of them “dead.”

Beck’s childish reaction gives short shrift to the issue at hand. Some in Congress argue that new pollution standards are too burdensome to business — though business coalitions like BICEP and CERES have come out in support of the standards. Others in Congress argue that it should be Congress, not the EPA, who should set pollution standards. That argument actually might hold water if the folks making it weren’t also blocking congressional efforts to set pollution standards.

But Beck, dang it, just wants to mock the whole thing. The reality is that children and babies are most susceptible to air pollutants. Exposure levels once thought to be safe are now considered dangerous. The Clean Air Act is the best defense we have against harmful air pollutants and it’s been doing a great job of protecting all Americans for 40 years, dang it. What Fred Upton and James Inhofe and Mitch McConnell want to do is prevent updating the standards so that polluters can continue to dump harmful substances into our air. Dang it, we should all be dang dong darn it angry about it. Even Glenn dang Beck.

David Di Martino is CEO of Blue Line Strategic Communications Inc. The views expressed in this blog are his and do not necessarily represent Blue Line’s. Follow David: @bluelinedd.

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