by Warner Todd Huston | December 4, 2011 3:26 pm
I meant to get to this last week, but “historian” Douglas Brinkley is so forgettable as a writer that it all slipped my mind. But, it’s a slow news day, so let’s take a look at the temper tantrum this hack threw when he visited the House Natural Resources Committee on Nov. 22, shall we?
Brinkley was there to provide his, uh, “insight” into the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, testimony that Alaska Rep. Don Young called “an exercise in futility” because the hearing wasn’t going to be changing anyone’s mind about the subject. I’d have to agree that anything including hack Brinkley truly is an exercise in futility. He’s one of the worst writers of popular history out there.
The fireworks began when Rep. Young accidentally called Brinkley by the wrong last name. This sent the scribbler off into paroxysms of pique and spurred him to interrupt not only Rep. Young, but also Committee Chair Doc Hastings when he tried to restore order.
Rep. Young later told the Washington Post’s Amy Argetsinger that he thought that Brinkley was just trying to get publicity with his outburst.
But I disagree with the Congressman. Brinkley is a hack of the first order and has a left-wing agenda. He likely went into that committee hearing with a chip on his shoulder already and was looking for anything to show that he was the newest Captain Planet that wanted to keep drilling for oil out of his wildlife refuge.
Writer Douglas Hackley has also urged President Obama to use his fiat powers to turn the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge into a national monument. This would take any possibility of drilling for oil right off the table.
It wouldn’t surprise me if Obama does this, too. President Obama has shown a fondness for simply “declaring” things into law and is not fond of actually following the law making process. He’s said on numerous occasions that he is looking for ways to get his agenda put into action “without Congress,” and that means without YOU, the people. Let’s face it, you, Mr. and Mrs. America, you have sent your congressmen to Washington and if Obama is pushing his agenda without those duly elected representatives he’s doing so without your input as voters. He cares neither for your opinion nor that of your elected representatives. This is the single most arrogant man we’ve ever had in the Oval Office.
Anyway, back to Brinkley, it should not surprise anyone that he was hot to display his own arrogance and lack of decorum. He is well known as one of the worst writers of popular history in the field. It should also not surprise that he is appealing directly to Obama over your representatives — including those that actually live in the state that Brinkley wants millions of acres declared off limits to use.
It should be remembered that this writer of hackneyed hagiography was one of the cadre of historians that Obama invited to a secret dinner at the White House only months after he assumed the throne. Obama was obviously trying to influence these historians to write the proper history of his regime when all is said and done.
But of those agenda driven writers, Brinkley is the worst of the crew. And it’s not just my biased opinion, either. Even left-wingers have said that Brinkley’s work leaves a lot to be desired.
Brinkley Is well known for having belched out a wholly uncritical take on John F. Kerry’s life during the Senator’s doomed run for the White House against George W. Bush in 2004. The book was little else but sunny campaign puffer that was worthless as a work of history. Before that, Brinkley prostituted himself all over TV as the chief mourner for John Kennedy, Jr. when he flew himself to his death in 1999. Brinkley’s over-the-top celebration of Kennedy and the writer’s ubiquity on TV during those days we so bad that Kennedy’s George Magazine even removed him from their masthead as a contributor. Brinkley was so ridiculous that even the lefty Slate.com once wrote, “Even amid this week’s staggering hyperbole, Brinkley’s emotional profligacy has distinguished him.”” Not a compliment, to be sure.
Brinkley is also one of those slavishly devoted Obamaites that constantly compares Obama to the most famous men of history — even though Obama has done little to rate the praise. In 2011, for instance, Brinkley said that Obama was somehow just like Martin Luther King.
In all, given his history of political activism and his penchant for loosely sourced hagiographic fiction, none of Brinkley’s lack of civility at a mere Committee hearing should surprise us. The only surprise here is that anyone takes him seriously at all.
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