Daniel Greenfield, a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the Freedom Center, is an investigative journalist and writer focusing on the radical Left and Islamic terrorism.
Every year, Rachel Bronson, President and CEO of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, who has a degree in political science from Columbia, gets up in front of a fake clock to announce that the world is doomed.
And the media eagerly covers the annual imminent warning of doom as if it came with an open bar.
Bronson is not an atomic scientist. Or any kind of scientist. Unless you believe politics is a science. And if politics is a science, then Bronson is the Lysenko of the field, predicting doom out of bias and ignorance.
This year, the Doomsday Clock had its hands set forward to 100 seconds to midnight. After setting the clock at 2 minutes to midnight in honor of President Trump two years ago, it’s all out of minutes.
Now it’s down to seconds. At this rate the fake clock will soon be down to negative numbers.
If you don’t believe Rachel, maybe you’ll listen to Jerry Brown, former California governor and executive chair of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists. Jerry is not an atomic scientist, but he did nuke California.
According to Jerry, “If there’s ever a time to wake up, it’s now.”
But Jerry doesn’t want people waking up. He wants them to go back to sleep. And stay that way.
The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, led by atomic scientists like Rachel and Jerry, demand that, “the international community should begin multilateral discussions aimed at establishing norms of behavior, both domestic and international, that discourage and penalize the misuse of science.”
Like people claiming to be atomic scientists when they’re actually political hacks?
The Bulletin had been set up by lefties who were actual scientists to warn of a nuclear war. But, no matter what Rachel does with her big clock, a nuclear war is less likely than ever. So, the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, which is short on atoms, scientists and apocalypses, threw in global warming.
But global warming isn’t enough. The Doomsday Clock is at 100 seconds to midnight because of the threat of nuclear war and global warming, also fake news, deepfakes, AI, the internet, the Space Force, and mainly President Donald J. Trump. We’ve gone from nuclear scientists warning of nuclear war to political scientists warning that “national leaders have increasingly dismissed information with which they do not agree as fake news.” I wonder whom the Bulletin of the Political Scientists could mean.
“Leaders intent on blurring the line between fact and politically motivated fantasy—are a profound threat to effective democracies,” the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists warns.
That’s ironic because the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists is a politically motivated fantasy.
Speaking of fake news, the Bulletin’s Editor-in-Chief, John Mecklin, had previously helped launch Key West Magazine. He is not an “atomic scientist”. Neither is Dan Drollette, who has an MA in science journalism from NYU. Nor is Elizabeth Eaves, a former opinion editor at Forbes.
Who else would be convinced that calling media lies fake news moves us 100 seconds to doomsday?
The current issue of the magazine that no one reads begins with warnings about nuclear doom by John Mecklin, which must be more exciting than writing about events at Key West, another by Alexandra Bell, a Center for American Progress alum with an MA in International Affairs from the New School.
Also featured is James N. Miller, an Obama admin vet with a BA in Economics from Stanford “where he played tennis for a team that won several national championships”, along with Bruce G. Blair with a BS in Communications from the University of Illinois and a PHD in Operations Research from Yale. Also contributing is Brad Roberts who has a PhD in International Relations from Erasmus U, and Matt Korda who boasts an MA in International Peace & Security. If only tennis and political science were atomic.
The best of the bunch is Hans Kristensen, a former Greenpeace activist, who went on to become a special advisor to the Danish Defense Commission, a senior researcher at the Nautilus Institute, a consultant to the Nuclear Program at the Natural Resources Defense Council, and finally, the Director of the Nuclear Information Project at the Federation of American Scientists.
The most impressive thing about Hans’ resume is that his education seems to have concluded at a Gymnasium: the Danish equivalent of high school.
Not only don’t you need to be an “atomic scientist” to write for the Bulletin, but you can even run the Nuclear Information Project at the Federation of American Scientists because you finished high school.
The Bulletin’s doomsday bulletin warns that the “political antagonism toward science and a growing sense of government-sanctioned disdain for expert opinion” is driving the world to an apocalypse.
But this is what “expert opinion” and “science” looks like. Experts means a bunch of people with degrees in political science, in communications, or in nothing except agitating for Greenpeace.
Expert opinion and science have become shams used for political purposes by radical ideologues.
The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists is a bizarre relic of another time when “atomic scientist” was a job description and children were taught to crouch under desks in the event of a nuclear war. But, like the NAACP or HIAS, whose names alone make their complete irrelevance in 2020 clear, it won’t go away.
Why go on using the name? Because, “Former Key West Editor Predicts End is Nigh” would sound silly.
The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, its fake clock, its fake scientists, and the media’s uncritical repetition of its talking points shows why the public doesn’t trust expert opinion and science.
And why it’s right not to.
The skeptics are right. And the CNN viewers and New York Times readers who take the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists seriously because they assume anything with that name must be real are fools.
Expert opinion is a house of cards. The experts who are paraded in front of the cameras, who sign open letters, and write op-eds, are facades in the opening of an old western. They look good on a short cable news segment, but once you open the door, there’s nothing inside. And there never was.
The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists is right to be worried. The clock is even closer to doomsday than 100 seconds. The world is about to be destroyed. Not our world, but their world.
“The internet provides widespread, inexpensive access to worldwide audiences, facilitating the broadcast of false and manipulative messages to large populations and enabling millions of individuals to indulge in their prejudices, biases, and ideological differences,” the Bulletin complains.
The internet allows people to get news from outside the media bubble. It allows them to find out that the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists and its Doomsday Clock are a bunch of empty nonsense.
And that’s scary if you’re one of the clan of Washington D.C. experts who are unemployable outside their exclusive field of bashing President Donald J. Trump and warning of the end of the world.
“The international security situation is now more dangerous than it has ever been, even at the height of the Cold War,” the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists claims.
Is the security situation more dangerous than when the human race was on the verge of destruction?
To the hacks of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, the destruction of all life on earth is less of a threat than the destruction of their own credibility. The development of the hydrogen bomb (2 minutes to midnight) is a lot less scary than public distrust of the media (1.4 minutes to midnight.)
“Focused attention is needed to prevent information technology from undermining public trust in political institutions, in the media,” the Bulletin demands.
Why would anyone believe political institutions and a media that promote a fake clock by a fake organization? The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists is the best argument for distrusting the media.
Turn the Doomsday Clock to 100 seconds or zero. The atom has been split, the shockwave is spreading across the media’s high skyscrapers in New York City, and the fallout of fake news is raining down.