Ed Driscoll

Prepper Star Wisely Refuses to be Mocked By CNN, Turns Down TV Special

“Rick Austin, a best-selling author, survival expert, sought after speaker and television personality, turned down what many looking for publicity would have considered the opportunity of a lifetime — to be featured in a CNN special television series,” the Inquisitr Website notes. And judging from their description of a CNN show as “the opportunity of a lifetime,” perhaps we can tell which direction that Website’s biases point. In any case, Austin, a former TV producer himself, certainly knows the direction of CNN’s biases:

Aside from his own appearances as a regular featured guest about homesteading and preparedness in the media, Austin is certainly no stranger to the inner workings of TV and the media, since prior to his off grid living career, Austin also spent several decades working in the media business, including as both a director and a producer for TV shows from his offices at Universal Studios.

As such, Austin is no stranger to the many ways that on-camera comments can be spun and edited, if an interviewer or producer has a personal or biased agenda. Because of his popularity in the preparedness arena, Austin was approached for the CNN project through the Bright Roads Productions company that is working on a new series entitled United Shades of America.

Austin said it took him just a few moments to become “extremely suspect” about the new series, which is to be hosted by liberal comedian, W. Kamau Bell. In fact the online promotional material for the TV show notes that “comedian W. Kamau Bell will explore the far corners of our country and its ‘subcultures’ and make people laugh in United Shades of America.” Bell is also the host of the FXX Totally Biased with W. Kamau Bell late-night comedy sho. On United Shades of America, Bell will “dissect” a vast array of topics which will reportedly include “politics, pop culture, race, religion, and the media,” promotional material for the series revealed.

The Website quotes Austin replying:

“CNN, quite honestly, is a left wing biased network, so I don’t see much potential in their giving right wing conservative people in the preparedness community anything close to ‘fair and balanced’ coverage. Frankly, having spent 30 years in the media business, and much of it as television producer, I know that editors can turn anything someone says into something it is not. The fact that you have a comedian as the show’s host leads me to believe that the networks’ view is already skewed toward painting this as a story about ‘kooks’ and people who think the sky is falling.”

CNN’s goal of sneering at preppers such as Austin illustrates the hypocrisy of the MSM in general, which for 60 years, has hyped the news with one doomsday scenario after another, but mocks anyone who takes them seriously. Starting in the mid-to-late 1950s, the liberal TV news media routinely described the apocalyptic horrors to come if the Soviets used their nuclear weapons against America, culminating in the Kennedy administration’s “duck and cover” preparedness warnings and the brinksmanship of the Cuban missile crisis. But anyone who took the Democrat warnings seriously by building a bomb shelter was viewed by the MSM and Hollywood as a reactionary crank. (See also, Dr. Strangelove and the “Gift of the Magi”-style Twilight Zone episode where Burgess Meredith’s bookworm character emerges from the post-apocalyptic bomb shelter only to break his glasses.) More recently in a 2011 Atlantic article, PJM’s own Glenn Reynolds noted that Obama administration was dusting off Cold War-style nuclear preparedness plans. “I note that the feds seem to be highly interested in an experimental new drug for treating radiation sickness. That’s not encouraging,” he insta-deadpanned.

Starting with the first “Earth Day” in 1970, it became a cliché for radical environmentalists to tell nonplussed TV interviewers that “we only have five years/ten years/ 12 years, 300 days, 12 hours and 32 minutes” to save the earth from global cooling/warming/climate change/climate chaos. Since the eco-apocalypse and nuclear war dueled for headline space, during the 1970s and early 1980s, it was hard to tell where the threatened New Ice Age ended and the Nuclear Winter began.

Ted Turner, the founder of CNN, spent much of the 1990s hectoring viewers with his “Captain Planet” cartoon series on his sister network, TBS, As recently as 2008, he told Charlie Rose:

If steps aren’t taken to stem global warming, “We’ll be eight degrees hotter in 30 or 40 years and basically none of the crops will grow,” Turner said during a wide-ranging, hour-long interview with PBS’s Charlie Rose that aired Tuesday.

“Most of the people will have died and the rest of us will be cannibals,” said Turner, 69. “Civilization will have broken down. The few people left will be living in a failed state — like Somalia or Sudan — and living conditions will be intolerable.”

As Mark Hemingway quipped at the Corner back then, “If [Turner is] so afraid of global warming brought on by overpopulation, the better question is, which of his five children does he want to eat?”

So here’s someone who takes this sort of doomsday thinking seriously – and of course, for CNN, he’s merely a prop to be savaged and discarded as an object of ridicule. Good for Rick Austin for not being used by the most busted name in news.