Before Election Day 2016, I wrote an article reminding everyone that no matter what happens, America will be #1 in science. President Obama shares my optimism. In his final press conference, the outgoing President said, "At my core, I think we're going to be OK."
However, a substantial number of Americans, goaded on by a sensationalist press and the hyperpartisan echo chamber of social media, strongly disagree. One could be forgiven for thinking that America is diving head first into a new Dark Age... or worse.
Consider this headline from the Washington Post, which is possibly the most oxymoronic headline ever written by an outlet other than The Onion:
Dr. David Gelernter is a Yale computer science professor. How can one of the nation's most important newspapers casually smear a computer scientist as "fiercely anti-intellectual"? Because he thinks there are too many liberals in academia and is suspicious of anthropogenic climate change.
Nature also got in a jab:
Though mostly speculative, the article itself was fairly balanced and full of informative infographics. Yet, the headline writers apparently just couldn't help themselves.
Motherboard took a cheap shot at Health and Human Services Secretary nominee Tom Price:
Tom Price is a medical doctor, but Motherboard isn't impressed by the most important qualification for that job. Instead, they dismiss him because he, too, is skeptical of anthropogenic climate change. Of course, climate policy doesn't fall under the purview of HHS, so his views on it are irrelevant. One of President Obama's advisors was a UFO believer (ahem, John Podesta), yet since he wasn't being asked to run NASA, it didn't matter.
The most over-the-top headline goes to TIME, perhaps only because Newsweek's Kurt Eichenwald hasn't published anything since last Friday.
Well, there you have it. The Earth will end on January 20, 2017.