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Smarmy Chickenhawk And Homophobe Jason Mattera Back On FOX News, This Time As Global Warming Arbiter

Reported by Ellen - May 23, 2007 -

Is there any checkered past FOX News won’t overlook so long as it belongs to a conservative? I don’t think so. Along with pundits Tom DeLay, Oliver North and Bernard Kerik, among others, we can add Jason Mattera of the Young America’s Foundation. Mattera was on Hannity & Colmes last night (5/22/07) to add his “expertise” to a discussion about the use of Al Gore’s film “An Inconvenient Truth” at Roger Williams University. Mattera’s only credentials for the segment seemed to be his enthusiasm for attacking liberalism on campuses and the fact that he is an RWU alumnus. Yet while Mattera was presented as a champion of full disclosure and open debate, his own controversial history was not revealed to the viewers. With video.

According to SourceWatch, Mattera first came to national attention in 2003 when he wrote “a bullying and venomous attack” on the mother of Matthew Shepard in a student newsletter. Shepard, you may recall, was beaten and murdered for being gay. Mattera called Judy Shepard, who had given a speech promoting tolerance at RWU, a “mascot for the homosexual agenda.” Later in the same newsletter, Mattera had the poor taste to “joke” that “militant homosexual activists and pedophiles nationwide condemned the FDA’s food pyramid as ‘bigoted’ and ‘hateful’ because ‘anus’ and ‘penis’ were not listed as separate food groups.”

In 2004, Mattera appeared on CNN to promote a whites-only scholarship in protest of affirmative action. Mattera complained to anchor Daryn Kagan about scholarships “just for students of color.” He said, "There's a group of students on campus, a large group of students on campus who are handicapped and they're at a disadvantage. And they're at a disadvantage because of their Caucasian descent."

But later in the same interview, Mattera admitted that he had taken a scholarship from the Hispanic College Fund, a fund restricted to minorities. When Kagan asked why, if he was so offended by scholarships based on race, he had not given the money back, Mattera answered, “Well, Hispanic is not a race. Hispanic is -- you can't tell me what color Hispanic is. It's white, blank, Indian, Asian, Hispanic. It's not a race-based scholarship.”

In 2005, Mattera told Chris Matthews, during an appearance on MSNBC’s Hardball, that the reason he was not serving in the Iraq war he professed to support was because he was “fighting the culture war at home.” Crooks and Liars has the video.

Last night, Mattera somehow finessed his way into a discussion about an RWU science class requiring that students view “An Inconvenient Truth.” Alan Colmes, who is undoubtedly familiar with Mattera’s past, was clearly skeptical of his motives for getting involved. Noting that Mattera graduated “a couple of years” ago and had gotten involved only because of the complaint of another student who was not in the class, Colmes asked, “Why’re you doing this? Are you doing this to promote your Young America group?”

Mattera responded that his organization “takes abuse cases” and called the requirement to view Gore’s film “academic abuse.” In fact, I found no such service offered on the organization’s website. Young America’s Foundation described itself as “an educational organization that sponsors speakers on campus and in the community, provides activist resources and materials, holds conferences and seminars, and saved the Reagan Ranch.”

Mattera, who has no discernible credentials in either global warming, filmmaking or education, called Gore's film “a highly political movie in a science class.”

Colmes pointed out that the vast majority of scientists agree with Gore’s position on global warming. “Do we give equal weight, Jason, to a view that’s a minority view? …You want to have equal time for something that is not of equal scientific weight.”

A cocky Mattera asked, “Who you are (sic) to say that’s not equal scientific weight? …You don’t light (sic) a candle intellectually to any of these men.”

Despite Mattera’s lack of crendtials, there was no balancing guest. There was, however, a second guest with the same opinion. Barry Lucier is a current student who complained about being forced to see the movie without being allowed to debate it.

Sean Hannity could not have been more sympathetic. He even answered Colmes’ original question to Mattera for him. The reason he got involved, Hannity explained, “is because you don’t want indoctrination on college campuses, that you want a free and open exchange of opinion and ideals and only one side is presented.” He didn't seem to notice the irony of saying such a thing during a one-sided panel discussion on his own show.

Before long, college drop-out (but self-styled global warming expert) Hannity was urging Lucier to sacrifice his college career for the sake of conservative activisim on campus. “Is there any chance that you and maybe a group of students would be willing to put your career on the line and say that you are not gonna give in to this indoctrination?”

Lucier said it was too late, that he had already seen the film. But, just like “soldier” Mattera, Lucier insisted he had fought the war. “Otherwise, I did put my career on the line. I tried to convince the professors and the dean in the science department to not show the film and to see an alternative film.”