However, when it comes to warning Americans about safety dangers, some people only have a hammer, so everywhere they look they see nails. MSNBC's Rachel Maddow's hammer is Russophobia, so when it came to the Antarctic conditions thrust upon the US Midwest, who did she turn to for fear-mongering? Why, Russia, of course!
You'll never guess who is seizing on life-threatening cold weather in the U.S. to fear-monger about… Russia! pic.twitter.com/deo2H4SBBQ— Aaron Maté (@aaronjmate) January 31, 2019
When Scottish poet Robert Burns wrote about "autumn wild and winter rude," this is NOT what he meant!
The report Maddow cites is from US Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats, who told Congress earlier this week that the US was falling behind Russia and China in its cyberwarfare capabilities.
"Russia has the ability to execute cyber attacks in the United States that generate localized, temporary disruptive effects on critical infrastructure — such as disrupting an electrical distribution network for at least a few hours — similar to those demonstrated in Ukraine in 2015 and 2016," the report, which Coats presented to a Senate panel, reads.
Of course, the identities of those behind that attack in Ukraine were never proven, although some US lawmakers took some of the lessons of that experience to heart last month in drawing up a law to implement some "retro" protections for US power infrastructure. The attack in Ukraine shut down engineers' ability to electronically close opened circuit breakers, and power was restored once they went out and turned them back on manually, Sputnik noted.
"And it is like negative 50 degrees in the Dakotas right now. What would happen if Russia killed the power in Fargo today? What would happen if all the natural gas lines that service Sioux Falls just poofed on the coldest day in recent memories, and it wasn't in our power whether or not to turn them back on?" Maddow said.
"What would you do if you lost heat indefinitely as the act of a foreign power on the same day the temperature in your front yard matched the temperature in Antarctica? I mean, what would you and your family do?" she asked.
Now granted, Midwest gas demand did surge by about 50 percent Wednesday, according to Bloomberg. Prices reached a seven-week high, but experts told that publication that they're equipped for this kind of demand, since intensely cold weather in winter isn't exactly a foreign concept to those who live in the Dakotas and the Great Lakes region.
Maddow's frightening imagery is a far cry from the DNI's warning that US infrastructure is, theoretically, vulnerable. As one journalist pointed out, she's approaching a Glenn Beck-level of paranoid fear-mongering and connecting of dots that simply aren't there.
Glenn Beck 2009 + Maddow 2019 is the greatest crossover event in history pic.twitter.com/D1NElGBq3U— Adam H. Johnson (@adamjohnsonNYC) January 31, 2019
Hannity is both more watchable and more coherent than Maddow at this point. That's not a compliment to him, he's grown more unhinged and slurred over the last two years. https://t.co/l4zGAlLsQs— Eoin Higgins (@EoinHiggins_) January 31, 2019
We hope her next report back is about how well tinfoil hats cut wind chill.