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Oh Dear, Bret Baier's Dumb Ugly Mansion Probably Personally Responsible For Killing Coal
Nice solar panels you got there. Shame if they were to help fix climate change.
Regular readers of this little mommyblog may have noticed that Yr Doktor Zoom is not really a Real Estate Person. Not sure if that’s some leftover adolescent rebellion against my Very Catholic Mother, who liked to pester realtors about nearby property listings so much that she sometimes called them using a fake name, but it’s possible. But finally, here’s a real estate story I can get into: It seems that Fox News anchor Bret Baier is selling his 16,250-square-foot, five-bed, nine-bath mansion, which Zillow says is “sited along revered Foxhall Road, at the highest point in Washington,” for a mere $31.9 million.
Here’s a hilariously breathless local TV news story on the sale — complete with promotional video from the realtors — emphasizing that if Baier gets the asking price, it’ll be the most paid for any residential property in DC, ever.
It’s not all the designer stuff, or the thoughtful interplay between the traditional chateau exterior and the modern interior that got our attention, though. Nah, it was this Washington Post story (gift link) about how online wags have been pointing out that the home has those big banks of solar panels you can see in the photo up top. Which, said those online wags, seemed pretty rich for a guy whose network is the chief source of climate change denial in the USA:
“A Fox News guy has solar panels? What does Murdoch think?!” one person wrote on an online forum for D.C. parents, referring to Rupert Murdoch, who launched the Fox media empire and has previously described himself as a “climate change skeptic.”
WaPo confirmed with the real estate agent, “Daniel Heider of TTR Sotheby’s International Realty,” that the manse does have 86 solar panels on it, installed last year. And as the Post points out, Baier isn’t the only well-off rightie who’s getting in on the energy savings from solar even as they continue to promote fossil fuels, like Rep. Thomas Massie (R-Kentucky) and Ohio’s Republican Gov. Mike DeWine, who likes fossil fuels but also brags about how his state was the first to break ground on an EV fast-charging station funded by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, although DeWine didn’t mention the law or thank Joe Biden. (WaPo didn’t mention the EV thing, so I left a comment.)
Massie is very cute about all of it. He has an off-grid home running on solar and battery storage, and “drives a Tesla with a Kentucky license plate that reads ‘Friends of coal’ and ‘Coal keeps the lights on!’” Suck it, greens!
As for Baier, he frequently hosts folks who deny or downplay climate change. A 2021 tally by MediaMatters found that Baier’s “straight news” show, “Special Report,” which pretends not to be part of the network’s “opinion” programming, has a very non-monogamous relation with the truth about climate change. By MediaMatters’ reckoning, 88 percent of the show’s segments on climate from 2009 to 2021 either spreading outright misinformation or put a misleading spin on the topic. The misleading climate claims on Baier’s serious news show were of a piece with those presented in Fox’s “opinion” shows, belying the fiction that there’s much difference between the two. And that’s not even counting the inherent fib in calling a daily news show “Special Report.”
That tally also notes that once Joe Biden took office, “Special Report” really ramped up its climate-related misinformation, running three times the false and misleading reports compared to the rate it did in 2020. Makes sense, what with Biden threatening to destroy America with clean energy jobs and clean air.
But let’s not get too mean about Baier and Massie and other wingers who have recognized that rooftop solar and storage are a great way to save money on electricity. Good for them, greening a little bit of the grid! In fact, we should be calling attention to what they do as a reason to ignore what they say about climate.
And maybe we could tax the hell out of them and invest the revenue in community solar, too.
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