Ben Stein is suing Kyocera and their ad agency. He alleges that Kyocera had contracted him to do some commercials for them, then pulled out of the deal.
According to Stein, the bad news came after reps for the agency asked him his views on global warming. Stein says he told them he was not certain that global warming was a man-made phenomenon. He also told them that, as a matter of religious belief, he believed that God, not man, controlled the weather.
Stein says that Kyocera soon withdrew its offer and got someone else to play a Stein-ish character in its commercials instead.
Some folks think Stein got a raw deal.
http://t.co/FK3B0yuY :Good for him.Time 2stand UP against loons leftiesBen Stein Sues Kyosera Printers,Ad Agency 4Political Discrimination
In a Reuters/Ipsos poll [PDF] conducted in September of last year, it was revealed that more Americans than ever believe the planet is warming. In 2010, 75% of Americans said they thought the world’s temperature had been going up in the past 100 years. In 2011, 82.5% said they thought it had. And, it’s a bipartisan stance. The number of Democrat converts went from 87% to 91%. But Republicans went from 60% to 66%. That’s a 1% higher increase than Democrats.
The big question, of course, is, “Why?”
In that same poll, an interesting thing happened. Overall, belief that global warming is human-caused only went down 4% (6.5% among Dems; 0.3% among Repubs). Belief in “natural causes” went up 3% in the year the poll covered, mostly due to Republicans. They had an 11% increase in the “natural causes” category. Democrats, on the other hand, swung to the “both equally” category by almost 10%. 5% of Independents left the “human causes” and went almost exclusively to the “natural causes” camp.
Of course, this is a study of the Average Joe’s opinions, and the fact that they change. According to Wikipedia scientists overwhelmingly believe that the globe is warming and that it is caused mainly by human activity. On the other hand Petition.org has 31,000 scientists who have signed a petition saying that they don’t believe in manmade global warming. And then there are the “climategate” emails which made public manipulation of the data by the scientists credited with creating the infamous controversial “hocky stick” graph. That’s the graph that was pointed to as proving man caused global warming. There are scientific opinions on both sides of the issue of whether man has actually caused global warming and even whether global warming is still occurring. This certainly indicates that the science isn’t settled as some have claimed and that an opinion on either side should not be the basis of employment.
But, Ben Stein is not a scientist. He is pretty much an Average Joe (albeit an actor) and he is entitled to his opinion just like anyone else. The biggest disturbing thing was that such an opinion question was asked, and that someone had the temerity to fire him after he couched his answer in terms of his faith.
If the whole thing came down to whether Kyocera and its representatives thought someone who did not believe climate change was exclusively man-made was worthy of being associated with their name, then they are going to have a real problem with 71.66% of their customer base.