So after recent events, the question arises: Which is the greater danger, farting cows or bloviating politicians?

But before we tackle that question, we simply cannot ignore the latest racist attack – that was not.

And that raises yet another question. How is it, just two weeks after the other onslaught by racists – that was not – is it that so many people were duped?

The coverage of the Jussie Smollett fantasy was certainly overblown. Oh sure, if a famous guy on a TV show gets attacked because he is gay – then yeah, that’s news. Well, except, how famous was he? Before this attack, that is. Could three of your friends name him? Us either.

(And yes, we can claim three friends. If we include pets.)

But the media – and remember this was right after the Catholic-kid-from-Covington debacle – just could not resist. Every network show clamored, clawed and scratched to get this guy on TV. Every producer knew that a beaten-up, gay guy would be a ratings bonanza.

But the competition was fierce. One of those late-night comedy shows – you know the ones that haven’t been funny since Jay Leno retired – couldn’t schedule the guy so they the next best thing. They invited a famous gay actress to talk about the horrible hate-crime-that-wasn’t. By all accounts she did great. Complete with tears.

There is a saying in the news business – apparently long since discarded – that if your mother tells you she loves you, check another source.

None of that happened in this case. There was little questioning why two white rednecks would be out in freezing weather – at 2 a.m. – looking for a black, gay guy to assault.

That’s freezing weather in Chicago. The Windy City. That’s really cold.

But not only are these two knuckle-draggers out at 2 a.m. in the really, really cold, they happened to packing bleach. And a noose. Where do buy a noose at 2 a.m. in Chicago?

Of course we all know the real reason – despite how preposterous the story – the media dove head-first.

They saw red. As in the red hats the gay guy said the rubes were wearing. That confirmed everything for reporters. Two white guys, outfitted with bleach and a rope, may not attack anyone in the freezing cold at 2 a.m. – but Trump supporters certainly would.

So that is how it is that a fairytale gets reported as news – for more than a week – by networks and newspapers that were once respected.

But the point here isn’t to beat up on the media. There is some truth that they had to report the story. Of course, it is just as true that a smidgen of skepticism would have served them well.

But what about the politicians who climbed all over this story?

Leading Democrats running for president voiced, wrote and twittered their outrage over the attack. Repeatedly. They didn’t stand back and wait to see what unfolded. They reacted in the only way they know how.

Those same reality-blinders might explain their enthusiasm for the Green New Deal.

Sensible people know the Green New Deal is ridiculous. They realize this latest caper from the deep-thinker from the Bronx would bankrupt the country.

Even if you ignore the math on the hundreds of thousands of jobs that would be destroyed, the numbers required to convert the electrical grid to green energy are mind-blowing – something like $425 trillion.

(Here are the numbers: 850 gigawatts of uranium and fossil fuel power generation in the U.S. today. Current wind cost for gigawatt of power is $1,455 to $2,773. Solar cost is $1,759-$3,212. Even if cost is lowered to $500 per gigawatt, total replacement spending = $425 trillion. Not sure what we do when the wind doesn’t blow or the sun does not shine – Hats off to Darin Milmeister of New York for the data.)

Not to belabor the point – well, maybe just a little – but the Green New Deal calls for us to retrofit every building in the United States. No idea on cost, but for those keeping score at home, that would mean 27 buildings must be completely retrofitted every minute of the next decade.

Every minute.

This might prompt giggles from homeowners who know to schedule the bath remodel four months in advance for lack of contractors.

This scheme is beyond ridiculous. It is insane. But don’t tell that to leading Democrats. They stumbled all over themselves to endorse this thing.

The six leading Democratic candidates for President support the plan. If nothing else this is a lesson in the power of words.

Someone says “red hat” – or mumbles “green energy” – and insanity reigns.

DAN HAMMES is publisher of the Gazette Record.

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