In an interview today on Fox News, a spokesman for Eclipse Deniers charged that the highly touted solar eclipse set for Aug. 21 is nothing more than a scam hatched by a coalition of transportation, hotel, resort and food service interests.
"There will be no total solar eclipse next month... or any other month," Will Bligh, the Denier Guy, told Sean Hannity. When Hannity's response indicated a degree of disbelief, Bligh set him straight.
"Follow the money! Billions of dollars have already been spent on airline tickets to Boise and other cities along the supposed route of this phony eclipse. Hotels, motels, and campgrounds have sold all their space for the weekend preceding the "event" and for the two days afterward. It's almost a month before this fraud and you can't get a seat on a plane to Boise or Kankakee. Never happened before, and its lining the pockets of those who thought it up and the rest of the business community along for the ride. Now, some of them are asking why they hadn't done this before. If we'd had a solar eclipse in 2009, Obama wouldn't have needed 8 years to get us out of the Great Recession."
That was good enough for Hannity, but he still had a question, one that he asked reluctantly. "O. K., you make sense when you look at the dollars. But if there is no eclipse, what happens then?"
Guy smiled. "Oh, there will be an "eclipse," all right. Not that ridiculous solar one, but a manufactured "eclipse," right out of Silicon Valley. Those high tech boys are concocting a kind of black fog that will be released in stages across the country. Yup, all the yokels standing in a meadow near Boise will see the sky go black for a few minutes as a satellite, orbiting in sync with the moon, releases whatever it is the techies have created. From the Oregon coast to the Atlantic, onlookers will "Ooh" and "Ah" as they witness the sight that they'll tell their grandkids about. But the grandkids will giggle, because they'll have learned in their history and science classes about the Great Solar Eclipse Hoax of 2017."
As the interview ended, Hannity informed his viewers that Guy also denied the lunar landing, claimed that the Mars rovers were in the Crater of the Moon, and is currently the press agent for Global Warming Skeptics.
"Someone else will host this program during August," Hannity added. "I'll be in Boise." And in an aside to his show's staff, "Can anyone loan me a telescope?"
Ralph E. Shaffer is professor emeritus of history at Cal Poly Pomona. email@example.com