ClimateGate Ignored, Again -- Broadcast Nets Go with State Dinner Menu, Sea Lions and Pete the Moose

It probably won't come as any surprise, but coverage of the ClimateGate scandal, which involved the Climate Research Unit at University of East Anglia in Britain suffering a breach of data, was nowhere to be found.

Allegedly a hacker broke into the University's computer system and posted thousands of emails and documents showing an effort by scientists, some on the United Nation's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), whose research has had a profound impact in shaping U.S. policy proposal on efforts to curb so-called anthropogenic climate change. Those emails and documents revealed an effort by some the scientists to manipulate data to exaggerate the threat of global warming and that has even prompted Sen. James Inhofe, Okla., the ranking Republican on the U.S. Senate's Environment and Public Works committee to call for an investigation.

Such a story would seem to be a no-brainer for the ABC, CBS and NBC to pick up on, but their Nov. 24 broadcasts failed to do so. What did they opt for instead? A sea lion glut in San Francisco, an orphaned moose in Vermont and the meal selection on the President's State Dinner. 

"Where does a 500-pound sea lion sleep? At San Francisco Fisherman's Wharf, just about anywhere it wants," CBS correspondent John Blackstone said.

But that was no match for NBC correspondent Norah O'Donnell's glowing account of the Obama White House's first State Dinner.

"Every detail meticulously planned: the purple flowers and green tablecloth a tribute to India's state bird, the peacock; the menu a tribute to the vegetarian guest of honor, the prime minister, meat-free," NBC correspondent Norah O'Donnell said. "But you do have a choice of prawns. For the entertainment - call it Hollywood meets Bollywood."

But ClimateGate got bumped on ABC for one really important story - Pete the orphaned moose, which Vermont authorities are arguing can't live on a farm.

"Finally tonight, the battle to save a moose," ABC "World News" anchor Charles Gibson said. "It's a story that might go unnoticed, except this battle to save this moose, his name is Pete, has come something of a cause celeb in Vermont. So ABC's John Berman went up north to check it out."