Networks Eagerly Push White House Climate Change Agenda Ahead of Obama Interviews

On Tuesday, the NBC, ABC, and CBS morning shows all seized on a new climate change report being released by the White House ahead of a slate of interviews with President Obama conducted by network meteorologists. [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]

On NBC's Today, weatherman Al Roker stood in front of the White House holding up a draft copy of the report and proclaimed: "This is why we're here. This document, the National Climate Assessment Report, it comes out later this morning, and once it does, there are going to be administration officials, scientists around, we'll be talking with them. And then this afternoon we interview the President of the United States about this report."

On ABC's Good Morning America, co-host Robin Roberts touted meteorologist Ginger Zee preparing to sit down with the commander-in-chief: "You're going to talk to the President of the United States later today about climate change." Zee excitedly replied: "Yes. And I'm very much looking forward to that interview."

During a news brief in the 8 a.m. ET hour, anchor Amy Robach declared:

Today, the White House is releasing what's being called the most comprehensive review of climate change in more than a decade, outlining new rules on emissions at power plants. Saying the efforts taken so far have been insufficient. The report also warns that coastal areas are unprepared for rising sea levels and areas of the south need to do more to prepare for water shortages.

CBS This Morning co-host Norah O'Donnell hyped how the report would "spell out the potential risk to Americans." In a recap of the news in the 8 a.m. ET hour, fellow co-host Gayle King warned: "The Obama administration says climate change is hurting Americans and the pain will get worse."

Meteorologist Megan Glaros of Chicago's local CBS affiliate WBBM, reported from the White House ahead of her interview with the President: "I will speak to the President regarding that, and as well, what we can do about it, whether the weather is already being impacted by global warming."

Both Claros and Roker tried to connect climate change to current weather conditions. Glaros fretted: "We have seen so many weather extremes over the course of the past few weeks alone. Historic rainfall last week, the tornado outbreak, and now record heat in the plains. So the big question is, is global warming already affecting our weather patterns?"

Roker blamed wildfires on the climate theory: "And one of the things they talk about [in the report], the increased chances of fire, and it is really crazy out there....And if the last 18 months has been any indication, things are going a little nutty right now.....We've got – and this – they talk about this in the report – we've got a big fire danger throughout a good portion of the southwest into the central plains."

Given how thrilled the media personalities were by the report, will any of them challenge Obama on the topic?  


Here are transcripts of the May 6 morning show coverage of the climate change report:

Today
7:13 AM ET

SAVANNAH GUTHRIE: Let's check in with Al. He's down at the White House this morning. He's going to be interviewing the President a bit later today. Al, how's it going?

AL ROKER: Hey, it's good. We just saw Bo, he was out for his walk. This is why we're here. This document, the National Climate Assessment Report, it comes out later this morning, and once it does, there are going to be administration officials, scientists around, we'll be talking with them. And then this afternoon we interview the President of the United States about this report.

And one of the things they talk about, the increased chances of fire, and it is really crazy out there. Here's why we're looking at an increased fire risk. Big ridge of high pressure. The jet stream is way up along the Canadian border. We're getting a southwesterly flow of air. Low humidity. It's gonna get windy again today in Oklahoma and Texas, so you can see we've got red flag warnings, and as we superimpose – these are fires that are burning right now over 100 acres. You can see it's a wide area of fires that are burning.

And so we have an extreme risk of fire danger around a good portion of the country, from the southwest all the way into Wichita. Critical. And then the extreme areas from Texas on into Oklahoma with record high temperatures, low humidity, and those strong winds. So fire has been a big problem all this week and will continue that way. We're going to get to your local forecast coming up in the next 30 seconds.

[COMMERCIAL]

[LOCAL FORECAST]

ROKER: And that's your latest weather, Willie.

WILLIE GEIST: Alright, Al, thanks a lot. We'll talk to you in just a bit.


Good Morning America
8:04 AM ET

AMY ROBACH: And we begin with a new warning about the financial and environmental impact of climate change.

[ON-SCREEN HEADLINE: Climate Change Warning; Report: Urgent Preparations Are Needed]

Today, the White House is releasing what's being called the most comprehensive review of climate change in more than a decade, outlining new rules on emissions at power plants. Saying the efforts taken so far have been insufficient. The report also warns that coastal areas are unprepared for rising sea levels and areas of the south need to do more to prepare for water shortages.


CBS This Morning
7:07 AM ET

NORAH O'DONNELL: And President Obama and his top aides are worried that the hot weather
in the plains will only get worse. This morning, the administration is releasing the government's newest report on climate change. That study will spell out the potential risk to Americans.

[ON-SCREEN HEADLINE: Focus on Climate; President Obama to Unveil New Federal Report]

Meteorologist Megan Glaros of CBS station WBBM is at the White House and she'll interview the President later today. She's also watching a new severe weather threat in the middle of the country. Megan, good morning.

[ON-SCREEN HEADLINE: Storms Return; Millions Brace for Another Round of Severe Weather]

MEGAN GLAROS: Good morning. Yes, I am looking at the potential for severe weather ramping up into Wednesday, Thursday, and potentially Friday as well. This coming on the heels of last week's tornado outbreak. The greatest risk will extend from the northern plains all the way down to the southern plains, but there could be thunderstorm activity from the plains all the way into the Midwest. And watch as we go through the day on Wednesday and into Thursday, you'll see those storms revving up as we move into the afternoon and the overnight.

The problem is, the storm system is going to be progressing on off to the east. The jet stream will fuel the potential for strong to severe thunderstorms as that clash of air masses works from the west to the east. And once again, today, we're looking at near record heat across parts of the southern plains.

We have seen so many weather extremes over the course of the past few weeks alone. Historic rainfall last week, the tornado outbreak, and now record heat in the plains. So the big question is, is global warming already affecting our weather patterns? The government will release a new report later today on the climate. I'll get a chance to speak with President Obama about that report today and I will bring that to you tomorrow. Norah.

O'DONNELL: Looking forward to that, Megan, thank you so much.

Kyle Drennen
Kyle Drennen
Kyle Drennen is a News Analyst for MRC