CNN Barely Covered March for Life, But Hypes Much Smaller Earth Day Rally

Over the last few decades, the liberal media have celebrated Earth Day and used it to spread the gospel of green liberalism. CNN's Sunday reporting was no exception as the network touted public figures headlining an Earth Day rally in Washington, D.C., like the city's Democratic Mayor Vincent Gray and the rock band Cheap Trick.

However, for the March for Life rally in January that was attended by at least tens of thousands of pro-lifers, CNN gave it two brief mentions on-air. In contrast, while reportedly only hundreds showed up to celebrate Earth Day on the National Mall, CNN touted it as a "big rally" and covered it in-depth on Sunday afternoon, telling its viewers "we want you to know all about this."

CNN prides itself on being a serious news network, but it submitted itself to being a simple megaphone for the Earth Day organizers. Correspondent Josh Levs admitted as much after airing a YouTube video that laid out the goals for the Earth Day movement.

"We have really stunning images to help you understand the extent to which the world has changed. So we want you all to know all about this. The kinds of things that they're calling for on Earth Day, the kinds of things that are going on out there, and what the events are," said Levs, who also directed the audience to links about the day on Facebook and Twitter.

One of the goals laid out by the movement, that CNN relayed to its cable news audience, was "trying to build a green economy and getting more green policies up there." Such a goal could be considered a political agenda, but CNN had no problem carrying water for the movement.

"Earth Day 2012 activists want to pressure world leaders to address pressing issues like endangered wildlife, Arctic melting and air pollution," noted anchor Don Lemon later on during the 6 p.m. hour.

The National Mall rally drew a crowd of only hundreds, according to Examiner.com, with about 40 people around the main stage of speakers. While the rain soaked the spectators, CNN's Fredricka Whitfield wouldn't let her spirit be dampened. "Rainy. Didn't stop anybody," she professed. "But, the festivities still going on. Despite the rain. I love it," cooed CNN's meteorologist Jaqui Jeras.

CNN mentioned Earth Day during the 4-7 p.m. hours of Newsroom, and on the 10 p.m. hour of Newsroom on Sunday.  Don Lemon hailed the "remarkable" accomplishment of Earth Day being able to unite 1 billion participants.

A transcript of the segments, which aired on April 22 on CNN Newsroom, is as follows:

[4:32]

FREDRICKA WHITFIELD: All right. Earth Day celebrations are happening all over the world today. Joining me right now live from Washington, Cheap Trick. Rick Nielsen and Tom Petersson there, (Unintelligible) it up. Hey good to see you. I'm glad you got your toppers. Because I know it's very rainy there in the nation's capital. How are you guys doing?

RICK NIELSEN, Cheap Trick: Yeah, it's – good, we just landed, and we're here. And we just saw Jesse Jackson. And I'm looking for other famous people around here.

WHITFIELD: All right. Well, you're the famous ones that everyone's waiting for during this Earth Day celebration there in D.C. So, you know, why is this important to you, Rick?

NIELSEN: Well, let's see. We all have families, and our fans are part of our family. And the whole world is an important place to be. And we're just happy that we got invited to be here. How about that? That's a good deal.

WHITFIELD: That's pretty impressive. So Tom, what are you all performing today? What's the message that you hope to send out?

TOM PETERSSON, Cheap Trick: By our performance you mean?

WHITFIELD: Yeah.

PETERSSON: Well, I think just that we're here, and everybody can pitch in and do whatever they can do. This is what we do for a living. And we're happy we can help.

(...)

[4:51]

WHITFIELD: Happy Earth Day. Crowds are gathered in Washington, D.C. and a lot of other places around the world to send a message to the people of the planet. Josh Levs is here, watching Earth Day celebrations, recognitions, all that.

JOSH LEVS, CNN correspondent: Yeah, I mean we've been watching it throughout the day. You were talking with Cheap Trick. I mean you know, there's a lot going on there. The organizers say that a billion people around the world mark Earth Day in some fashion, by doing something.

WHITFIELD: Well good, that's impressive.

LEVS: It is pretty impressive. So one thing I wonder is what's their message. Well they put it out in a YouTube video. Take a look here.

Actually, we're looking at pictures from earlier, from what was going there. So that's what's been going on, the National Mall. But there's also sights all over the world. And we have some live pictures –

WHITFIELD: Rainy. Didn't stop anybody.

LEVS: Yeah, exactly. Now, let's take a look at that YouTube video where they lay out what this is all about.

(Begin Video Clip)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Let's stand together on Earth Day, April 22nd, and show our leaders that we want renewable energy.

UNIDENTIFED FEMALE: Improved energy efficiency.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Green jobs.

UNIDENTIFED FEMALE: Clean air.

(End Video Clip)

LEVS: Okay, so they have this laundry list of the things that are most important to them. And they talk about trying to build a green economy and getting more green policies up there. And they're hoping that all these events will do that. They also call on the world to carry out a billion acts of green. They want people to make all these different pledges. Since this is Earth Day, and we're talking about the earth, I want to show you some amazing pictures that we have exclusively here at CNN. And these are two examples that show how the world has changed over recent years. The first one we are going to show you here is from Dubai. Take a look at this. This is what Dubai looked like in 2000. This is it in 2010. Now watch when I slide this along. This shows how much it has changed. Look, you can see the population moving more and more and more out.

Now, one more. Take a look here at Vegas. All right. This is Vegas back in 1984. Green being where people are, where people have set up lives. Where the city has spread to. Now take a look over here, the more we spread it along, the more you see it's all the way up there.

WHITFIELD: Wow, it spread.

LEVS: It's incredible. We have really stunning images to help you understand the extent to which the world has changed. So we want you all to know all about this. The kinds of things that they're calling for on Earth Day, the kinds of things that are going on out there, and what the events are. We linked them all up for you on my pages, they're all up online on Facebook and Twitter, JoshLevsCNN, and the blog CNN.com/josh. There's also a fun thing there about  Earth Day by the numbers. You can check out and see if you know what you're talking about.

WHITFIELD: Oh gosh. Well it's good, everyone needs some encouragement and ideas. Because it is hard sometimes to break your habits. And try to – try out something that's new, that might be greener and less of a carbon footprint.

LEVS: Exactly. Ultimately, that's the message, can you start doing one thing today that will ultimately help the world. That's what people want to see.

WHITFIELD: All right. Great idea. Thanks so much, Josh. Appreciate that.

LEVS: You got it, Fred.

(...)

[5:27]

JAQUI JERAS: And of course, yes, you mentioned Washington, D.C. and all the rain, it's Earth Day, Fredricka.

WHITFIELD: I know.

JERAS: But, the festivities still going on. Despite the rain. I love it.

WHITFIELD: That's right. It is not drowning out the festivities there on the nation's mall. Thanks so much, Jacqui.

(...)

[6:30]

DON LEMON: Getting a billion people to agree on anything in itself, well, it is remarkable. But Earth Day makes it all possible. From cutting back highway shrubbery on a hot day outside San Francisco to rallying support for the environment in a steady rain in Washington, Earth Day 2012 activists want to pressure world leaders to address pressing issues like endangered wildlife, Arctic melting and air pollution.
 

Matt Hadro
Matt Hadro
Matt Hadro was a News Analyst for the Media Research Center's News Analysis Division from 2010 through early 2014