ABC News: Fear and Loathing in the Arctic

On Saturday’s "Good Morning America," ABC News managed to set a new gold standard for biased reporting on global warming when they aired a tendentious report on the "sensitive and emotional and loving" polar bear that "has become the iconic face of climate change".

The report, by reporter Bill Blakemore failed to include any critics of global warming and neglected to highlight a recent study indicated that the polar bear population is actually rising. Indeed, ABC decided to ignore the facts in order to present an emotionally-charged story with a predetermined message.

GMA featured polar bear photographer Steven Kozlowski whose work Blakemore cited as evidence of global warming's threat.  Kozlowski described playing "tag" with the animals while gushing:

they're smart enough to take blubber that was frozen and break a hole in the ice and put it in the water and let it thaw out. They'll sit outside a seal hole for days waiting for a seal to come out. They are a zen creature of the arctic in a sense in that they have to sit there and meditate and be quiet...

After presenting this thoroughly emotional case, reporter Bill Blakemore  warned that the angelic polar bear could soon be obliterated by global warming.

The reporter cued Kozlowski stating, "It's their environment that's actually melting away from under them during the summer months."

Wrapping up his alarmist feature, Blakemore blended Walt Disney sentimentality with Al Gore bluster:

The polar bear has become the icon for all that humanity stands to lose from global warming. Its great beauty, all that rich white fur it would feel so good to touch makes it an alluring symbol for a frightening story...

So according to ABC News, the polar bear is a glorious animal threatened by the evils of global warming. Yet a study released in May of 2007 shows polar bear numbers are rising.

There aren't just a few more bears. There are a ... lot more bears," biologist Mitchell Taylor told the Nunatsiaq News of Iqaluit in the Arctic territory of Nunavut.

Apparently fairness and accuracy don’t have a snowball’s chance in hell when the subject matter is global warming.Blakemore’s report confirms a prophetic warning by my colleague and fellow NewsBusters contributor Lyndsi Thomas, that the mainstream media would hope to use the furry, lovable polar bear in lieu of sound science to send chills down readers’ spines about global warming.

A full transcript is below:

Kate Snow: You know, the polar bear has become the iconic face of climate change and this summer scientists are saying the North Pole could be without ice. Another symptom of a warming planet and that is bad news for the polar bear. This morning an unprecedented look at these lovely creatures. Here's ABC's Bill Blakemore.

Bill Blakemore: We knew polar bears were fierce. But playful? Curious? And such social creatures? Steven Kozlowski spent nine years getting to know them, capturing these intimate pictures.

Steven Kozlowski: They're also extremely sensitive and emotional and loving. They even at times tried to incorporate me into a game of tag when I was taking pictures for this book "the last polar bear" where they would actually try and sneak up behind me and tag me. I never imagined that they'd interact on such a level I would see. It almost seemed like they were a moving community, if you will. They're smart enough to take blubber that was frozen and break a hole in the ice and put it in the water and let it thaw out. They'll sit outside a seal hole for days waiting for a seal to come out. They are a zen creature of the arctic in a sense in that they have to sit there and meditate and be quiet and really, um really feel the ice and feel the vibrations.

Blakemore: Evolution has landed the polar bear on the ice to hunt its main food, seals, polar bears must have sea ice. Most of which is now thin ice.

Kozlowski: It's their environment that's actually melting away from under them during the summer months. The changes I've seen are particular during the summer and the fall where you traditionally had huge pans of ice through September and October back into freeze-up. That's no longer occurring. At the end of the day, mother nature has the last word.

Blakemore: The polar bear has become the icon for all that humanity stands to lose from global warming. Its great beauty, all that rich white fur it would feel so good to touch makes it an alluring symbol for a frightening story. For "Good Morning America," Bill Blakemore, ABC News, New York.

Snow: You can see more of those amazing pictures of polar bears on our website, a whole slide show at ABCNews.com.