Most Networks Skip Story of Obama's Socialist Global Warming Czar

Fox News on Wednesday continued to be one of the very few media outlets covering the fact that Barack Obama's new "global warming czar" has ties to socialist groups. While all three network morning shows ignored the story, "Fox News Live" host Megyn Kelly interviewed climate change skeptic Senator James Inhofe on the subject.

After noting that appointee Carol Browner was a member of the Socialist group Commission for a Sustainable World Society, Kelly seemed puzzled as to how such a person could be given a prominent position in the Obama administration. "And she's pretty openly committed to these socialist policies....How does that happen? Is there going to be an uproar about it," the Fox News host wondered.

She later added, "Okay, but I think the viewers watching this are wondering what does it mean when you've got someone who advocate these socialist policies and has been an open member of this group?" (Browner's name has since been removed from the group's web page.) Kelly also suggested viewers take a look at the organization's website, which she suggested some would find "extreme." (The group advocates global government and aggressive economic penalties on countries such as the U.S. to reduce global warming.)

Defining the possibility of what could happen if environmental policies are adopted, Senator Inhofe explained, "What we've got to do is make sure people understand that this isn't cheap. If you want to have a cap-and-trade system for Co2, you're talking about an annual tax increase of $300 billion a year." (A version of the so-called cap and trade plan will be considered by Congress this year.) He elaborated, "This is the wrong time to try to push something. But all of them are all together on this and will make every effort to do it. Just remember that."

ABC's "Good Morning America," NBC's "Today" show and CBS's "Early Show have all yet to address the topics discussed by Ms. Kelly and Senator Inhofe. The subject was also mentioned on Tuesday's edition of "Hannity."

For more on this, see a previous post by Noel Sheppard.

A transcript of the January 14 segment, which aired at 9:36am, follows:

MEGYN KELLY: Well, she is our new global warming czar. And new questions arising this morning about her socialist ties. Until last week, Carol Browner was listed as a leader of a socialist group called Commission for a Sustainable World Society. Now, this group advocates global governance, believing that rich countries like the United States have an obligation to shrink their economies and their energy use to limit global warming. The group has also been harshly critical of various U.S. policies. Browner's name and her bio were scrubbed from the group's web site just last week. And now some are wondering if she is an appropriate choice for this newly created post. Joining us now, the top Republican on the Senate's Environment and Public Works Committee, Oklahoma Senator James Inhofe. Senator, good morning to you.

JAMES INHOFE: Hi, Megyn.

KELLY: What concerns do you have about Carol Browner?

INHOFE: Well, you know, I was with Carol Browner for the years that she was the EPA director under, under Clinton. And I got to know her pretty well. And, of course, we did a lot of combat. And it's kind of- the humorous part of this is in the last meeting that we had before Bush was elected, I said something, I said, "You know, Carol, this is the last on the two of us will be in the same room together. And she said, "I don't know which one of us is happier." Now she is back. Carol Browner- I do not know what her role is because we have never had a czar of energy and the environment before. It does concern me. And you very accurately talked about this Commission for Sustainable World Society. But there's another which was involved in, that's the Socialist International, which is an umbrella group of all the socialist groups. So, she is, you know, pretty extreme in my eyes in terms of her liberal leanings. And she is in an awkward situation though, Megyn, than what she was when she was there. Because back during the Clinton administration, most of this science was on this side of global warming. In other words, man-made gases was causing global warming. Now it is completely reversed. And if anyone questions that, we have a list of 650 of the most prominent scientists that now have changed their position on this thing. And besides that, we're in a cooling period. So, her work is cut out for her.

KELLY: How you get a person who is, who is- She is one the 14 leaders of this socialist group- appointed to a position that is the essentially the cabinet-level? She will be attending cabinet meetings.

INHOFE: She will be.

KELLY: And she's pretty openly committed to these socialist policies, a least according to these published reports in the Washington Times, in the Washington Examiner. And even according to the group's own web site. How does that happen? Is there going to be an uproar about it?

INHOFE: Well, there is an uproar about it. I think people- At least I'll say this, they're being honest about it. You and others are talking about this. It is a fact that she has belonged to these organizations. In fact, under the Clinton administration, when she was EPA director, they didn't want- they kind of hid that. Now, she made an attempt to take her name off of the two organizations that we've already talked about. But, it's heavy lifting out there. However, I look at it this way. They consider me an extremist because I am ranked as maybe the most conservative member of the United States Senate, but they're in a position- Where do you draw the line between an extreme liberal and a socialist? It's, you know- Everyone has a different view of that. I have other problems with Carol Browner. There's another organization that a lot of people don't realize. It's called the Center for American Progress- This report that came out- this is the group trying for the fairness doctrine, trying to, I think, dramatically offend the First Amendment and try to stop talk radio and talk TV for being conservative. And so, I consider that to be-

KELLY: And she was a member of the group?

Yes. She's a member of that group. It's called the Center for American Progress. John Podesta put this together. A year and a half ago, they came out with the report I just referenced.

KELLY: But do we care, senator? If she's going to be the climate czar, she's not going to have to do with the Fairness Doctrine or the FCC. Is she?

INHOFE: Well, she is in on all the meetings, the highest level meetings. Let's keep in mind, she's an appointment, not the nominee, so there's no confirmation. We're having a confirmation hearing of Lisa Jackson and Nancy Sutler just in a few minutes right now to be the head of the EPA and the CEQ.

KELLY: Right. So you get to vet these people. You get to ask questions. Not so in her case. But, let me ask you this, because I think to viewers watching this-

INHOFE: Well, I'm going to ask- I am going to ask questions as to what Carol's role will be.

KELLY: Okay, but I think the viewers watching this are wondering what does it mean when you've got someone who advocate these socialist policies and has been an open member of this group? And I invite people to look at their website to see just how they feel about climate change and what needs to be done to cut back to stop it. By most standards, some would say it is a little extreme. But what is this going to mean for the United States, our energy consumption, and the, sort of, regulations that we could expect to see under her as our climate czar?

INHOFE: Well, we have had- It goes back to the Kyoto treaty. Since then, we have had two major pieces of legislation that would do this. What we've got to do is make sure people understand that this isn't cheap. If you want to have a cap-and-trade system for Co2, you're talking about an annual tax increase of $300 billion a year. This is extremely expensive. We're going to be talking about this, along with the change in science. This is the wrong time to try to push something. But all of them are all together on this and will make every effort to do it. Just remember that.

KELLY: Well, a lot of people on Capitol Hill are against cap-and-trade. Interestingly, the group she was apart of is also against it but because they think it will be too harsh on American businesses, but because they think it does not go hard enough. They think that it is too flexible. It does not clamped down hard enough on U.S. businesses and so on. So, one wonders what is going to happen.

INHOFE: Yeah. Let's keep in mind, Megyn, even if you are a believer that man made gas has caused all of this, which I am not, but if you are, what good does it do us unilaterally in the United States of America to have some real punitive thing economically speaking and then our jobs, they go to countries were there are no emission requirements: China, Mexico and other places? So it would have a net increase worldwide of Co2 if we did this. So, logic is just not- They have got their work cut out for them. I don't think they're going to pull this off.

KELLY: Well, we invite Ms. Browner to come on and elaborate on her position and her connection with this group. We love to hear from her or the Obama administration on this at anytime. Senator, in the meantime, our best to you.

Scott Whitlock
Scott Whitlock
Scott Whitlock is the senior news analyst for the Media Research Center and a contributing editor for NewsBusters.org