Plenty of prominent media figures were upset with President Obama over his substandard address to the nation last night (full text). While most are distraught, none seem to be doing what should be the essential journalistic task of the day: pointing out all of the factual misstatements the president made.
So, in absence of a serious attempt at fact-checking from the legacy media, let us undertake some of our own.
In all, the president misrepresented the federal government's--and especially his cabinet's--role in creating the conditions that led to the spill, the state of the nation's oil reserves, and his own administration's involvement with BP. Futhermore, his transition from discussing the Gulf spill to advocating "clean energy" legislation was a huge logical leap, and one that necessarily misrepresents the problems the nation faces with regard to energy.
Since Obama took office, there's been a leftward swing toward increased regulation. The news media have supported that tilt, generally failing to demand explanations for high profile failures of government regulators.
From the financial crisis to the Gulf oil spill, a recent string of problems exposed serious failures of government regulators that are supposed to protect the public. But broadcast news media rarely criticized the poor performance of government in such cases.
Take the worsening oil spill off the Gulf Coast that has been called an "environmental catastrophe." The network evening shows have aired a flood of news reports attacking British Petroleum, on the progress of the clean up and speculating about how much wildlife and economic damage could result.
But some of the blame appears to rest on the shoulders of the federal government - something the evening shows didn't acknowledge until more than three weeks after the drilling rig exploded on April 21. In fact, it wasn't until after Obama spoke out against the federal agency on May 14 that any of the evening shows criticized government regulators.
The Pentagon rescinded the invitation of evangelist Franklin Graham to speak at its May 6 National Day of Prayer event because of complaints about his previous comments about Islam.
The Military Religious Freedom Foundation expressed its concern over Graham's involvement with the event in an April 19 letter sent to Secretary of Defense Robert Gates. MRFF's complaint about Graham, the son of Rev. Billy Graham, focused on remarks he made after 9/11 in which he called Islam "wicked" and "evil" and his lack of apology for those words.
Col. Tom Collins, an Army spokesman, told ABC News on April 22, "This Army honors all faiths and tries to inculcate our soldiers and work force with an appreciation of all faiths and his past comments just were not appropriate for this venue."
Although it was woefully short on actual ads, the advertising supplement featured thirteen columns that sponsored, championed, and moralized the environmental catastrophe sure to result if Americans - and sometimes others - don't dramatically overhaul the economy and lifestyles. It predictably featured loud calls for more and more government while consciously downplaying the costs to the American economy.
Sources for the special "Environmental Leadership" supplement include:
Sources for the special "Environmental Leadership" supplement include:
New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg urging Congress to adopt the Green Taxis Act requiring all taxi owners to buy hybrids when retiring old vehicles.
Greensburg, Kansas Mayor Bob Dixson recommending every city emulate Greensburg's environmental standards for buildings.
We have now reached the apex of "heads I win, tails you lose" global-warming alarmism. In his April 18 op-ed for the LA Times, author Eli Kintisch warned that "the world is running short on air pollution, and if we continue to cut back on smoke pouring forth from industrial smokestacks," global warming consequences could be "profound."
Having painted themselves into an environmental conundrum, Kintisch and climate scientists are left debating how they are going to proceed with sulfate aerosols - a natural and anthropogenic air pollutant believed to have cooling properties on the earth's atmosphere.
"Thanks to cooling by aerosols starting in the 1940s, however, the planet has only felt a portion of that greenhouse warming. In the 1980s, sulfate pollution dropped as Western nations enhanced pollution controls, and as a result, global warming accelerated," Kintisch wrote.
"There's hot debate over the size of what amounts to a cooling mask, but there's no question that it will diminish as industries continue to clean traditional pollutants from their smokestacks. Unlike CO2, which persists in the atmosphere for centuries, aerosols last for a week at most in the air. So cutting them would probably accelerate global warming rapidly."
"Officials say it's too soon to pinpoint the exact cause of the tragic explosion at the Upper Big Branch mine in West Virginia that took the lives of 29 miners, but we certainly know enough to identify the root cause," Huffington began. "It's the same cause that led to the 2006 Sago mine disaster in West Virginia that killed 12 miners. And it's also the same cause that led to the Lehman Brothers disaster, the Citigroup disaster, the bursting of the housing bubble, and the implosion of our financial system: a badly broken regulatory system."
"The economic collapse has not killed people, but it has gradually destroyed millions of lives. Both calamities occurred because elected officials who should have been creating a regulatory system that protects working families instead created a system that protects the corporations it was meant to watch over."
Rolling Stone, a music magazine in the same sense that MTV is a music-video channel, was featured on this morning's edition of Morning Joe. Their cover story is not about the latest escapades of Kanye West or Lady Gaga; instead, they have chosen to write about global warming. Before anyone asks, none of the above recording artists (to my knowledge) have recorded a song which would have spawned this article.
"As the World Burns," is the eyes-bleeding hyperbolic title of the article. Contents: The 17 people whom Rolling Stone calls "climate killers." And the first target of the article: Billionaire investor and ardent Obama supporter, Warren Buffett:
JOE SCARBOROUGH: You put Warren Buffett on that list, I thought he was an Obama supporter?
MSNBC's David Shuster declared yesterday's fake Chamber of Commerce presser at the National Press Club the "Best prank of [the] week" on his Twitter page shortly before 5:30 p.m. EDT today. He added a link taking readers to the left-leaning blog Talking Points Memo.
A group of liberal environmentalist activists punked some journalists by throwing a press conference claiming to represent the Chamber of Commerce. In the fake presser, the pranksters claimed that the Chamber was reversing its opposition to so-called cap-and-trade legislation.
A country boy can survive the Obama administration. Just ask Hank Williams, Jr.
The country music artist -- best known to millions of Americans regardless of their musical taste for his "Are You Ready For Some Football?" theme to Monday Night Football -- was profiled yesterday by Bill Lynch of the Charleston [W.V.] Gazette (h/t my NB colleague Tim Graham).
Lynch spent a considerable portion of his profile focused on Williams's politics, including his upcoming gig at a Labor Day TEA Party:
You know when a liberal has lost any capability to understand the common American when they completely miss the pain that liberal tax hikers cause the average citizen in this country. Charlie Cook recently showed this elitist attitude in a National Journal column on the outrageous costs of the Cap and Trade bill – better called the Cap and Tax bill. Of course, to him, the tax hike on the average American is not a big deal and he doesn’t understand how anyone could be upset over it all.
Cook is perplexed why Washington pols were “getting an earful” from constituents over the energy tax hikes that the Cap and Trade bill will force on the nation. He just couldn’t figure why adding “only” an additional $175 a year to the average citizen’s electric bill was such a big deal.
Remember the good old days—when dissent was patriotic? Fuggedaboutit. Dissent isn't merely unpatriotic now. It's downright treasonous. Just ask Paul Krugman.
If, like virtually all House Republicans and a handful of Dems, you don't agree with the likes of Henry Waxman on the need to take radical measures on the climate, you're guilty of . . . "a form of treason." Treason against the planet, to be precise.
NASA's James Hansen is looking to stir up trouble at a coal mining facility in West Virginia, and the CEO of the company about to be marched on isn't taking it lying down.
Quite the contrary, Massey Energy's Don L. Blankenship, whose company is set to be protested by Hansen and actress Daryl Hannah this coming Tuesday, has challenged the NASA official to debate him about global warming and West Virginia's economy.
As reported by WOWKTV.com Sunday, Blankenship issued the following statement concerning the matter:
Riding on a waning crest of bringing change to the United States and cleaning up the environment, Barack Obama is going head to head against Barbara Boxer on a big issue. There are 44 coal ash dumps that have been designated as a "high hazard" to the public. They contain arsenic and heavy metals from coal plants. Barbara Boxer has seen the list and wants to make it public, whereas Barack Obama essentially told her "No, ma'am." It's important to know if you're in the path of one in case it regurgitates a billion gallons of hazardous waste on you.
Green groups are seeing red over this betrayal of campaign promises to bring a new era of openness. In fact, the average Earth-conscious moonbat is going to do a chai tea spit-take when they read about this in the newspaper. (And just wait until they read about Obama deciding to let Big Coal blow the top off 42 Appalachian mountaintops to strip mine.)
But that's where the problem lies. Jump on over to Google News and search for the term "Obama Coal Arsenic". You'll find that you won't really find anything. Anything. In fact, the only mention in the entire vast United States media is a short little editorial in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
On Sunday’s CBS ‘60 Minutes,’ anchor Scott Pelley, who once remarked that global warming critics were the equivalent of Holocaust deniers, identified the American coal industry as one of the main culprits of climate change: "The future of our climate might be summed up in one question, what do we do about coal? Coal generates nearly half the electricity in the United States and in the world. But it is the dirtiest fuel of all when it comes to carbon dioxide, or CO-2, the leading greenhouse gas. A few days ago, the Obama administration declared, for the first time, that CO-2 is a threat to human health and it plans to impose limits."
Pelley’s story did feature a representative of the coal industry, Duke Energy CEO Jim Rogers, who actually called for limitations on carbon emissions: "It's my judgment it is a problem. We need to go to work on it now. And it's critical that we start to act in this country...Our goal line is substantially to reduce our carbon footprint, to de-carbonize our business, by 2050." However, that wasn’t good enough for Pelley: "Four decades? That's a long time."
Pelley followed up by citing left-wing global warming activist Jim Hansen: "2050 is too late. We will have guaranteed disasters for our children, grandchildren, and the unborn." Pelley explained: "Jim Hansen is NASA's top climate scientist. He's credited with some of the earliest and most accurate projections on climate change. He thinks that Rogers plan leaves the Earth in the oven decades too long."
After getting wiped all over the floor by Marc Morano in a March 27 global warming debate, and responding by childishly forbidding any articles of Morano's be linked at his Climate Progress blog, Joe Romm has set his sights on NewsBusters.
For your Friday evening entertainment pleasure, last week Sen James Inhofe's (R-Ok.) former communications director Marc Morano debated Climate Progress's Joe Romm on matters relating to the global warming myth.
UPDATE at end of post: Romm hysterically responds to NewsBusters.
Presented courtesy of Roll Call TV (debate begins at minute 3:45, part two below the fold):
BMI's Dan Gainor has a great column on the Fox Forum about the silence around "global cooling."
This is the winter of environmentalists’ discontent. They desperately want the earth to be warming to prove Al Gore’s truth inviolate and they are going to make you pay thousands of dollars for it no matter whether it’s true or not.
But the weather has been inconveniently cold. Thirty-two states have experienced record or near-record lows this winter – poking holes in the predictions of imminent fiery doom. Just ask the die-hard global warming activists who showed up in Washington last week to protest the nation’s use of coal. Their event was hampered by nearly a foot of snow in the nation’s capital – enough to freeze out luminaries like Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi.
Still, there they were, a couple thousand idiots standing in a winter wonderland, chanting about global warming. What’s amazing is that NASA’s climate chief James Hansen was part of this foolishness. Here we have a man who the left keeps telling us is so smart we need to listen to everything he says and he doesn’t have the public relations sense of a freshman communications major.
I have a news flash for Mr. Hansen – it gets cold in the winter. Sometimes it snows – even in Washington. If you want to promote global warming, look at a thermometer and wait until that red stuff climbs up real high.
“Oh, god,” why did he have to use that word? According to MSNBC’s Chris Matthews, the GOP “outsourced” the Republican response to a young, successful Indian-American governor who “had nothing to do with Congress.”
They had to outsource the response tonight, the Republican party. They had to outsource to someone who had nothing to do with Congress because the Republicans in Congress had nothing to do with the programs he was talking about tonight or the record he referred to.
First of all, one might point out that Piyush “Bobby” Jindal was a member of the U.S. House of Representatives from 2004 to 2006. Furthermore, Republican governors are quite important members of the party. The idea that the GOP was bringing in an outsider is flat out wrong.
While Capitol Hill is working on a "compromise" I thought it fitting to take a look at how the usual suspects in the media are dealing with Republican leaders that dare speak out and identify elements of the stimulus package that have nothing to do with stimulating the economy. For this task I turned to Rolling Stone Magazine and quickly came upon an article headlined "The Unserious Opposition".
With the simple phrase "And look at what the GOP considers to be pork in this bill", Dickinson takes the common path of those that can't stop living in the past and sarcastically twists the list to portray the Republicans as "Cheneyite" ideologues. In his logic however we find a convoluted line of reasoning that is misleading at best. It exemplifies the typical approach taken by gushing media types that have forsaken their watchdog duties to become members of the Presidential fan club.
As Nobel Laureate Al Gore warns Congress today about how the naturally occurring gas carbon dioxide is destroying the planet -- and gets a lot of press attention doing so, of course! -- one has to wonder whether anyone -- either on Capitol Hill or in the media -- will ask him how he financially benefits if the legislative measures he's proposing get enacted.
After all, as NewsBusters reported last April, Gore has made huge investments in companies that produce green technologies specifically designed to combat the "problem" he's been telling the world -- using his brand of junk science, of course! -- exists.
Now, with a new, green Administration in office, Gore wants our tax dollars spent on things he's invested in (from prepared remarks):
2008 was the safest year ever to be an American miner. The combined number of fatalities from all forms of mining was the lowest ever.
2007 (latest information available) also shows the lowest "all-injury" rate for miners on record by far.
Yet Ken Ward Jr.'s early-January contribution at the Charleston (WV) Gazette to the spate of final-month Bush-bashing pretended that this data doesn't exist. Instead he gave the impression of an opposite situation. Media outlets have been trying and failing to make this case since the Sago Mine Disaster of January 2006 (at NewsBusters; at BizzyBlog), even while the safety stats have generally showed nearly continuous improvement.
Climate realists around the world have contended for years that the real goal of alarmists such as Nobel Laureate Al Gore and his followers is to use the fear of man-made global warming to redistribute wealth.
On Monday, one of Gore's leading scientific resources, Goddard Institute for Space Studies chief James Hansen, sent a letter to Barack and Michelle Obama specifically urging the president-elect to enact a tax on carbon emissions that would take money from higher-income Americans and distribute the proceeds to the less fortunate.
The eco-socialism cat was let out of the bag on page five of a PDF Hansen published at Columbia University's website on December 29 (emphasis added, h/t Britain's Guardian, file photo):
"You can see that even in Europe, some of the climate concerns, given this, this once in a lifetime recession, John - to put someone that, an advocate of such strong measures," Kernen said on "Squawk Box" Dec. 11. "Really I've seen her called Brownies or Brownistas. Um. That's a little scary with what's happening right now."
Earlier Kernen was discussing cabinet appoints with CNBC Washington correspondent John Harwood and pointed to new regulations Browner could institute:
If you needed any more proof climate alarmists are an extraordinarily deluded bunch that will do anything to protect their dogma, you got it Saturday when a 56-page report on military strategy incited ire because it included two paragraphs on global warming that don't perfectly fit Nobel Laureate Al Gore's agenda.
In fact, all the brouhaha was largely about one sentence: "In many respects, scientific conclusions about the causes and potential effects of global warming are contradictory."
Seems innocent enough, don't you think?
Well, not according to the Boston Globe's Bryan Bender, or any of the folks he chose to question about it:
What the Lord Sayeth He then taketh Away… sometimes the very next day! If this video doesn’t show clearly how the media has allowed Obama to shamelessly flip flop on the issues, nothing does. Sometimes even from day to day Obama “nuanced” his way from one side of an issue to the other. Yet, the media never called him on it.
Appearing on the Election Day eve edition of "Fox & Friends," MRC's Brent Bozell reacted to the how the media, starting with the San Francisco Chronicle, hit the proverbial snooze button with Sen. Barack Obama's remarks about bankrupting the coal industry:
Everyone talks about the need for alternative energy.... The problem is that everytime an alternative comes forward, someone on the Left always shoots it down. That's why you don't have more growth in the coal industry or in the nuclear industry. The reason these things never come to the fore is because on the Left, they're always shot down in the final analysis. And Barack Obama just said it again, he's going to do it.
During the segment, co-host Brian Kilmeade noted that a McCain staffer Rick Davis said simply of the media's coverage of the campaign, "it sucked." Bozell agreed, hitting the media for bias by omission:
In reporting the speech by Gov. Sarah Palin in Ohio today, CNN’s Political Ticker tried to spin her question about Obama’s coal comment as old news when it clearly isn’t. Palin asked why we are just now finding out about the interview where Barack Obama said he had hoped to bankrupt the coal industry but CNN termed this interview and Obama’s startling admission as “months-old coal comments” in an attempt to soften the blow to Ohio and Pennsylvania voters. The Political Ticker said that since the San Francisco Chronicle had these comments on its website for nine months, the news of Obama’s quote was no big deal. But this is a misleading claim.
As we know from P.J. Gladnick’s NewsBusters report, Obama admitted that his intention for new coal plants was to slap so many fees, regulations and taxes on any new venture that it would “bankrupt” the company that tries it.