Yesterday’s broadcast of MSNBC’s Now with Alex Wagner featured a discussion about the Keystone XL Pipeline, which is anathema to the environmental left, and which President Obama cynically delayed a decision on until after the 2012 election. With the decision to approve or decline the project still looming for President Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry -- who technically is the point person on approving the project -- Melinda Pierce of the Sierra Club was brought on the panel to discuss the pending doom we face with climate change, and disseminate the message that we can’t drill our way to energy independence.
To Wagner’s credit she did cite a piece from, of all things, Joe Nocera of the New York Times to give an alternative view to Pierce’s. Whereas Pierce responded by equating the approval of the pipeline to setting off a “carbon bomb”:
Al Gore is concerned about Mother Nature. In a statement he released on his blog on Oct. 30 2012, he hyped the imminent doom of global warming. “Hurricane Sandy is a disturbing sign of things to come,” the Goricle stated. No big surprise that Gore would immediately link Sandy to global warming. After all, he’s gotten very rich claiming the sky is falling. Unfortunately, Gore wasn’t the only one.
Chris Matthews, on Monday's Hardball, attacked Newt Gingrich with the same old liberal line about the GOP using racial code words, from Mitt Romney talking about welfare reform to Gingrich calling Barack Obama the "food stamp president." However, the former Speaker of the House wasn't having any of it, as he hit back: "Why do you assume food stamp refers to black? What kind of racist thinking do you have? Wait a second! Why aren’t you being a racist because you assume it refers to black?" (video after the jump)
I suppose the Associated Press deserves some credit for what appears to be a grudging acknowledgment that opponents of the oil and gas drilling technique known as hydraulic fracturing, aka "fracking," "sometimes mislead the public." Also, Kevin Begos's story does a good job of letting Josh Fox, producer of the fundamentally dishonest documentary "Gasland," hang himself with his own dodgy, reality-denying words.
But the credit pretty much ends there. Begos's report is a largely a study in false equivalence (y'know, everybody exaggerates -- except, Kevin, opponents do so serially while proponents do so rarely) and psychobabble (y'know, everyone uses "facts" they like and ignores the one that don't -- except, Kevin, for the inconvenient reality that opponents' "facts" are largely falsehoods). The problem is best exemplified in the final excerpted paragraph which follows the jump (bolds are mine):
On Tuesday night, all three network evening newscasts ran with stories on a newly released government report blaming man-made climate change for recent extreme weather. ABC's World News led the charge, as anchor Diane Sawyer sounded the alarm: "Hot planet. The world is heating up. And for the first time, a U.S. Government-backed report ties that searing heat, those epic storms, to man-made global warming."
Sawyer cited a report from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration as a "major alert about the speed of climate change on this planet" and wondered if the study represented "a tipping point" on the issue. Turning to weather editor Sam Champion, Sawyer hoped there was "still time to do something." Champion proclaimed: "I would say is, now is the time we start limiting man-made greenhouse gases if we're starting to see that that is exactly what other studies are showing."
Now that Colorado is enduring one of the worst wildfires in its history, liberals are pointing to man-made global warming as the culprit. On Thursday's NBC Nightly News, correspondent Anne Thompson hyped the "dire" and lasting impact of the fires on the environment and pointed toward man-made global warming as the probable cause.
The "increasingly bigger" fires, Thompson said, are "Leading some to question if this wildfire season is worse because of climate change." One of her experts, a professor from the University of Arizona, proclaimed that “we won’t see these forests coming back in our lifetime or even our grandchildren’s life times.” [Video coming soon. MP3 audio here.]
In a report on the Arizona wildfires on Tuesday's NBC Today, correspondent Miguel Almaguer touted how "The Forest Service says this historic wildfire season is caused in part by climate change." After promoting that politically charged claim, Almaguer declared that Senator John McCain had created a "firestorm" by noting that illegal immigrants have contributed to past wildfires.
At the top of the show, co-host Ann Curry proclaimed: "Heated controversy. A debate blows up over John McCain blaming some wildfires in Arizona on illegal border-crossers." Later, she framed an interview with McCain this way: "Now to more on that controversial comment by Arizona Senator John McCain....We spoke to the Senator earlier this morning. We began by asking him if he was trying to use this current tragedy for a political purpose."
Last winter, as blizzard snowfalls piled up into several feet in the nation's capital, conservatives mocked global warming alarmists for trying to link weather incidents to global warming. But as summer heat waves, volcanoes and sinkholes have appeared recently, climate alarmists proved they missed the point.
But Associated Press, USA Today, The New York Times and The Washington Post have all promoted a connection between the extreme heat and weather around the world this summer and global warming. One CNN host asked if the events were the "apocalypse" or global warming. The Huffington Post proposed naming hurricanes and other disasters after climate change "deniers."
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."
"Having given her sleight of hand stamp of approval to the birthers, Sarah Palin is now moving on to an almost equally popular far right mythology, climate change denial."
So began MSNBC's Keith Olbermann in his number one story on Wednesday's "Countdown."
"Getting her facts wrong and misrepresenting her record as governor of Alaska, again, not enough for Palin`s latest foray into opinion piece, this one for 'The Washington Post,'" said Olbermann. "So she went into full-on denial, climate change is all political mode."
The "Countdown" host then brought on the Nation's Chris Hayes who claimed that people who don't believe in manmade global warming are like folks who "argue that 9/11 was an inside job" (video embedded below the fold courtesy our friend Story Balloon, partial transcript with commentary):
Remember when the alarmists were taking the premise that anthropogenic global warming was more of a threat to the planet than just polar bears and penguins, but also sea levels and catastrophic weather patterns?
"A lot of premises have turned out to be wrong lately," Weisberg wrote. "I'm not talking about evanescent bits of conventional wisdom, but about overarching assumptions that were widely shared across the political spectrum."
On Thursday, ABC News took global warming hysteria to a new level.
After Chris Cuomo and Bob Woodruff previewed an upcoming environmental scare piece on "Good Morning America" as previously reported by my colleague Scott Whitlock, an article was posted at the network's website asking (emphasis added throughout):
Are we living in the last century of our civilization? Is it possible that all of our technology, knowledge and wealth cannot save us from ourselves? Could our society actually be heading towards collapse?
Following this irresponsibly alarmist opening paragraph, the article continued:
This September, in Earth 2100, a dramatic ABC News 2-hour broadcast, the greatest minds across the globe will join together in a countdown to the year 2100 to tell us what we must do to survive the next century … And what may happen if we don't.
As Whitlock transcribed for your review Thursday, here were some of the key moments of hysteria on that morning's "GMA" (video available here):
As NewsBusters reported, ABC's "World News" aired a disturbing global warming hit piece on Sunday that disrespectfully attacked an esteemed scientist and emeritus professor, referring to his work as "fraudulent nonsense" that is "going to cost lives, and cause us lost species, and cost major economic damage around the world."
The subject of the report, Dr. S. Fred Singer, has been receiving well wishes of support from across the globe since this segment aired, including at ABC News's website where virtually all of the currently 128 comments submitted have been highly critical of this story and the way Singer was treated.
With this in mind, Singer has formally asked ABC for an apology and a retraction (presented with permission):
For years, climate realists have been wondering how the global warming alarmists would react when the planet actually cooled, albeit for an unknown amount of time.
With the winter of 2008 ushering in record-cold temperatures in the Northern Hemisphere -- following similar, albeit mostly unreported, weather in the Southern Hemisphere's 2007 winter -- it seems the resolve of the believers has been a bit weakened, to say the least.
One home supposedly burned because Sheryl Christman, a 38-year-old Michigan woman, was three days short of foreclosure. She pleaded no contest after the Sept. 1, 2007 arson. The other case was a Colorado arson where a man "may have" committed arson before an "imminent foreclosure."
Sam Champion hyperventilated about the threat of extreme weather on Monday's "Good Morning America" and, once again, ignored the leftist connections of two cited experts. Scientists Michael Oppenheimer and Daniel Schrag, both of whom have vigorously slammed Republicans in the past, appeared in the segment to warn that global warming would only continue to cause unusual weather patterns as long as greenhouse gases keep increasing.
GMA identified Oppenheimer simply by his connection as a scientist for Princeton University. However, he has previously slammed Republican disagreement about climate change as "uniformed rambling." In the piece, Schrag scarily warned, "It's hard to overstate how big a change [climate change] could be in the weather we experience every day." This is same man who, in a Boston Globe column from December 2006, smeared GOP Senator James Inhofe, then the Chair of a Senate environmental committee, for using skeptical witnesses that Schrag derided as "a gathering of liars and charlatans, sponsored by those industries who want to protect their profits." To further make the point, the article is entitled, "On a Swift Boat to a Warmer World."
In his "Final Word" on Sunday’s "Face the Nation" on CBS, host Bob Schieffer denounced a fake news conference held by FEMA officials in the wake of the California wildfires. Not content to just say the staged conference was a bad mistake, Schieffer decided to be as arrogant and condescending as possible:
The last time I was at Disney World, they had sticks of a certain height stuck in the ground with signs that said something like, `You must be this tall to ride this ride.' Well, FEMA, the disaster relief agency, must use a variation of that to hire its public relations staff. Somewhere on their employment application there must be a clause that says, `Your IQ must be below a certain level to work here.'
Here's a heart-rending story out of Iraq media will likely boycott or downplay: a group of Iraqi soldiers in a military camp east of Baghdad collected $1000 last week to send to folks in southern California affected by the recent wildfires.
Certainly not something an anti-war media will want to quickly share with the public, wouldn't you agree?
Flames were only one worry for some illegal immigrants in the fire zone. Equally scary were the crowded roads and evacuation centers, heavy with law enforcement officers, including U.S. Border Patrol agents.
Some wondered if they would be deported if they went to shelters.
It gets even better. The ACLU is really trying to pull at the liberal heart-strings with ridiculous statements like this one:
Immigrant rights groups and the American Civil Liberties Union, however, claim that authorities have created a climate of intimidation through neglect and such policies as asking for identification at some shelters.
According to the media website TV Week, "most TV news operations" deemed Arnold Schwarzenegger's grabbing of "Good Morning America" reporter Claire Shipman's hands during an interview to be "inappropriate." The exchange, which was first reported last Wednesday on NewsBusters, occurred after Shipman repeatedly tried to get the California governor to admit that some efforts to combat the state's wildfires were going poorly. At that point, the former actor seized the journalist's hands and proclaimed, "...You're looking for a mistake and you won't find it because it's all good news, as much as you maybe hate it, but it's good news." Apparently, Shipman found Schwarzenegger's actions "bizarre and amusing."
According to TV Week, the physical touching amounted to applying "force to a female reporter" and an attempt to "muscle" her. TV Week's Michele Greppi cited the MRC for highlighting the story: "The Media Research Center, founded by Brent Bozell to wage a war against liberal bias in journalism, posted a transcript of the interview....The headline was 'Arnold Grabs ABC’s Shipman, Demands: Stop Spinning Fire Coverage.'" TV Week also explained how the elite media reacted to the governor's grabbing. Greppi wrote, "At most TV news operations, the Schwarzenegger move was regarded as inappropriate on his part and smoothly handled on hers."
On Wednesday's "Early Show," Harry Smith gushed over Bill and Hillary Clinton and how two "idealistic kids" transformed themselves into "political rock stars." Smith also took pains to point out that the Clintons are a "still-young couple." Over on ABC, Clinton-fan Kate Snow fawned over Bill and Hillary for being "masters at turning bad news into good." In general, she seemed to be impressed with the 2008 candidate's ability to spin the American public.
NBC, predictably, kicked off the media blame game and assigned the cause of the California fires to, you guessed it, global warming. "Nightly News" host Brian Williams wondered, "Are these fires somehow a result of climate change?" CBS echoed a similar theme on "60 Minutes." CNN also used the tragedy in California to speculate about global warming. A CNN special, "Planet in Peril," which aired this week, failed to mention that one of the climate change scientists featured also happened to be funded by George Soros.
“[T]he California wildfires are leveling entire communities, leaving homeowners with nothing,” CNN “American Morning” host Kiran Chetry said. “But, what the fires don’t take, the insurance companies just might. A bad and costly situation for homeowners may have just gotten much worse.”
Business & Media Institute Director Dan Gainor appeared on the Fox Business Network October 25 to talk about business contributions to victims of the Southern California wildfires:
Every time there's a disaster, when we had Katrina and now with this disaster - [Businesses] immediately take out all the stops. Already I've seen at least $4 million contributed from charity from Wal-Mart, from Bank of America, from Disney, from Target, the business community steps up right away. When we had Katrina, there was like $70 million contributed within days ... and almost no coverage at all.
A few might be starting to catch on - CNN did mention contributions of Home Depot, MasterCard, Verizon, Sprint and Wells Fargo on the October 26 "American Morning."
Fresh off her recent assault in which many suspect the culprit to have been 14 Bloody Marys, Air America radio talk host Randi Rhodes has now wandered into Moonbat conspiracy territory with her suggestion that Blackwater was the the cause of the current wildfires in California. Here is a partial transcript (audio available here) of what Randi said on the air on Wednesday:
I started just doing Google searches to try and figure out. You know, arson, arson, it was like crazy trying to figure out why is that being downplayed? Why is that, you know, just a small part of the story? And you know, every time I look for it what comes up, believe it or not, is that Blackwater wants to move to San Diego and build this giant complex in San Diego right where most of the evacuations are taking place and you know.
You just know wherever there is fire, this administration will be out there doing what it does best and that is fanning the flames, you know. It just spooks me, I can’t explain to you how creepy this whole thing is that you know, you’ve got these fires. Some of them are thought to be the work of arsonists and in the same breath you’ve got a community that’s on fire that just recently protested Blackwater West. Just recently said no to Blackwater and apparently you don’t do that.
Cheap shot of the night, a gratuitous reference to President George W. Bush's 2005 “you're doing a heck of a job, Brownie,” remark about then-FEMA Director Michael Brown's handling of the Katrina hurricane catastrophe. Dean Reynolds in Escondido, California, concluding a Thursday CBS Evening News story on Bush's visit to the fire-ravaged region:
Mr. Bush dismissed comparisons between Katrina and California and seemed generally satisfied by the efforts he witnessed today. But if he actually thought anybody was doing a 'heck of a job,' he didn't say so in public.
On the NBC Nightly News, John Yang managed to raise shortcomings following Katrina without citing the comment used by liberals to ridicule Bush: “After the debacle of Hurricane Katrina, the President has been offering a robust response to these fires. But the real test may come in the rebuilding, which could cost a lot of money and take a lot of time.”
Fox News, just as Glenn Beck previously, picked up on an observation that the rest of the mainstream media largely ignored: brush left in place under environmental groups’ pressure fueled much of the fires in southern California. While all of the network’s morning shows ignored this angle (NBC’s "Today," ABC’s "Good Morning America," and CBS’s "The Early Show") the October 25 edition of "Fox and Friends" contained this report from Adam Housley.
As media outlet after media outlet blame the burning of parts of Southern California on climate change, it was rather shocking to see a headline in Thursday's Los Angeles Times that read "Global Warming Not a Factor in Wildfires."
Maybe this is just another example of how folks should rely on local media closest to events rather than national press members.
Regardless, the Times piece, although it employed climate models to make the case that global warming could be a problem in the future, cited a number of scientists and studies suggesting today's natural disaster shouldn't be used by media to pat Nobel Laureate Al Gore on the back (emphasis added throughout):
A day after NBC blamed the California wild fires on global warming, CBS on Wednesday night cited global warming, but also gave equal emphasis to how years of putting out fires has provided more fuel for them in the form of thick trees and brush. From Escondido, California, anchor Katie Couric asserted the wild fires are “more intense today than ever, and John Blackstone reports, man may be at least partly to blame for that.” Blackstone first went to global warming: “Fire ecologist Tom Swetnam has a collection of tree rings that reveals thousands of years of climate history. He told Scott Pelley of 60 Minutes that global warming means a longer fire season.”
Then, however, Blackstone considered another cause: “A whole lot more fuel to burn, a result of a hundred years of fighting fires” since “putting out almost every fire is not what nature intended, says Richard Minnich, who studies fire history.” Minnich, a professor of earth sciences at the University of California Riverside, explained: “The fire suppression management over the hundred years, in fact, generates more severe fires than what would otherwise occur.” Plus, Blackstone noted, the destructive impact of the fires has increased because “the realization it's often good to let fires burn has met a big obstacle: more houses in forest and wild lands.” Concluding his piece, Blackstone returned to warming, but didn't blame it alone: “Firefighters are trying to keep up with the megafire threat, a threat that won't go away in a warming world, and a growing West.”
See Update at Foot -- FEMA Administrator flatly debunks Garamendi
Good on Tamron Hall.
On the one hand, as I've noted here and here, Hall let her liberal leanings show more than once when serving as a "Morning Joe" panelist. But the MSNBC anchor is also the daughter of a career Army man, and clearly knows and respects the military.
When Dem John Garamendi, the California Lt. Gov., appeared on MSNBC this afternoon, Hall took the occasion to challenge him over the misleading remarks about the California National Guard that he made yesterday to Chris Matthews during an interview in which he also spoke most ungraciously, as I noted here, about Pres. Bush's impending visit to California.