Perhaps using a preemptive strike to help combat the May jobs report to be released on Friday, MSNBC has already found an excuse for lost jobs, and an increased unemployment rate – storms, tornadoes and flooding. According to a business report:
“…homes or places of business have been destroyed in this year's wave of storms, tornadoes and flooding. That means thousands of workers in the South and Midwest could be out of work for some time, potentially pushing up the nation's jobless rate and further taxing financially strapped state unemployment funds.”
Yet in 2004, when reporting on an October jobs report in which hiring had increased at the fastest pace in seven months, MSNBC somehow managed to find analysts who said the jump in hiring was due mainly to another form of natural disaster – hurricanes. The business report at that time read:
“Some analysts were skeptical about the latest surge of hiring, pointing out that much of the unusually large jump in October stemmed from cleanup and rebuilding in Florida and other states that were ravaged by four hurricanes…”
That assessment is buoyed by an accompanying CNBC video (seen below) in which Senior Economics Reporter, Steve Liesman, asks President Bush’s economic advisor, Gregory Mankiw, about the ‘Hurricane Effect’ on a jobs report.
Robert F. Kennedy Jr. lobbed incendiary accusations at the coal industry on "Morning Joe" today in a segment that devolved into a nearly 10-minute advertisement for his new anti-coal documentary.
The left-wing environmental activist juxtaposed fossil "fuels from Hell" with "patriotic fuels from Heaven," though neither co-host Joe Scarborough nor Mika Brzezinski pushed back.
"Right now the rules that govern the American energy system were written and devised by the incumbents, by the carbon cronies, to reward the dirtiest, filthiest, most poisonous, most toxic, most addictive, and destructive fuels from Hell rather than the cheap, clean, green, abundant, wholesome, and patriotic fuels from Heaven," blathered Kennedy.
The cause for the end of the world has been imagined by screenwriters to include everything from giant insects and malevolent robots to asteroids the size of Texas. But five year ago in May 2006, Hollywood found a new menace: carbon dioxide. This scenario was different in another respect. It was supposedly true.
The documentary "An Inconvenient Truth" wasn't intended to be the blockbuster end-of-the-world tale that "Armageddon" was, but it was intended to frighten. The new film was full of disaster footage and catastrophic predictions about climate change. Its leading man: former vice president Al Gore.
The apocalyptic warning earned nearly $50 million worldwide and turned Gore into a "movie star," according to the fawning networks. Gore won accolades, including an Oscar and a Nobel Peace Prize. Reporters and anchors on ABC, CBS and NBC also made a hero of Apocalypse Al, embracing his views and bringing on guests with the same views including one who said Gore had been busy "saving the planet - literally."
Gore received almost entirely uncritical coverage from the network morning and evening shows over global warming, despite plenty of evidence - scientific evidence - that would have discredited him and his film. Since the movie's release, nearly 98 percent of those stories have excluded criticism of the so-called "science" of the film.
Less than 24 hours after a devastating tornado ripped through Joplin, Missouri – killing at least 116 people – an MSNBC anchor was busy putting a political spin on the tragedy.
Tamron Hall wondered aloud on "News Nation" today whether climate change was to blame for the rash of hurricanes and tornadoes that ravaged several states, including Missouri, over the last few months.
To give you an idea of the kind of hysterical predictions the global warming crowd have made in recent years, the United Nations in 2005 actually forecast that by the end of the previous decade, there would be 50 million environmental refugees around the world as a result of climate change.
The Boston Globe, long notorious as promoters of global warming doom and gloom -- see Ross Gelbspan, for example -- sometimes get embarrassed by the actual climate. On "The Green Blog," the Globe's Beth Daley projected that a "global warming double punch" could make Hurricane Earl much worse for Massachusetts -- except when it actually passed by, it turned out to be a dud for Bostonians and it could be watched on the coast with a glass of wine:
The large waves, storm surge, and flooding that Hurricane Earl will spawn as it strikes Massachusetts tomorrow night comes with an added dollop of trouble; Sea level rise.
Very gradual -- and in some cases accelerating -- rises in sea level off our coast over the last century will boost the height of Earl’s storm surge -- expected to be one to four feet -- meaning the wall of water will be able to travel that much farther inland and over higher elevations to flood basements, streets, and other low-lying areas....
Five year ago today, Hurricane Katrina slammed Louisiana and Mississippi forever changing America.
In the midst of unthinkable devastation, the media coverage of this natural disaster was disgraceful.
Despite almost immoral bungling by New Orleans' mayor and Louisiana's governor, as well as decades of corruption that left this city's levee system in a state of shameful disrepair, President George W. Bush was made the culprit for the damage, the suffering, and the loss.
Katrina largely signaled the end of the Bush presidency just eight months into his second term, and America's press were largely to blame.
How do you see this disaster five years later and how the media handled it? Was it an ominous precursor to the absolutely abysmal job so-called journalists did in covering the 2008 presidential election? What have we learned from this event about the power of the press, and what can be done about it?
UPDATE - 7/13, 1:30 pm: In the face of criticism, the Coast Guard just rescinded this policy, allowing reporters free access to Gulf spill recovery efforts. Details below.
Effectively reporting on the Gulf oil spill is now a Class D felony, punishable by a fine of up to $40,000.
That's right, the most transparent administration in history has made it a felony, effective July 1, to get within 65 feet of what the Coast Guard determines are essential recovery efforts. According to Anderson Cooper, officials tried to up that number to 300 feet.
Cooper, who claimed federal officials prevented CNN on two occasions from taking photographs in the gulf, seemed frustrated when he reported on the new laws the day they went into effect. The press is "not the enemy here" he pleaded. The new policies, he said, make it "very easy to hide failure, and hide incompetence."
Cooper also let loose this zinger: "Transparency is apparently not a priority with [Coast Guard Commandant] Thad Allen these days." Ouch (full video and transcript below the fold - h/t Ron Robinson).
When Hurricane Katrina destroyed New Orleans in 2005, numerous media members blamed racism for President Bush's supposedly poor response to the disaster.
According to LexisNexis, there were almost 1,000 reports in the nine weeks following the storm's passage through the Gulf of Mexico that tied racism to the government's post-hurricane strategy.
Five years later, as oil slams the same region and polls show the public actually more unhappy with the response to this crisis than they were after Katrina hit, no such nefarious connection is being espoused.
Consider the media firestorm the following remark by rapper Kanye West set off just a few days after the hurricane hit New Orleans (video follows with transcript and commentary):
The mainstream media seem to have boiled down the president's reaction to the Gulf spill to two caricatures: either he has failed to satiate public appetites by feigning outrage, or he is succeeding by acting angry. Whereas journalists rightly expected President Bush to do something about Katrina--and excoriated him when he supposedly didn't do enough--the media seem content listening to Obama speak.
That the president may not be doing everything in his power, like, say, meeting with the CEO of British Petroleum, seems not even to cross their minds. So the only critique of the president that remains is one of style. By focusing on what the president has said--rather than what he has done--and how he has said it, the media have diverted (albeit unintentionally) attention from the administration's actual response to the spill to its emotional and verbal response.
Obama and his predecessor both accepted responsibility for the spill and Hurricane Katrina, respectively. But the mainstream press took the former at his word; they rightfully held him accountable for his administration's actions. No such accountability is present in the media's reporting on Obama's response to the Gulf spill.
The mainstream media is of course replete with liberal opinionistas who criticize Republicans far more harshly than Democrats. That is nothing new. It is truly shocking, however, when supposedly "objective" news outlets employ even more egregious double standards than the openly-biased commentators.
The Wall Street Journal's James Taranto caught the Associated Press employing one such double standard over the weekend. The AP's Ben Feller penned quite a sob story about the president's response to the Gulf spill, saying that Obama is "having to work through unforeseen problems" and made sure to note that his "ability to calmly handle many competing issues simultaneously is viewed as one of his strengths."
A contrast with the AP's rheotroic on the Bush administration's response to Hurricane Katrina reveals quite a discrepany in the organization's views on the executive's accountability for natural disasters. That New York Times columnist Frank Rich and uber-liberal mudslinger Bill Maher have both had harsher words for the current president and his response to the Gulf spill speaks volumes.
On Sunday’s syndicated Chris Matthews Show, Time magazine columnist Joe Klein joined the ranks of left-leaning media figures like Chris Matthews and Keith Olbermann in blaming the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico on the Bush administration. As the panel discussed President Obama’s handling of the disaster, Klein opined that "this is more Bush’s second Katrina than Obama’s first," and, after agreement from host Matthews, Klein continued: "Yes, because it was the Bush regulations, it was Dick Cheney’s deregulation, and lording over the Minerals Management [Service]-"
Later in the show, as the group discussed whether President Obama would recover from his current sagging approval numbers, Klein asserted that Obama is lucky because Republicans "look worse" on the oil spill than do Democrats: "He is incredibly lucky in his opposition. I mean, you know, the oil spill is a great example. The Republicans look worse on that than the Democrats do. I think that, because there are no really coherent Republican leaders now, he’ll come back."
Below is a transcript of relevant portions of the Sunday, May 30, syndicated Chris Matthews Show:
It's the American way, right? It is patriotic to exercise the 1st Amendment by petitioning the government for a redress of grievances - unless of course your effort has a tie to some corporation or lobbying interest. Then regardless of its size, it's phony baloney Astroturf activism.
While groups like the George Soros-funded MoveOn.org have managed to elude the "Astroturf" moniker, from its inception, the Tea Party movement has taken shots from its critics. One of the most popular left-wing charges was to call it "Astroturf," meaning it was presented as a grassroots efforts, but wasn't really grassroots. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi labeled the Tea Party movement "Astroturf" back during the original Tax Day Tea Party protest on April 15, 2009.
"This initiative is funded by the high end - we call it Astroturf," Pelosi said. "It's not really a grassroots movement. It's Astroturf by some of the wealthiest people in America to keep the focus on tax cuts for the rich instead of for the great middle class."
That attitude has been widely echoed in media coverage of the Tea Party, as if it were a corporate effort to subvert the U.S. government's ability to collect revenue and redistribute wealth through public works and social program. Meanwhile, environmental causes, like Earth Day or global warming with their own corporate sponsorship - are rarely labeled Astroturf.
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."
A new study predicts that global warming, contrary to claims made by Nobel Laureate Al Gore and the his fellow climate alarmists, will actually reduce the number of hurricanes by as much as 34 percent by the year 2100.
The report just published in the journal Nature Geoscience also found that the increase in tropical storm activity the planet has seen since 1995 is part of a natural cycle completely unrelated to increases in atmospheric carbon dioxide.
These revelations represent another serious crack in the claims made by the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, and therefore seem quite unlikely to be reported by American media that have been largely ignoring all the errors that have been found recently in key IPCC documents.
As is typical, this bombshell was uncovered by a British publication, the Sunday Times (h/t Ed Morrissey):
Time after time, the Obama White House has demonstrated a desire to control the message and flow of information, whether it's issues on health care, the economy, bailouts and the latest - climate science.
But AccuWeather.com's chief long-range and hurricane forecaster Joe Bastardi, who appeared on the Fox Business Network's Feb. 9 "Cavuto," warned there are other implications with the government having an expanded role in climate forecasting. According to Bastardi, it could lead to an effort to shut out other opinions.
On Saturday, NB's Noel Sheppard reported on this statement made by Education Secretary Arne Duncan: "I think the best thing that happened to the education system in New Orleans was hurricane Katrina. That education system was a disaster. It took hurricane Katrina to wake up the community and say we have to do better."
CNN host T.J. Holmes read that quote aloud during a broadcast. "Of course I agree" with Duncan's statement, said one guest, CNN contributor Steve Perry. The host and correspondents went back and forth about how the hurricane may or may not have helped public schools, never once impugning Duncan's motives.
Contrast this media response with the response to former Republican Congressman from Louisiana Richard Baker's statement regarding Katrina: "We finally cleaned up public housing in New Orleans. We couldn't do it, but God did." It sparked outrage among the liberal media (h/t NRO's John Miller).
On Monday’s edition of Rosie Radio, host Rosie O’Donnell spun the outpouring of support for the victims of the Haiti earthquake as a result of President Obama’s leadership. She then falsely accused George Bush of not quickly speaking out after Hurricane Katrina: "If two days after Katrina, you know, the President of the United States went on and said, 'You will not be forsaken. You will not be forgotten. We are sending in the Army-’" [Audio available here.]
The satellite radio host added, "If there was that, sort of, mass impulse to help, I think, then, Americans would have felt more justified of, you know, helping..." In fact, two days after Hurricane Katrina, on August 31, 2005, President Bush said this in the Rose Garden: "Right now, the days seem awfully dark for those affected. I understand that."
He continued, "But I'm confident that with time, you'll get your life back in order. New communities will flourish. The great City of New Orleans will be back on its feet. And America will be a stronger place for it. The country stands with you. We'll do all in our power to help you." The speech also laid out exactly how the National Guard, FEMA and other government agencies would assist the effort.
Just days after the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change admitted it used junk science to predict Himalayan glaciers would vanish by 2035, its claim that global warming is linked to increased natural disasters has also been found to be wrongly concluded.
THE United Nations climate science panel faces new controversy for wrongly linking global warming to an increase in the number and severity of natural disasters such as hurricanes and floods.
It based the claims on an unpublished report that had not been subjected to routine scientific scrutiny — and ignored warnings from scientific advisers that the evidence supporting the link too weak. The report's own authors later withdrew the claim because they felt the evidence was not strong enough.
A rather remarkable thing happened Thursday: a documentary highly skeptical of man's role in global warming was aired on broadcast television.
The program, "Global Warming - The Other Side," was created and hosted by John Coleman, the founder of The Weather Channel, and debuted on San Diego's independent television station KUSI.
Readers should be familiar with Coleman as the man who not only called global warming "the greatest scam in history," but also advocated suing Nobel Laureate Al Gore to expose the fraud.
Breaking with American media's tradition of almost exclusively broadcasting programs supporting Gore's view of climate change, "The Other Side" remarkably devoted an entire hour to fully explaining what the global warming-obsessed press dishonestly hide from the public (videos in four parts embedded below the fold, h/t Climate Depot):
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?
"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):
UPDATE AT END OF POST: Gore prominently quotes Deuteronomy, "I’m offering you the choice of life or death."
The cover of Nobel Laureate Al Gore's new book "Our Choice: A Plan to Solve the Climate Crisis" was intentionally doctored to exaggerate the appearance of hurricanes in the northern hemisphere as well as reduce the amount of ice present in the Arctic.
Maybe even more ominously, Florida was so diminished it's almost totally gone.
As reported by Florida State University hurricane expert Ryan Maue at the website Watts Up With That, the truth was apparently inconvenient for the Global Warmingist-in-Chief (h/t NBer Blonde):
Kudlow, referring to the Oct. 26 broadcast of MSNBC's "The Ed Show," which featured Rep. Barney Frank, perennial presidential candidate Ralph Nader and the host Ed Schultz, noted all the participants were left-of-center. And in the appearance, Frank made a pitch for the expanded role of government and argued the only reason people opposed it was because they were disillusioned by the government for its failures during the Bush administration, specifically dealing with Hurricane Katrina.
Monday’s Lou Dobbs Tonight on CNN gave attention to filmmaker Phelim McAleer – whose film Not Evil, Just Wrong premieres this Sunday and challenges Al Gore’s Inconvenient Truth – in the aftermath of his recent attempt to get Gore to respond to the British High Court ruling that there are nine factual errors in An Inconvenient Truth. But McAleer’s microphone was cut off as he tried to get Gore to answer for some of these inaccuracies and whether the former Vice President was trying to correct his mistakes. After a report by correspondent Casey Wian – who showed a clip of the exchange between McAleer and Gore, and who also mentioned some of the inaccurate points in An Inconvenient Truth about polar bears and Hurricane Katrina – Dobbs hosted a debate segment between McAleer and Fred Krupp of the Environmental Defense Fund.
McAleer pointed out that many of the environmental scientists pushing global warming theory were pushing global cooling theory decades earlier: "And the same environmentalists who are now saying it is warming, 20 and 30 years ago were saying we're going to have an ice age. I'm old enough to be at school and I was told that we're going into a new ice age."
Mark Sanford can’t run for President in 2012, all because he went for a hike. [UPDATE: He went to Argentina.]
At least, that’s what Mike Allen of Politico would have you believe. On June 23, during his normal appearance on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” Allen was discussing the recent media snafu over the governor’s jaunt through the woodlands:
I think it might well be that he was just hiking. But the point is, he would have been a promising Republican for 2012. He's the rarest thing in the Republican party, which is a true conservative. There would have been a lot of momentum behind him. He threw out the idea very recently. But, you talk about the finger on the button – you want someone stable, someone you can trust. And this, as they were talking about yesterday on MSNBC right away, in a moment, diminished the brand.