In a huge victory for the second-largest U.S. oil company, a U.S. district judge ruled March 4, that a $9.5 billion award against Chevron by an Ecuadorean court was “obtained by corrupt means.” The massive figure had been lowered by Ecuador’s highest court in 2013 after an earlier decision against Chevron of $19 billion.
The broadcast networks took no notice of the decision and failed to mention it on their evening news programming March 4. They found time to mention that Niagara Falls had once again frozen, report a trash problem on Mount Everest, say that rain didn’t stop the Mardi Gras party in New Orleans, and to show how people can make money with their home recipes.
On Thursday, Kyle Drennen at NewsBusters noted that none of the three broadcast networks had covered the intent of the Federal Communications Commission, in the words of Byron York at the Washington Examiner, to "send government contractors into the nation's newsrooms to determine whether journalists are producing articles, television reports, Internet content, and commentary that meets the public's 'critical information needs.'"
Given that the nets take many of their new prioritization cues from the Associated Press, aka the Administration's Press, and to a lesser extent from the New York Times, it shouldn't surprise anyone that searches at the self-described "essential global news network" and at the Old Gray Lady indicate that neither outlet has covered it. The FCC has supposedly backtracked, but not really, as Katy Bachman at AdWeek noted yesterday (bolds are mine throughout this post):
Left-wing activist turned CNN host Van Jones ran to John Kerry's defense on Wednesday's Crossfire, after co-host Newt Gingrich slammed Kerry as "delusional" for recently hyping climate change as "the world's most fearsome weapon of mass destruction." Jones retorted, "It's not delusional to focus on climate disruption. It's delusional not to."
Moments earlier, the former Obama green jobs czar himself made a doom-and-gloom prediction about the hypothetical effects of what he labeled "climate disruption:" [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]
On Friday, MSNBC host Andrea Mitchell gave left-wing environmental activist Robert F. Kennedy Jr. a platform to denounce the Keystone Pipeline. Kennedy ranted: "The people who are promoting this are the Koch brothers, who spent $2 million trying to hurt him [Obama], the Tea Party people in Congress, and the Republicans who have been trying to block every part of his agenda. There's nobody who traditionally supported him or traditionally supported the interests of children or the environment or democratic civilization as we – you know, at our highest ideals, that wants this thing to happen. It's a catastrophe, and he needs to use his power to say – just say no." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Mitchell's response to that outrageous pronouncement: "Robert Kennedy Jr., thank you very much. An impassioned plea against the pipeline."
On Friday's NBC Nightly News, Andrea Mitchell slanted towards left-leaning environmentalists who are still opposed to the construction of the Keystone XL pipeline, despite a new report from the State Department that indicated that the environmental impact of the project would be minimal. Mitchell played three soundbites from environmentalists protesting or speaking out against the pipeline, versus only one clip from a supporter.
The correspondent also forwarded an allegation from unnamed environmentalists against contributors to the State Department study: [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]
So it appears the Associated Press has discovered what conservative and libertarian economic critics have been saying all along: top-down government regulation to promote "green energy" has numerous unintended consequences, including negative repercussions for the environment.
In their November 12 article, "The secret, dirty cost of Obama's green power push," AP writers Dina Cappiello and Matt Apuzzo laid out how "the ethanol era has proven far more damaging to the environment than politicians promised and much worse than the government admits today," adding (emphasis mine):
Scott Pelley hyped the latest United Nations global warming report on Wednesday's CBS Evening News, proclaiming that "climate scientists have never seen greenhouse gas readings like what they announced today....scientists with the United Nations said that greenhouse gases, which influence climate change, have hit their highest level in 800,000 years – mostly because industry is ramping up in the developing world".
John Blackstone underlined the supposed apocalyptic nature of this finding. He asked a University of California, Berkeley researcher Daniel Kammen if it was "too late" to do anything about climate change. However, Blackstone failed to mention that this sole talking head has advised President Barack Obama on energy policy. He just noted Kammen's academic affiliation: [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]
Thursday's CBS Evening News was practically shocked by a fact that threatens the agenda of radical environmentalists – global temperatures have simply not risen in 15 years. Scott Pelley trumpeted how "on the eve of a major new report on climate change...a surprising discovery." Mark Phillips hyped that "another inconvenient truth has emerged on the way to the apocalypse....the global atmosphere hasn't been warming lately."
The correspondent spotlighted how "since 1998, while the amount of greenhouse gases continued to rise, the air temperature hasn't." He also pointed out that this development "makes the task for the world's majority of climate scientists...more difficult. For the skeptics, it's ammunition." [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]
Yesterday, Slate promoted to their front page a July 19 article promising a look at “what fracking really looks like.” David Rosenberg's piece about the photos taken by New York-based documentary photographer Nina Berman seems to rehash the frivolous narrative that fracking will turn your bathroom into the devil's water closet, complete with fountains of flame!
Liberals – and their allies on the environmental left – must’ve missed the EPA report showing that fracking doesn’t pollute surrounding groundwater. But why go with facts when fiction is so much more melodramatic, particularly with the new release of Josh Fox’s latest anti-fracking documentary Gasland Part II.
On Wednesday's All Things Considered, NPR's Elizabeth Shogren blasted the Republican congressional majority led by Newt Gingrich during the 1990s. Shogren spotlighted a MIT professor's assertion that former President Bill Clinton "stood up for the EPA when it faced the most frightening attack it had ever had. Congressional Republicans, led by Newt Gingrich, wanted to gut regulations...some even wanted to do away with the EPA."
The correspondent made this over-the-top statement as she covered the EPA renaming its headquarters after the two-term president. Shogren also hit the Democrat from the left by claiming that "Clinton's record on the environment was mixed".
Director and provocateur Josh Fox is confident “There is no safe drilling” and has made two of what The New York Times called “muckraking documentaries” crusading against the practice of hydraulic fracturing or “fracking.” His movies are powerful propaganda rife with misleading or inaccurate claims and leave little to no room for the other side.
“Gasland Part II” barely acknowledged there is another side. Even the Times TV review of the movie (aired on HBO July 9) said, “Would it have been a bad idea to include at least one interview with a homeowner who professes to support drilling?” In the film, Josh Fox ridiculously said that he had traveled all over this country and to others and “nobody” wanted gas drilling. If “nobody” wanted it, there wouldn’t be gas wells on private property throughout Pennsylvania. Perhaps he should have checked out “FrackNation,” a competing documentary.
The flaming water faucet shown in the anti-natural gas drilling film “Gasland,” has become the first thing many people think of when they hear of gas drilling, or “fracking.” But that claim turned out to be completely wrong. Investigators determined that Colorado water well had been drilled into a pocket of methane and had nothing to do with fracking. Josh Fox’s follow up, “GasLand II” debuted at Tribeca Film Festival and aired on HBO July 8, 2013.
In spite of that inaccuracy and others, Hollywood movies and agenda-driven documentaries that have portrayed natural gas drilling as a major threat have been used in network news reports. Celebrity anti-fracking activists have also been interviewed on the subject. Between Jan. 1, 2010, and April 30, 2013, fully half (18 of 36) of broadcast network news reports discussing fracking have mentioned or cited one of those films, or included a famous opponent of fracking.
On a big day for news, two of the three major networks downplayed President Obama’s global warming speech on yesterday’s evening newscasts. ABC and CBS reduced the story to a brief anchor-read blurb, while NBC included a sound bite and a full in-studio report from a correspondent.
The speech, delivered at Georgetown University, was notable for Obama’s threat to bypass Congress by directing the Environmental Protection Agency to impose tougher pollution standards on existing as well as new power plants. But on ABC World News Tonight, anchor Diane Sawyer failed to mention this costly power grab, opting instead for an innocent and simplified version of events:
HBO’s Bill Maher once again made a fool of himself on national television Friday.
After making the truly absurd comment during a discussion about hydraulic fracturing, "How anyone with children defends contaminated water I’ll never know,” the Real Time host was thoroughly smacked down by economist Niall Ferguson (video follows with transcribed highlights and commentary):
In remarks which will more than likely be ignored by the establishment press, Rhode Island Senator Sheldon Whitehouse in essence blamed yesterday's deadly tornado which struck Moore, Oklahoma on Republicans who have "run off the climate cliff like a bunch of proverbial lemmings." Whitehouse was intensely upset because, in his view these red state ignoramuses who are allowing ever more intense, climate change-caused storms to occur because of their inaction expect the rest of the country to pay for disaster relief in their states as they deliberately inflict damage on blue states like his own and Oregon. As a free bonus, he threw in a detestable Cold War analogy.
The video of Whitehouse's speech as presented at the Senator's own YouTube channel and a transcript follow the jump. View the video; Whitehouse's condescending contempt for people who won't accept what history will likely record is one of the greatest attempted hoaxes ever perpetrated on mankind is a sight to behold (HT to FreeRepublic for transcript; some editing was necessary to match the actual speech; bolds are mine):
Jeffrey Kluger showed up on Saturday’s CBS This Morning to do what he does best: clang the alarm bells over global warming. The TIME magazine senior editor even went so far as to warn that Manhattan may soon be underwater.
Kluger was brought on to discuss a recent reading -- atop an observation station on a dormant volcano -- finding that atmospheric carbon dioxide is at its highest level in 2 million years. Back then, he informed us, sea levels were 66 feet higher than they are now. He then struck an ominous tone: “What this means is we are on the west side of Manhattan at this moment. If this keeps up to what it was back then, we would be swimming at this address.” [Video below. MP3 audio here.]
Previewing an upcoming story for NBC's Rock Center on Friday's Today, correspondent Ann Curry warned that tribes of the Amazon rain forest "are sharpening their spears and preparing their blow guns to fight Ecuador's new plan to auction as much as 8 million acres of the rain forest for oil drilling." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
She then cited Boston University biology professor Kelly Swing arguing that "America, a top importer of oil from Ecuador, shares responsibility for this coming conflict....And the toxic legacy of past oil drilling in other parts of the rain forest." A sound bite played of Swing declaring: "We're definitely guilty in this story."
On Sunday, 35,000 protestors marched on the Washington Mall urging President Obama to reject the Keystone XL pipeline, giving the Washington Post’s Steven Mufson ample space to hype the march. In the 20 paragraph expose, the Post fails to label the protestors as liberal once and does not include any quotes from supporters of the pipeline, instead choosing to hype their global warming hysteria.
Instead, the article is peppered with liberal quotes, while criticizing President Obama from the left:
Leaders of the rally said they wanted to press Obama to follow up on the strong rhetoric in his inaugural address about the need to slow climate change. The official posters at the rally borrowed Obama’s campaign slogan “forward.” The read: “Mr. President, Forward-on Climate.”
The show had not attracted so many people before, City Center staff members said. And it had never attracted so many protests. As traffic snarled and parking spots filled outside the convention center, about two dozen members of the newly formed Saratogians for Gun Safety held up 26 painted wooden angels, copies of those a Connecticut artist planted in Newtown after the Dec. 14 shootings.
In 2008, as reported by Tim Graham at NewsBusters at the time, Thomas Friedman at the New York Times wrote that America ought to become "China for a day," so that Friedman's dream, in Graham's words "of a green revolution -- all those allegedly planet-saving taxes and regulations and product bans -- can be permanently enacted."
The mainland's totalitarian regime isn't merely not "green" in any meaningful sense. It also is often remarkably unconcerned about the health and well-being of its subjects. For example, a recent chemical spillp poisoned the water of millions (that's right, millions), and the government didn't bother telling anyone about it for almost a week. The story has received almost zero attention in the U.S. press. Excerpts from a January 7 story at the UK's Financial Times follow the jump (bolds are mine):
In their December 27 story about Lisa Jackson's resignation from atop her perch at the Environmental Protection Agency, Darren Samuelsohn and Erica Martinson at the Politico wanted readers to believe that occurred after "after four years of battling Republicans and industry while also giving the White House some heartburn along the way over her push for new clean air rules."
Please. It's not as if only Republicans oppose the EPA's energy-hostile agenda; last time I checked, most of West Virginia's national politicians, as well as many if not most of the state's coal miners who are losing their jobs as a result of out-of-control environmentalism, are Democrats. And I don't recall President Obama or the White House ever having any problems with what Jackson was saying or doing. The Politico pair also waited until the sixth paragraph of their report to mention Jackson's admitted use of an accountability-avoiding email account in the name of "Richard Windsor" to conduct official business. Excerpts from their report follow the jump:
Note to Chris Matthews: when seeking to slam Republicans for their supposed ignorance of science, try not to expose your own. On Tuesday's Hardball, Matthews—mocking the Republican congressmen vying for the chairmanship of the House Science Committee— committed this whopper: "As we all learned in grammar school—young people watching—trees absorb carbon monoxide."
As even an MSNBC host might know, carbon monoxide is a toxic gas produced when there is insufficient oxygen to permit complete oxidation. Think running car in closed garage. The greenhouse gas to which Matthews was presumably referring—and which trees are famous for absorbing—is carbon dioxide. Perhaps it was just a slip of the overworked Matthews' tongue, but when it comes to a guy who likes to jump down any available Republican throat, turnabout is fair play. View the video after the jump.
Last time I checked the Associated Press was a national news service.
So in a story about how a refinery fire in California will likely cause West Coast gas prices to hit $4 a gallon, why did reporter Jason Dearen ignore the fact that prices are already at $4 a gallon in many parts of the country already?
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):
The debate over natural gas extraction continues, but now celebrities are joining the ranks of left-wing environmentalists to try to prevent drilling.
The left claims that hydraulic fracturing, more commonly know as fracking, contaminated the water in Pennsylvania and Colorado, despite University of Texas at Austin researchers who found “no evidence” of that. Small town support for fracking is rarely talked about in the media.
The new villain, same as the old villain, but with a twist.
TNT continued the Hollywood practice of condemning oil and gas in its June 12 episode of “Rizzoli & Isles.” The plot featured an ex-Blackwater agent, masquerading as a yoga guru, who kills a vegan student and a professor in order to hide his drilling for natural gas from shale. This episode was a triple decker for left-wing stereotypes.
The professor that was murdered had condemned hydraulic fracturing, also known as fracking, in a video saying, “fracking is an invasive way to extract natural gas. Proponents say it will liberate the U.S. from dependence on foreign oil. But, my research indicates it will destroy the environment.”
Even after being embarrassed by a series of misleading reports from reporter Ian Urbina in June 2011, the New York Times continues to lash out against hydro-fracking, the process of pumping chemicals and water into shale to extract gas.