Pollution

By Tom Blumer | February 21, 2014 | 11:59 PM EST

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):

By Matthew Balan | February 20, 2014 | 1:35 PM EST

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]

By Kyle Drennen | February 7, 2014 | 4:07 PM EST

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."

By Matthew Balan | February 1, 2014 | 12:40 PM EST

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]

By Ken Shepherd | November 12, 2013 | 1:30 PM EST

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):

By Matthew Balan | November 7, 2013 | 5:52 PM EST

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]

By Matthew Balan | September 27, 2013 | 1:26 PM EDT

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]

By Matt Vespa | July 24, 2013 | 1:20 PM EDT

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.

By Matthew Balan | July 18, 2013 | 5:11 PM EDT

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".

By Julia A. Seymour | July 10, 2013 | 4:39 PM EDT

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.

By Julia A. Seymour | July 9, 2013 | 1:06 PM EDT

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.

By Paul Bremmer | June 26, 2013 | 5:34 PM EDT

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: