On the July 16 edition of "The Early Show" host Harry Smith actually puffed two Republican governors, because they are taking strong liberal positions. Smith interviewed California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and Florida Governor Charlie Crist who are "teaming up to cut greenhouse gases."
"The Early Show" anchor seemed bewildered that "some people still don’t believe we have a problem." Harry Smith cited the left wing Union of Concerned Scientists and stated that "it really is a matter of decades before you may be losing coastline."
Smith then editorialized, "what is it you guys get that Washington doesn’t get?" And wanted to know if they can "wait for the White House to figure this out."
Peter Bronson of the Cincinnati Enquirer wrote a Sunday column (HT The Daily Bellwether) that was a withering attack on the blandness, lack of local coverage, and political correctness of chain news.
Bronson, at least for the moment, works at The Enquirer, which is owned by mega-chain operator Gannett Co., Inc. Gannett publishes 85 local newspapers and USA Today.
Here's Bronson on blandness:
I wonder if a steady diet of junk-food news causes high blood pressure, indigestion and poor circulation.
Bronson on local non-coverage:
Wherever the population density can support more than one freeway exit, the chains move in and sterilize any hint of local flavor. ..... Being dropped in the middle of a chain newspaper can be like being taken to a Waffle House blindfolded, then trying to figure out if you're in Iowa or Idaho.
But the Enquirer columnist gets in his best licks criticizing newsroom political correctness, serving up three examples of what surely has driven many NewsBusters readers to distraction over their own local papers:
Media bias doesn't operate by outright lies (usually). Instead it operates by settling on and relentlessly repeating an overly-simple and therefore deceptive narrative. The Washington Post's article yesterday morning about how meaningful climate change legislation is being stifled (but only on this side of the Atlantic) by economic concerns in Climate Change Debate Hinges on Economics. There are those of us who are grateful for such concerns, but the Post seems disturbed by them. Naturally, the issue is cast as a morality play, with the selfless Europeans facing off against the narrow-minded Americans. The truth is, naturally, a little more, ah, nuanced.
The potential economic impact of meaningful climate legislation -- enough to reduce U.S. emissions by at least 60 percent -- is vast. Automobiles would have to get double their current miles to the gallon. Building codes would have to be tougher, requiring use of more energy-efficient materials. To stimulate and pay for new technologies, U.S. electricity bills could rise by 25 to 33 percent, some experts estimate; others say the increase could be greater.
As NewsBusters reported, the BBC published an article at its website Tuesday refuting there being a link between recent increases in global temperatures and solar activity. This piece went counter to one the BBC published just three years ago.
The author of the 2004 piece, former BBC science correspondent David Whitehouse, wrote an article published in the British Telegraph Sunday which slammed the BBC for its “enthusiastically one-sided, sloppy and confused” report on this subject.
*****Update: MIT's Richard Lindzen weighs in at end of post.
Whitehouse marvelously began (emphasis added throughout):
As NewsBusters reported Monday, Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., made some absurd statements about a number of conservative media members at Al Gore’s Live Earth concert in East Rutherford, New Jersey.
One of those Kennedy called a flat earther, ABC’s John Stossel, after debating Kennedy on Fox News’ “Your World with Neil Cavuto” Wednesday, spoke quite candidly about this issue with WOR radio’s Steve Malzberg.
On "CNN Newsroom," correspondent Cal Perry asserted that Hamas is fighting for "independence" from Israel. Somehow, he failed to mention that the organization has often called for the destruction of that country.
Dan Harrison, a senior VP of NBC, this week asserted that his network’s over-the-top coverage of Al Gore’s Live Earth concert wasn’t a "political issue" because "everyone" agrees global warming is happening. And the networks wonder why they’re losing viewers? Additionally, MRC intern Michael Lanza noted that this same not-"political" concert featured video of distraught children, wailing about the impending death of the Earth.
The summer of media love for Al Gore continues in the Washington Post today. An article by Lori Aratani boasts in the sub-heading that “Al Gore’s film has raised awareness of energy conservation, officials say.”
The piece is actually on John Morrill, an Arlington County bureaucrat who has, for years, been “touting the cost saving benefits and environmentally friendly nature” of compact fluorescent lamps. He says in the past people ignored him but now, “thanks in part to ‘An Inconvenient Truth’ the issue has a higher profile.”
While the article stumbles over itself bestowing platitudes on Al Gore’s “documentary,” it – of course – fails to mention that while Al was busy lecturing America about the evils of carbon emissions, his own house in Tennessee was using over 20 times more energy than the national average.
Here’s something you don’t see every day: a president of a major environmental group sending an e-mail message to a colleague threatening to ruin that person’s career over disagreements regarding anthropogenic global warming.
Yet, as published at National Review Online’s “The Corner” on Friday, that’s exactly what happened just days after a Competitive Enterprise Institute senior fellow wrote an article for the American Spectator which spoke against proposed legislation to mandate carbon dioxide emissions reductions.
According to National Review’s Iain Murphy, the author, Dr. Marlo Lewis, received the following e-mail message this morning (one character edited by Murphy for vulgarity):
Remember the old commercial for aspirin where actor Robert Young, portrayer of '70s TV icon Dr. Marcus Welby, would wear a white lab coat and say, "I'm not a doctor, but I play one on TV..."? The same mentality is at work with actor Rob Lowe, who testified yesterday before Congress for tax credits for people who add a plug-in feature to their hybrid cars. Ann Senner, writing for the AP, seems to take his credibility seriously:
Actor Rob Lowe, who portrays a member of Congress on television, appeared before lawmakers Thursday and promoted tax credits for people who add a plug-in feature to hybrid cars and trucks.
But that didn’t stop ABC “World News with Charles Gibson” from promoting the left-wing group trying to accomplish that.
“If the group can get them [the penguin] protected by the U.S. Endangered Species Act, they say it’ll send an important message about the global problem of climate change,” said ABC science correspondent Ned Potter on July 11.
On Thursday, Jules Crittenden wondered if American media are lazy, stupid or willfully ignorant with how they’ve been reporting events in Iraq.
Given the BBC’s recent piece concerning the relationship between the sun and climate change which hysterically ignored an article it published almost three years ago with a completely diametric view, one might ask the same question of that British television network.
To set this up, as NewsBusters reported Thursday, the BBC.com published a piece concerning Mike Lockwood’s paper discrediting a connection between the sun’s activities and global warming in the past 22 years.
The donations to the global warming cause keep coming in from NBC. On this morning's "Today" show, the band Maroon 5 came on to tease their upcoming performance on the show but couldn't leave without the "Today" show cast urging them to plug their partnership with a liberal environmentalist organization, that gets $1 from every Maroon 5 ticket sold.
When the band's lead singer, Adam Levine, urged viewers to buy tickets for their tour, "Today" co-host Ann Curry mentioned viewers could see the band for free at their August 17th performance on the Rockefeller Center Plaza. However Today's weatherman, Al Roker, quickly rectified Curry's inadvertent undercutting of the cause, as he reminded viewers: "But buy a ticket because a dollar goes to Global Cool."
A funny thing happened a few days after Al Gore’s concerts to draw attention to global warming concluded: a significant study out of England stating that changes in the sun’s output are not responsible for climate change went almost thoroughly ignored by America’s media.
A report by the BBC on Tuesday, which demonstrably challenged one of the key arguments made by anthropogenic global warming skeptics, would normally have been greeted with great enthusiasm by press representatives in the States always looking to highlight stories supporting their green agenda.
Yet, of the major American news organizations, only Bloomberg gave this new study any attention:
On Wednesday's Your World with Neil Cavuto, FNC's Cavuto hosted both ABC's John Stossel and environmentalist Robert F. Kennedy Jr. to discuss Kennedy's charge, from the stage of Saturday's "Live Earth" concert in New Jersey, that the ABC anchor, as well as Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity, have been "lying" about global warming and are "toadies" for corporations.
Stossel charged that some of Kennedy's comments about the environment are "silly" and brought up a number of big scares that have been promoted in recent years, some by environmentalists, that have turned out not to materialize. Asked by Cavuto if ignoring the issue may make it worse, Stossel responded: "Well, it's possible. And it's possible that the killer bees were going to come up and sting us all to death, and that Y2K was going to crash all the planes, and that the pesticides that his organization [Natural Resources Defense Council] is so upset about were causing the cancer epidemic, and the frog testicles were shrinking, were going to make us all sterile. The scares from the environmental groups have just come one after the other. None has been true."
Yesterday's testimony by a disaffected former Bush official gave the
mainstream media the opportunity to resurrect a favored meme: President
Bush hates science.
Former Surgeon General Richard Carmona
yesterday testified before a House committee on White House meddling in
Carmona's speeches. Of course, Drs. C. Everett Koop and David Satcher
also complained of political meddling from the Reagan and Clinton
administrations respectively, but this fact was buried deep in the print accounts I've read.
But rather than exploring the complaints of political interference as a "systemic problem"-- Carmona's words -- that transcend party line and administration, news coverage in the mainstream media has
sought to single out the Bush administration as anti-science.
For those NBC brass who would lamely insist that there was no "political issue" in their broadcasting of the Al Gore Live Earth concerts all across their channels, Mark Hemingway at National Review Online sat through it and reports that gravel-voiced lesbo-rocker Melissa Etheridge unveiled a new anti-Bush, pro-Cindy Sheehan song. On Monday morning’s edition of the Stephanie Miller radio show, Cindy Sheehan made one of her routine interview stops and said she saw that and loved the song and hoped to use it as her campaign theme song if she ran for Congress against Speaker Nancy Pelosi. Hemingway explained:
6:26 [PM]: Al Gore’s personal troubadour, Melissa Etheridge, takes the stage. Etheridge wrote the turgid theme song for An Inconvenient Truth, and today is premiering two new songs. The first, "Imagine That," near as I can tell, is written from the perspective of Cindy Sheehan. Etheridge is the only musician I’ve seen today that seems really revved up about the cause. Unfortunately, for her there’s really just no way for her to sing lyrics this overtly political and not have it be extremely awkward:
You know it's summer when your favorite shows start reruns, but most people don't expect reruns of television news. Yet ABC news looked like one on July 9.
ABC "World News with Charles Gibson" followed up it's July 8 hit piece on bottled water, with a second hit piece the next evening.
"There are billions and billions and billions of these [water bottles] that end up in landfills every year," correspondent Ryan Owens said to an unidentified man.
Owens report beat up bottled water using the same points as the earlier report: that it is environmentally damaging because the bottles end up in landfills and plastic is created using fossil fuels. He quoted the mayor of Salt Lake City, Utah - one city that has banned the bottle.
However his bona fides when it comes to meteorology are such that when he suggests that “a [small] cadre of agenda-driven scientists and statesmen” inside the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change provided a “more alarmist interpretation” of the facts concerning manmade global warming, and “the media took the most extreme of the messages to hype them further,” people should pay heed.
With that in mind, this former Director of Meteorology at The Weather Channel, and current Executive Director of the International Climate and Environmental Change Assessment Project, published an article at Energy Tribune Monday that should be required reading for all actually interested in the facts surrounding this controversial subject (emphasis added throughout):
In a striking contrast to his fellow reporters, the Washington Post's Howard Kurtz took NBC to task for the extensive Live Earth coverage on NBC and its sister cable channels (earlier NewsBusters item on this very same column, with transcript of Kurtz's discussion on CNN's Reliable Sources.) Shockingly, Kurtz even used quotation marks when mentioning the global warming “crisis.” In his “Media Notes” column, Kurtz rightfully questioned the ethics of a network taking sides on a political issue (a General Electric senior VP said he doesn't “think climate change is a political issue”) and helping a “prominent Democrat” who potentially has presidential ambitions to raise money.
These are important points that most reporters have failed to raise, but Kurtz was not intimidated by the peer pressure and got down to the nuts and bolts (emphasis mine):
NBC and its cable networks devoted a total of 35 hours of air time Saturday to the Live Earth concerts, organized by Al Gore to call attention to what he calls a global warming "crisis."
It turned out that Robert F. Kennedy Jr., the radical environmentalist, had some strong words for politicians who stand against climate change legislation.
“Get rid of all these rotten politicians that we have in Washington, who are nothing more than corporate toadies … This is treason. And we need to start treating them as traitors,” Kennedy said at the July 7 concert held in New Jersey, according to Newsday.
Sting and his wife, environmental activist, Trudie Styler, were welcomed like old friends by Today co-host Ann Curry, on NBC's prime-time coverage of Live Earth. Curry, who has gushingly interviewed Styler before, implored the rock star and his wife to send a message to all those participating in the "rising fervor" for the environment. However, Curry worried that "fervor" would cool as she asked the 80s pop icon: "Well the iron is hot. People are listening. Irons cool, Sting. So what is the strongest thing you can say tonight to people listening?"
The following is the full interview as it occurred around 8:24pm on NBC's live July 7th coverage of the Live Earth concert:
For those whose gastrointestinal tracts couldn’t allow them to stomach the goings on during Saturday’s Live Earth concerts, conceivably one of the best moments was Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.’s rant at Giants Stadium.
Not only did Kennedy attack the politicians and the media as “corporate toadies” for the oil industry, but he also slammed conservative radio hosts Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, and Glenn Beck as being lying “Flat Earthers.”
It seems not even Al Gore and his stable of celebrity talent could keep Live Earth at the top of the ratings this past weekend. Greg Pollowitz from The Corner has the breakdown from Nielsen Media Research:
Saturday 7/07/07 Note: The following results are based on the fast affiliate ratings (Live Plus Same Day data).
That's right; NBC had a total of 2.75 million viewers for their three-hour airing of the Live Earth concerts. As a small consolation, they had more viewers than this spot in Brisbane, Australia, where a large outdoor screen had been set up for the anticipated throng.
Regardless of your views on global warming and climate change, Live Earth’s use of school-aged children as political spokesmen was, by anyone’s standards, in poor taste. Bravo’s coverage of the Al Gore-produced musical festival began with several innocent, gapped-tooth children sharing their all-too-adult frustrations and concerns over the environment. One poor girl, clearly shaken by the doomsday philosophy of extreme environmentalism, actually burst into tears (pictured at right).
Unidentified girl: "I’m really afraid of my children growing up and not being able to see like a blue sky or green grass. [Crying] If I don’t do something who will, you know?"