Charlie Rose and Norah O'Donnell stayed true to form and badgered a Republican/conservative guest on Monday's CBS This Morning – this time, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor over his criticism of the Obama administration's nuclear deal with Iran. Rose questioned the congressman's opposition to the proposal, which he labeled "dangerous". Rose asked, "Why isn't that a good deal to freeze things and delay?"
O'Donnell twice touted the deal as "positive", in an attempt to defend the White House's controversial diplomatic efforts: [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]
"If he’s not assassinated or not overthrown in a coup, he’s going to be in power for 40 years, and he is going to wed those atomic bombs to those missiles, and he’ll be able to threaten South Korea and Japan and U.S. bases in Asia.”
So said Pat Buchanan about North Korea's Kim Jong Un on PBS's McLaughlin Group Friday.
All three evening newscasts on Tuesday and two out of the three morning shows on Wednesday skipped the dramatic story of an elderly Florida man who saved a cafe full of people from gun-wielding robbers. Only Good Morning America covered the story of seventy-one-year-old Samuel Williams using his own weapon to fend off attackers.
News reader Josh Elliot lauded the "gun-toting senior citizen" for his quick action and for "not taking it anymore." Co-host George Stephanopoulos narrated the video: "There he is right there. Takes them on. Saves the whole cafe." Elliott praised it as "remarkable." He misleadingly described, "Williams does have a gun license and is not expected to be charged." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
Commonly used history textbooks in American classrooms often misrepresent major historical events, and present material based in liberal political ideology rather than factual happenings.
The Culture and Media Institute has obtained six textbooks commonly used in American classrooms. Three of these textbooks are used to teach 8th graders: Glencoe’s “The American Journey,” Prentice Hall’s “The American Nation,” and Holt, Rinehart, and Winston’s “Call to Freedom: Beginnings to 1877.” The other three textbooks are used to teach 11th graders: Holt, Rinehart, and Winston’s “American Anthem,” Prentice Hall’s “America: Pathways to the Present,” and Prentice Hall’s “A History of the United States.”
On Monday's NBC Today, Tom Brokaw reported on veteran Mike Wright returning from tours in Iraq and Afghanistan to continue work at New York's Indian Point nuclear power plant: "Entergy, Wright's employer, supported his deployments. Veteran hiring is a priority for the company, not out of sympathy, but as an investment in the bottom line....Mike Wright and Entergy, that's how it's supposed to work."
Now compare that praise for the plant's hiring practices, with NBC News fear-mongering almost exactly one year ago, shortly after the earthquake and nuclear crisis in Japan. On the March 20, 2011 Nightly News, anchor Lester Holt ominously warned: "A government report has found the plant with the highest risk of core damage from an earthquake here is just about 35 miles from our studios here in New York City at the Indian Point plant."
The Department of Energy (DOE) continues to tout the importance of safety at nuclear facilities, while simultaneously ignoring legitimate safety concerns in the name of saving time and money.
Last week, the Defense Nuclear Facilities Safety Board delivered a scathing report on the ‘safety culture’, or lack thereof, being perpetuated by the DOE. Within that report, which focused on how the department handled safety complaints at a nuclear waste cleanup site in Richland, Washington, were statements from several witnesses who believed that raising safety issues could be detrimental to their career. One specific situation seemed to bear this out, in which a former Engineering Manager, Walter Tamosaitis, had raised several technical safety issues in July, and was abruptly removed from the project the next day.
These findings led the House Appropriations Committee to amend a proposed 2012 DOE budget document report, stating that:
"The most recent (defense board) report describes an environment where the professional exchange of views which a safety culture relies upon is discouraged and at times punished. These revelations are both alarming and disturbing and should be interpreted by the secretary of energy as a call to action."
On Saturday, the administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency Lisa Jackson will be giving the keynote speech at the Energy Action Coalition's Power Shift 2011 conference, a meeting of potentially 10,000 green youth activists in Washington, D.C.
According to the schedule, President Obama's former green jobs czar Van Jones will be speaking Friday evening, and members of the International Socialists Organization will be hosting a panel discussion Saturday:
Since Japan's earthquake and following nuclear crisis, the CBS Evening News has done two reports on the Obama administration blocking use of the Yucca Mountain storage facility in Nevada to safely dispose of U.S. nuclear waste. Meanwhile, NBC and ABC have ignored the controversy.
The first CBS report on the issue came on March 22, when Evening News anchor Katie Couric declared: "The crisis in Japan has renewed the debate over nuclear power in this country. Today a federal appeals court heard arguments in a lawsuit over what to do with spent fuel rods." Correspondent Jim Axelrod explained: "An estimated 66,000 metric tons of spent fuel are stored at 77 sites around the country. That's more than 145 million pounds....Plans to make Yucca Mountain in Nevada a long-term storage site were scuttled by the Obama administration a year ago, after 20 years of planning costing $14 billion."
On Wednesday's All Things Considered, NPR's Ari Shapiro acted as a stenographer for the Obama administration's energy proposals. Shapiro played four clips from the President's recent speech on the issue, and another from a sympathetic environmentalist. Even the lone clip from an oil industry representative came from someone who "supports the move to invest in biofuels and clean energy."
At the beginning of his report, the correspondent noted that "the White House described this event as a pivot away from speeches about Libya and Japan. But President Obama acknowledged that those crises make it important to talk about energy now." After playing his first clip from the chief executive, who stated that "the situation in the Middle East implicates our energy security," Shapiro stayed within the perspective set by the Democrat: "America's past is strewn with moments when a global crisis has driven up the price of gas or scared people about the risks of nuclear energy."
Filling in for Martin Bashir on his eponymous program on Thursday, MSNBC's Richard Lui treated viewers to an alarmist environmentalist's take on news of trace amounts of radioactive iodine being detected in milk from cows in two West Coast states. It's believed the radiation is linked to the failed Fukushima Daiichi plant in Japan.
After noting that the Environmental Protection Agency has said the levels are "far below an amount that would be considered dangerous," Lui introduced Damon Moglen of Friends of the Earth (FOE), asking him "What do you think of what we're hearing right now with milk being affected?"
The FOE climate and energy project director jumped straight in with his talking points:
On Monday's All Things Considered, NPR's Bob Mondello used movies about fictional nuclear disasters, such as "The China Syndrome" and "Silkwood," to play up atomic energy's hazards. Mondello especially highlighted the 1959 movie "On the Beach" as supposedly coming the closest to the portraying a real-life radiation catastrophe, such as the ongoing crisis at the Japanese nuclear plant.
Host Melissa Block noted the movie critic's 2010 report comparing Hollywood disaster films to the Gulf of Mexico oil disaster in her introduction: "Last summer, as the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico was finally brought under control...Bob Mondello did a comparison for us on Hollywood disaster movies and how they differ from real world disasters. Well, in the last few weeks, as tragic events have played out in Japan, Bob realized he had left something out of that story: the menace that can't be seen."
On the March 25 CBS Early Show, co-host Chris Wragge apparently merged his nuclear terms by warning viewers of leaks of "uranium and plutanium" at the Fukushima power plant in Japan. Neither he nor co-host Erica Hill ever corrected the error.
The massive earthquake and tsunami that rocked Japan on March 11 claimed many lives and knocked the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant offline reviving decades-old fears as well as liberal media bias about nuclear power.
The news media have promoted anti-nuclear positions since the Three Mile Island accident in 1979, although that incident did not injure or kill anyone and no long-term health impacts have been proven. At that time though, the frightening network coverage was "eerily similar" to the fictional Hollywood account of a nuclear disaster in a film released just days earlier: "The China Syndrome."
Three Mile Island was no "China Syndrome," yet some press outlets specifically sent reporters who had seen the film to cover the Harrisburg, Pa. nuclear accident, according to a PBS program aired in 1999.
It was likely not a surprise to "Inside Washington" viewers that most of the usual suspects on the panel Friday saw the crisis in Japan as not being good for the future of nuclear powered electrical plants in this country.
What certainly must have raised a couple of eyebrows though was the strongest opposition to any further construction of such facilities coming from lone conservative Charles Krauthammer (video follows with transcript and commentary):
The liberal media collectively hyperventilated the past couple of days after conservative author Ann Coulter had the nerve to claim that radiation at certain levels is actually a good thing.
Jumping on the breathless bandwagon was MSNBC's Ed Schultz Friday who called Coulter "toxic" as he attacked her assertions without clearly elucidating her point (video follows with transcript and commentary):
NPR's Scott Horsley favored Democrats over Republicans by a five-to-two margin on Thursday's Morning Edition. Horsley played sound bites or quoted from Obama administration officials or congressional liberals more often than from GOP representatives.
During his report, the correspondent highlighted congressional concerns over the safety of nuclear energy during the Tuesday hearing of the House Energy and Commerce Committee. Energy Secretary Chu and Nuclear Regulatory Chairman Gregory Jaczko were the main witnesses during the hearing. Horsley first noted that "Chu was cautious in talking about Japan's nuclear crisis and its meaning for the U.S. Damage to the Fukushima reactors seems more serious than Three Mile Island. But Chu confessed we don't really know what's happening, and the situation is unfolding hour by hour."
There has been quite a bit of hysteria among some major media outlets in the past few days regarding the potential dangers of nuclear power. Some have even suggested that the benefits of nuclear energy do not outweigh its potential dangers to human life.
The dangers of nuclear power, while serious, need to be put in perspective. To that end, here's an interesting fact you won't be hearing from the mainstream press: wind energy has killed more Americans than nuclear energy.
You read that right. According to the Caithness Windfarm Information Forum, there were 35 fatalities associated with wind turbines in the United States from 1970 through 2010. Nuclear energy, by contrast, did not kill a single American in that time.
On his eponymous program today, MSNBC anchor Martin Bashir interviewed a liberal environmental activist aiming to scare viewers into believing that nuclear energy poses an imminent threat to the safety of the United States.
Bashir allowed a spokesman for Friends of the Earth, a left-wing environmental group, to declare nuclear facilities in California dangerous and unsafe, but neglected to report that the nuclear industry claims it has protocols in place to ensure safety.
"The fact of the matter is that what's happening in Japan could certainly have happened here," predicted David Moglan, director of the Climate and Energy Project for Friends of the Earth.
From the same organization that gave us the ‘lives touched’ method for calculating stimulus job creation, the Department of Energy (DOE) has now stumbled upon a whole new way to increase employment.
The Environmental Protection Agency on Wednesday announced that they are investigating ‘an uncontrolled spread of radioactive material’ at the Knolls Atomic Power Laboratory in Niskayuna, New York. Elevated radiation levels have been confirmed in the air surrounding the site, as well as the Mohawk River which was deluged with over 600 gallons of radioactive water. The radiation stemmed from an incident in late September when workers attempted to take down a building – building H2 - at the site.
Worse, the DOE failed to notify local officials of the spill, leaving those who rely on their water supply from the Mohawk completely oblivious to the potential health and safety issues.
The Albany Times Union obtained a copy of a report filed by investigators for the DOE, which cited “an atmosphere of fear among the work force not to speak up about issues of concern”. The report reveals the main reason that workers for the Washington Group International (WGI), a private company contracted to clean up the Cold War-era facility, felt pressured to ignore safety issues:
The company was pushing to finish work three months earlier than first planned -- by September 2011 rather than December 2011 -- in order to receive an extra $32 million in federal stimulus funding awarded for the cleanup in April 2009.
Chris Matthews on Wednesday called Republicans that are skeptical of man's role in global warming Luddites, referring to the 19th century movement in Great Britain that was opposed to changes associated with the Industrial Revolution.
Clearly missing the absurdity in his analogy, the "Hardball" host arrogantly stated (video follows with transcript and commentary):
David Gregory is clearly concerned that if Republicans don't vote in favor of the START treaty with Russia, President Obama's international image, as well as American prestige abroad, will be damaged.
On Sunday's "Meet the Press," Gregory asked Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, "Is this going to potentially be a problem with the president not being able to get what he wants on the world stage because of Republicans?" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
How's this for outside-the-box thinking - use nuclear explosives to stop the BP oil spill that is ravaging the Gulf Coast?
According to some of the panelist on Fox News Channel's "Forbes on Fox," using nuclear materials would be a more expeditious way to solve this calamity.
"That's right, nuke it." "Forbes on Fox" host David Asman said on the show's June 5 broadcast. "Some scientists do advocate this. The Soviets apparently succeeded in doing it. Here is the video they say actually shows it. And now some at ‘Forbes' agree, nuke it.
Rich Karlgaard, publisher of Forbes magazine, was one of the strongest proponents of using nukes for fear that the relief well option could be thwarted by a hurricane.
CNN founder Ted Turner said Saturday that if we don't prepare for global warming, we'll be extinct.
In a multi-part interview with CNN Newsroom anchor Fredricka Whitfield, Turner spoke about his own devotion and dedication to environmental causes.
"Have you altered all your life, all your living so you are what one would call energy responsible?" asked Whitfield.
"What we really have is a choice whether we want to do the right things from an energy standpoint or the wrong thing," said Turner.
"And if enough of us choose to do the wrong thing and we don't prepare for global warming and we don't make the changes that we know we should make, then we'll be extinct" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
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."
Although it was woefully short on actual ads, the advertising supplement featured thirteen columns that sponsored, championed, and moralized the environmental catastrophe sure to result if Americans - and sometimes others - don't dramatically overhaul the economy and lifestyles. It predictably featured loud calls for more and more government while consciously downplaying the costs to the American economy.
Sources for the special "Environmental Leadership" supplement include:
Sources for the special "Environmental Leadership" supplement include:
New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg urging Congress to adopt the Green Taxis Act requiring all taxi owners to buy hybrids when retiring old vehicles.
Greensburg, Kansas Mayor Bob Dixson recommending every city emulate Greensburg's environmental standards for buildings.
No one has ever accused Alec Baldwin of being a rocket scientist, but apparently the actor fancies himself a nuclear physicist. At least that’s the logical conclusion to draw based on his post over at HuffPo entitled “The Human Cost of Nuclear Power.” The actor assumes his new role with gusto, metaphorically donning a lab coat to explain what he believes are the inherent dangers of nuclear power, but his bizarre conclusions and the outdated, discredited research he cites suggests that a straightjacket would be his better fashion choice.
Let’s start with a question that illustrates just how far the limb that Baldwin is precariously balancing upon extends: what kind of power plant emits the most radiation? The correct answer isn’t the obvious answer. According to the Department of Energy, coal fired power plants emit about one hundred times more radiation, per unit of energy produced, than nuclear plants, chiefly because coal naturally contains trace amounts of radioactive compounds and, unlike nukes, they’re not designed with radioactive shields. Before anyone living near a coal fired power plant runs screaming for the door, I should hasten to add this is still an incredibly tiny amount of radiation, about 1/10,000th of all the radiation that an average person is exposed to each year. Natural sources, by far, make the biggest radioactive contributions to our lives. Nothing else is even close.
NBC's Nightly News and ABC's World News on Tuesday provided drastically different reports on the Obama administration's announced plans to build the country's first new nuclear power plant in 30 years. Nightly News host Brian Williams showcased liberal concern and fretted, "...[Obama's] critics are openly wondering what it is he's up to."
The segment by correspondent Anne Thompson attacked Obama from the left on the plans for the "controversial" new plant. She highlighted Friend of the Earth CEO Erich Pica complaining, "There are reactors across this country that have tons of waste just sitting there, waiting for something to happen."
Over on World News, however, reporter Jake Tapper actually included a former anti-nuclear activist, Dr. Patrick Moore, to argue for the power plants. Tapper first explained that "plant design and equipment requirements have been upgraded. Plants are now required to be able to shut down automatically."
President Barack Obama encouraged some business interests by mentioning nuclear energy and offshore drilling during his Jan. 27 State of the Union speech. Those less popular energy solutions joined the usual alternative rhetoric of wind, solar and bio-fuels.
But on CNBC's Jan. 28 "Street Signs," Jim Cramer, host of CNBC's "Mad Money" noted something was missing - an important onshore energy source, natural gas. And as for the nuclear energy signals - he wasn't convinced Obama was serious.
"I mean, I want to point out I thought the nuke thing was just the boilerplate nuke," Cramer said. "[Energy Secretary Steven] Chu is a research director, the Energy Secretary, really is more of a professor. Offshore oil and gas, the issue is onshore. Natural gas wasn't mentioned, got to be really careful about that."
But after the dust settled some, the White House shifted its focused to so-called health care reform. And additionally, leaked emails surrounding the recent event known ClimateGate have put the entire premise of anthropogenic global warming in doubt. Thus, the likelihood of congressional Democrats getting a bill to the President's desk and signed into law has somewhat dimmed.
And that's a topic a special Thanksgiving Nov. 26 broadcast of Fox News "Special Report" took on. Host Bret Baier explained that there's pending legislation put forward by Environment and Public Works Committee Chairwoman Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif. and Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., with some rigid guidelines for carbon emissions.