It must have been a dream come true for the folks at NBC, as well as all those associated with the long-time comedy variety show “Saturday Night Live.” Last night, NBC welcomed former vice president Al Gore to open the show posing as America’s president addressing the American people five years after having "overwhelmingly" won in 2000 (hat tip to Expose the Left with video link to follow). In reality, despite the obvious left-leaning bias, this was a good piece of comedy, with Gore doing a very fine job. Some of the highlights:
“In the last 6 years we have been able to stop global warming. No one could have predicted the negative results of this. Glaciers that once were melting are now on the attack.”
“Right now, in the 2nd week of May 2006, we are facing perhaps the worst gas crisis in history. We have way too much gasoline. Gas is down to $0.19 a gallon and the oil companies are hurting. I know that I am partly to blame by insisting that cars run on trash. I am therefore proposing a federal bailout to our oil companies because - hey if it were the other way around, you know the oil companies would help us.”
“On a positive note, we worked hard to save Welfare, fix Social Security and of course provide the free universal health care we all enjoy today. But all this came at a high cost. As I speak, the gigantic national budget surplus is down to a perilously low $11 trillion dollars.”
“There are some of you that want to spend our money on some made-up war. To you I say: what part of ‘lockbox’ don't you understand?”
“There have been some setbacks. Unfortunately, the confirmation process for Supreme Court Justice Michael Moore was bitter and divisive. However, I could not be more proud of how the House and Senate pulled together to confirm the nomination of Chief Justice George Clooney.”
What follows is a full transcript of this sketch courtesy of Crooks and Liars, and a video link courtesy of Expose the Left.
Reuters reported a startling scientific find on Wednesday that certainly brings into question the current hysteria surrounding global warming (hat tip to Drudge): “Climate shifts were probably responsible for the extinction of the mammoth and other species more than 10,000 years ago, not over-hunting by humans, according to new research published on Wednesday.”
How does this fit into the global warming debate? Well, according to Dr. Dale Guthrie of the University of Alaska in Fairbanks, “‘The new patterns of dates indicate a radical ecological sorting during a uniquely forage-rich transitional period, affecting all large mammals, including humans.’"
And what happened during this "ecological sorting":
NBC’s Today hyped hybrid cars this morning but didn’t give consumers the full skinny on them. At the top of this morning’s Today show Katie Couric promoted an upcoming segment on the popularity of hybrids by way of taking this shot at the President’s poll numbers: "Then another crisis facing this administration, those soaring gas prices. A poll out today says only 13 percent of Americans approve of the way President Bush is managing the situation right now and now many people are trying to save money at the pump by turning to hybrid vehicles but there's a big catch, they're getting harder and harder to find."
A few minutes later NBC’s Peter Alexander’s devoted a whole piece to the increased demand for the hybrids as drivers look to lower costs in the face of high gas prices. Alexander piously declared: "Not long ago people said hybrids were for hippies. Those same people are driving them now."
The latest Hubble images show that Jupiter has a new storm brewing, one that signals "a global change that can modify temperatures by as much as 10 degrees Fahrenheit on different parts of the globe." Get ready for the New York Times to blame Republicans.
This coming exactly a month after I wrote about the global warming that is occurring on Mars.
But don't take the universe's word for it. Media maven Barack Obama says man caused all of our problems. Even the once not-so-partisan magazine Nature is getting in on the game with a new study that definitively proves that man is killing the world with a junk science study that apparently paid no attention to the recent twenty most active years of the sun ever recorded.
The answer [to the cause of global warming], says Vecchi, is pretty much all of it. "At least 80% of this is attributable to human activities," he says.
Time's special issue on the 100 most influential people is a bit of promotional popcorn, allowing celebrities and statesmen to praise each other for their brilliance and good works (for example, Les Gelb flatters Condi Rice, Condi Rice flatters Oprah, Oprah flatters author Elie Wiesel). So it shouldn't be surprising that the magazine that made endangered Earth its "Planet of the Year" and used to beg routinely for punishing gas tax hikes allowed Al Gore to both be praised and offer praise on planetary matters. "There could hardly be a more opportune time for the country to be giving Gore another look," cooed the magazine.
On this morning's Today Katie Couric and Matt Lauer heartily promoted Jimmy Buffett’s latest project, a new environmentalist movie aimed at kids called Hoot. Apparently the movie, based off the liberal Carl Hiaasen’s book, features kids vandalizing a construction site. However Matt and Katie simply pitched it as a "movie with a message," about, "some young people who come together to help save an endangered species." Couric also endorsed the book in wishing Buffett good luck: "Yeah good luck with Hoot I loved the book I can't wait to see the movie." The following conversation came at 8:31am, conveniently preceeded by an ad for Hoot in the previous commercial break:
Andrew Revkin is the chief environmental reporter for the Times, a true believer in the idea that humans are making the planet warmer. He also plays in an "acoustic-roots" band, "Uncle Wade," and even wrote an environmental protest ditty, "Liberated Carbon," which he recently performed during a talk at Bowdoin College in Maine.
In this retelling of the creation story, Satan offers coal and oil to humanity instead of an apple (environmentalism as religion, once again).
Do you remember Leonardo diCaprio's turn as an ABC News correspondent, interviewing President Clinton on the environment in 2000? Well, premiering Tuesday on PBS: "Journey to Planet Earth," the latest public-broadcasting environmental-disaster documentary, hosted by pretty-boy actor Matt Damon. The show's PBS website promises:
Nearly half the world’s wildlife species may become extinct over the next fifty years. Climate change, the illegal wildlife trade, the spread of disease, and the destruction of critical habitat are pushing species to the brink. Join host Matt Damon as Journey to Planet Earth investigates what scientists call 'the sixth great extinction of the world’s animals' and what we are doing to stop it." Then scroll to the bottom of the page and see all the government agencies that have given your tax dollars to this panic-button-pusher:
Over at CBS's Public Eye blog, "Face the Nation" executive producer Carin Pratt sounds typical liberal-media notes: she wants more coverage of the planet's demise, loathes bloggers, and loves John McCain:
What single issue should be covered more at CBS News?
The environment. Although with the global warming situation hard to ignore, I figure that will change...
Do you read blogs? If so, which ones? If not, what do you read on the Internet?
I don't read blogs. In fact, I am anti-blog. If I want to hear a bunch of unedited thoughts -- that's what friends are for. Who has the time? Too many newspapers and magazines. Which, one hopes, have been edited.
A March 29 article published by the Free Market Project addressed the recent full-court press by the media to advance the concept that global warming is an imminent threat to our planet. From television reports, to lead articles at major magazines, March was a month filled with madness not just on the basketball court.
Yet, a recent Gallup poll reported by Editor & Publisher indicated that Americans aren’t buying into the insanity: “Contrary to what one might expect, Gallup found that while public concern is higher than in 2004, it is ‘no higher than it has been at several points in the past.’ In fact, Americans are more worried about water pollution, air pollution, and toxic waste than global warming.”
Do you mean that Americans are starting to ignore media propaganda? It appears so:
The Associated Press held their annual luncheon yesterday and invited media darling Senator Barack Obama to lay out the media's talking points for the next election. The only surprising thing about the event was that it opened with a prayer.
Apparently Democrats want the press to focus on global warming as the core issue in the next election cycle. No doubt focus groups have reaffirmed that it is the only topic democrats can successfully obfuscate. If I may, I'd like to respond to one paragraph of Obama's message, and perhaps he can respond back to me - should he happen to be a faithful reader of Newsbusters.
(14:49) "What we can be scientifically certain of is that our continued use of fossil fuels is pushing us to the point of no return. And unless we free ourselves from a dependence on these fossil fuels and chart a new course on energy in this country, we are condemning future generations to potential catastrophe. Since 1980 we've experienced 19 of the 20 hottest years on record."
That's interesting, because since 1980 we've also experienced 28 of the 29 most powerful solar flares ever recorded. This just 400 years after a lack of solar flares, which just happened to coincide with the "Maunder Minimum", otherwise known as the Little Ice Age. In science, that's known as a pattern.
Perhaps Barack can explain how fossil fuels caused NASA to detect a sharp increase in recent global warming - on Mars.
And for three Mars summers in a row, deposits of frozen carbon dioxide near Mars' south pole have shrunk from the previous year's size, suggesting a climate change in progress.
Perhaps it is all the SUVs used by Martian soccer moms.
Even if democrats actually had a plan to move away from fossil fuels, they have no authority to force the rest of the world to follow it. It would seem the best play for democrats is try to make political inroads by continuing to blame man for all the problems in the universe. All the better if the media goes along with them. Now what are the chances of that?
Robert Novak's column today focuses on NASA scientist James Hansen, and how the New York Times and CBS's "60 Minutes" have played up his charges of being "muzzled" -- as many political figures would love to be limited to speaking only in The New York Times and on "60 Minutes." For our purposes, the most interesting paragraph may be Novak's last one:
In concluding the Hansen segment on "60 Minutes," CBS correspondent Scott Pelley said: "For months, we've been trying to talk to the president's science adviser, but we were finally told he would never be available." White House communications director Nicolle Wallace told me: " '60 Minutes' never contacted the press office." Assuming that the network attempted to contact the science adviser and not the press office and that both statements are accurate, they resulted in a one-sided political presentation that ignored the real scientific debate.
In my latest article up at FreeMarketProject.org, I take a look at some movie reviews which praise Ice Age 2: The Meltdown for raising the concept of global warming to kids. You can find it here.
My colleague Geoff Dickens recorded Gene Shalit's similar take on NBC's Today show.
Doing some research for the story, I also found some far-left Canadian review which thought that the new cartoon feature was too conservative. For your amusement:
What could have been an interesting opportunity to educate kiddies about the sorry state of our planet and the dire need for all of us to preserve it is instead, incredibly, a fatalistic reaffirmation that, somehow, God will prevail.
On Comedy Central's South Park cartoon Wednesday, the world's environment is threatened by the impossible smugness of those driving hybrid cars. (The smug clouds are biggest over San Francisco, naturally.) The danger passes only when the people of South Park mash their hybrid cars into little aluminum cubes. And, just for fun, the animators named their hybrid the "Pious," a knock on Toyota's "Prius."
Funny enough, but the very next morning on NBC's Today, reporter Tom Costello was lauding the wonders of efficient, low emission hybrid cars (as opposed to those awful SUVs) when he showcased a smug driver who sounded like a South Park gag. MRC's Geoff Dickens caught this part of NBC's report:
Tom Costello: "Betsy Rosenberg didn't always drive a hybrid car but after getting fed up with 15 mpg in her SUVs she traded them both in for a Toyota Prius and 50 mpg."
Betsy Rosenberg: "I decided this was something that I would do to protect my kid, my country, my planet and be patriotic. I think that's the patriotic thing to do is to use less gas and not more."
NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams on Wednesday night employed a nice euphemism for left-wing environmental groups (those “who care chiefly about our planet”) , thus without conveying any sense of their ideological agenda, he passed along their ridiculing of the Bush administration for not going far enough in hiking the miles per gallon (mpg) standards for SUVs. In leading with the announcement from the Transportation Department, Williams noted that SUVs “have been considered trucks” and thus “been able to duck the mileage rules for American cars.” Williams, who anchored from Washington, DC, presumably so he could attend the Radio-Television News Directors Association dinner, then relayed how “the folks here in Washington and elsewhere who care chiefly about our planet and the insatiable American need for energy, said these new standards will not, in fact, reduce our consumption of oil.”
Reporter Tom Costello soon highlighted how “environmental groups complain the biggest gas-guzzling pickups on the road are still exempt and mileage standards for both cars and light trucks should be much tougher: 40 miles per gallon, not 24." He concluded with the spin of the environmental groups: "The new standards will add about $200 to the average sticker price, but environmentalists wonder what the country is getting for the money.” (Partial transcript follows.)
No not even reviews of kids movies are free from a tinge of liberal bias at the Today show. During Gene Shalit's Critic's Corner the dorky mustached film critic couldn't help himself:
Gene Shalit: "Good morning and welcome to the Critic's Corner. Think global warming isn't real? Ask Manny the Mammoth, Diego the Tiger or Sid the Sloth. They first met in the animated hit Ice Age and they formed an unlikely herd. Now in Ice Age: The Meltdown they're fleeing floods of melting ice and the results are joyous.... Carlos Saldahna's direction and the smart three-scribe script makes this Ice Age very cool. The herd's happy 88 happy minutes will melt away your out-of-theater cares while attesting that global warming is no snow job. Audiences everywhere get ready! Here comes Ice Age: The Meltdown starring the herd shot 'round the world. And that's the Critic's Corner for this morning."
The problem with advocacy journalism is that once one has switched from “mediator” to “advocate,” the other side becomes the “adversary” — and news stories have all the fairness of campaign commercials.
On the issue of global warming, the media are cursed with a surplus of advocates and a paucity of real journalists. This week’s Timecover story, for example, begins with the kind of fear-mongering that liberals find so offensive when it crops up in debates about the war on terror. Time’s cover screams: “BE WORRIED. BE VERY WORRIED,” with the word “VERY” in bright red letters, in case anyone missed the point.
Imagine if Vice President Cheney asked us to “be worried, be very worried” about al Qaeda or the spread of weapons of mass destruction. Time would be at the front of the liberal media mob, hissing for an end to politically-motivated scare tactics.
ABC started off this week's focus on global warming by falsely presenting a liberal journalist and author as a Pulitzer Prize winner.
Former Boston Globe editor and reporter Ross Gelbspan was the centerpiece of Geoff Morrell's March 26 World News Tonight report. Morrell labeled Gelbspan a "Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist." But Gelbspan never won the award, which was given to seven reporters in 1984 for a social issue -- series on race relations in Boston -- not a scientific dispute like climate change.
Bill Maher ended his HBO show Friday night, Real Time with Bill Maher, with a tirade about supposed efforts by the Bush administration to suppress information about global warming. Picking up on the allegations of NASA's James Hansen who was featured on last Sunday's 60 Minutes, Maher charged that “cowboy” Bush “and his corporate goons at the White House tried to censor Mr. Hansen from delivering” the message that carbon dioxide emissions must be reduced within ten years or a disastrous “tipping point” will be reached. Maher then quipped: “This from the crowd that rushed into a war based on an article in The Weekly Standard.” Yes, Hansen was “censored” -- right onto the platform of an entire 60 Minutes segment devoted to his apocalyptic theories.
Maher proceeded to level a serious accusation: “Failing to warn the citizens of a looming weapon of mass destruction -- and that's what global warming is -- in order to protect oil company profits, well that fits for me the definition of treason.” Maher nefariously concluded: “We are letting dying men kill our planet for cash and they're counting on us being too greedy or distracted, or just plain lazy, to stop them. So on this day, the 17th anniversary of the Exxon Valdez oil spill, let us pause to consider how close we are to making ourselves fossils from the fossil fuels we extract.” (Transcript follows.)
Time magazine celebrates an exclusive interview with Mel Gibson, described as an "ultraconservative Roman Catholic" with a Holocaust-denying Dad, as he prepares his new film, "Apocalypto," based on the Mayans and performed in the old Mayan language (more subtitles). Gibson says he doesn't give a "flying f---" about his critics, but the comments Time highlighted suggested he may be trying to get back in the good graces of the people living inside Hollywood's liberal bubble, attacking President Bush and sounding an environmentalist alarm:
Gibson and his rookie cowriter on Apocalypto, Farhad Safinia, were captivated by the ancient Maya, one of the hemisphere's first great civilizations, which reached its zenith about A.D. 600 in southern Mexico and northern Guatemala. The two began poring over Maya myths of creation and destruction, including the Popol Vuh, and research suggesting that ecological abuse and war-mongering were major contributors to the Maya's sudden collapse, some 500 years before Europeans arrived in the Americas.
I will always have a soft spot for NBC reporter Michelle Kosinski. After all, it was Michelle's Canoe-Gate stunt that got my NewsBusters career off to a nice start. Michelle was back on the weather beat on this morning's Today show. And once again she made a weather-related allegation that strained credulity.
As we know, in MSM-land all extreme weather events from the very hot to the very cold are somehow the result of global warming. Michelle's topic this morning was the record-breaking cold and heavy snows that have swept the nation's mid-section. She reported from a very cold and snowy Springfield, Illinois [snow in Springfield on the first full day of spring - haha, we get it]. But somehow, Michelle managed to parlay this unusually cold and wintry weather into the threat of . . . increased hurricane activity, which of course is the result of unusually warm weather in the tropics.
The cover of The Washington Post "Book World" section Sunday preached environmental alarmism, with the headine: "Global Warning: Three New Books Argue That We Are Smothering Our Home." Inside, freelance journalist Thomas Hayden (no, not Jane-Fonda-marryin' Tom Hayden, a different one) touted three books, two of them featuring "objective" media authors: Elizabeth Kolbert, a former reporter for the New York Times, and Eugene Linden, a longtime global-warming soothsayer for Time magazine.
Hayden summarizes that the most discouraging problem is dealing with incredibly cautious media outlets, who have not been passionate enough in their exclusion of annoying and worthless conservatives and skeptical scientists:
At a conference speech Thursday, former vice president Al Gore announced the formation of a coalition of political, labor, and religious groups which will soon begin making ad buys on America's television channels warning of the dangers of global warming. Gore also called on the nation's TV outlet owners to match the group's purchases with equal amounts of time gratis. No doubt some will take him up on his offer. Can you imagine, though, if say, Newt Gingrich were to call on media companies to match spending for a program arguing for the need to cut federal spending? He'd have been laughed off the stage.
The same media that joins the Democrats in accusing the Bush administration of using terrorism to scare the American people, seems to think scare tactics are okay when used to support a liberal agenda. On Thursday's Good Morning America, ABC's Bill Blakemore, for the second time in the past two months, used a one-sided story in an attempt to create paranoia about global warming.
When Blakemore fear-mongered about global warming on the January 11th GMA, he linked warming to a potential massive extinction of species around the world: "One study calculates within 45 years between 18 and 35 percent of Earth's plant and animal species will be extinct or committed to extinction because of global warming."
NewsBuster Tom Johnson has condensed his time reviewing NPR broadcasts for MRC (poor man) into an article for The American Enterprise magazine. His general theory is that NPR has traveled from a fairly radical past to a present in which it's fairly indistinguishable in its biases from the rest of the "mainstream" media establishment. Here's an excerpt:
Most old-school or throwback leftist bias on NPR falls into one of three categories, listed below in ascending order of importance.
The first contains examples of a frequently amusing sociopolitical exoticism. In October 2004, for example, All Things Considered co-host Melissa Block referred to Ralph Nader as a "major" Presidential candidate. A few days after the election, reporter Pam Fessler gave "international monitors" plenty of time to gripe about how voting rules in the U.S. vary from state to state.
On their blog The World Newser, ABC reporter Bill Blakemore writes about the loneliness of the global-warming (panic) beat, where resistance is futile to the certitude of man's fossil-fuel addiction frying the planet like a fish stick. He looks forward to the day when we're all running around in the circles panicking in the street about the scorched Earth to come:
It will be a relief - albeit a sad one - as more and more of the public begins to acknowledge and deal with the true scale and impact of this story, as seems to be happening now, so that we who cover it may come to feel less isolated.
On Tuesday afternoon, Brian Montopoli of the CBS News blog Public Eye posted an item regarding a global-warming story that aired this past Sunday on 60 Minutes. (Hat tip: Romenesko.) Take it away, Brian:
...The piece, which featured correspondent Scott Pelley, largely took the existence of global warming as a given. But there are those who claim that global warming – and, specifically, the notion that humans are responsible for it – is a myth. I asked Pelley why the voices of the skeptics were not heard in the piece.
"There is virtually no disagreement in the scientific community any longer about global warming," he says. "The science that has been done in the last three to five years has been conclusive...There's just no longer any credible evidence that suggests that, a, the earth is not warming or, b, that greenhouse gasses [sic] are not the cause...
"It would be irresponsible of us to go find some scientist somewhere who is not thought of as being eminent in the field and put him on television with these other guys to cast doubt on what they're saying," he continues. "It would be difficult to find a scientist worth his salt in this subject who would suggest this wasn't happening. It would probably be someone whose grant has been funded by someone who finds reducing fossil fuel emissions detrimental to their own interests." [Emphasis added.]
The gist is that global warming is causing Arctic ice to melt, depriving polar bears of territory to hunt seals, the staple of their diet.
Author Geoffrey Lean [special sympathy for the hungry?] brands Bush's stance on climate change "obdurate," which last I looked means "hardened in wrongdoing or wickedness; stubbornly impenitent." No media bias there!
Viewers of today's American Morning on CNN were treated to co-host Miles O'Brien's view of scientists who dare question the validity of global warming. In a debate between Reverend Jim Ball, director of the Evangelical Environmental Network, and Reverend Richard Land, president of the Southern Baptist Convention's ethics commission, shortly after 8:15am, O'Brien revealed his beliefs.
Miles O'Brien: "You know, I know that science and religion are often at odds, but the scientific evidence is overwhelming at this point. Are you denying that?"
Reverend Richard Land: "There are scientists who deny it. There are scientists who've said -- "
O'Brien: "Scientists who are bought and paid for by the fossil fuel industry, usually."
Land: "Well, not, not necessarily. I'm not going-"
Both NBC's "Today" on Thursday and CBS's "Early Show" on Wednesday jumped on one liberal-sounding line of Bush's State of the Union address: that America is "addicted to oil."
Matt Lauer began "Today" by joking like he was attending an Alcholics Anonymous meeting. "I'm Matt and I'm addicted to oil."
Katie responded, along with rest of the crew: "Hi Matt!"
Lauer elaborated: "You get the point. In fact it's an addiction all Americans have. We consume nearly a quarter of the world's supply and most of that for driving. Well this week President Bush called on America to break its dependence on foreign oil and search for new cleaner, energy sources but presidents, as you know, have been saying that for decades. Why is oil such a hard habit to break and does the oil used in your home actually affect what's happening in the Middle East? We'll get into that."