Chill Out, ABC: GMA Focuses on Downside of Warm Winter

Allergies? The warm weather makes it tough on people with fall allergies? Is that really the best GMA can do when it comes to wringing its hands over the warm winter weather people in the Northeast have been enjoying?

Except for fleeting references to January bouquets and falling oil prices, GMA's segment this morning was one long whine-a-thon about the mild winter. I do mean long. GMA led with the segment and devoted over six of its precious first-half hour minutes to the subject, more than it spent on the historic takeover of Congress by the Dems.

Robin Roberts kicked things off by fretting: "Animals are not hibernating; people are still suffering from fall allergies."

ABC reporter John Berman took it from there, repeating that "the warm air is bad news for people with allergies" and bringing in a doctor to explain: "there's still plenty of mold in the air left over from the fall because it hasn't been cold enough, long enough, for that mold to go away."

Oh, and New Yorkers could be on the verge of dying of thirst: "last year at this time around the cities reservoirs, there were 50 billion gallons of water stored up in the snowpacks. This year: zilch, zero, nothing." OK, but has it simply been warm, or is there a drought, too? If not, then wouldn't at least some of the water normally stored up as snow have already fallen as rain and be in the reservoirs?

When Berman threw it back to the studio, Diane Sawyer reacted with an alarmed "oh my goodness," and maintained that tone of concern for the remainder of the segment. Sawyer brought in Jay Gulledge, a scientist at the Pew Center on Global Climate Change.

Rather than asking an open-ended question, Sawyer posed a series heavily-loaded queries:
  • "What's the number one, most worrying thing to you right now?"
  • "Is this the irreversible part of global warming?"
  • "Are you saying for instance that mosquitoes will not be killed off. Beetles. Are there other pests, and therefore we're going to see a bumper crop come summer?"
  • "Have you seen insects, in numbers and I guess in predatory behavior, that really scares you?"
  • "Polar bears. At this rate have we lost them?" For the record, there are many more polar bears today than 50 years ago. While numbers might be declining in one limited area they are increasing in others. Details here.
While the scientist generally took his lead from Diane, he was actually less alarmist than Diane herself.

Throughout the Gulledge interview, ABC editorialized with its screen graphic: "January Heat Wave - Is Global Warming To Blame?" Blame? Here in Ithaca, I'm not blaming global warming, if that's what it is. I'm cheering it! Isn't it good for millions of those "working-class Americans" that the MSM loves to champion that the cost of heating their homes and filling their gas tanks is down as a result of the warm weather? And aren't many more lives being saved as a result of snow-and-ice free roads and sidewalks [no shoveling-induced heart-attacks] than are being lost to the unspeakable depradations of hayfever?

But ABC didn't want us to hear from anyone not toeing the Al Gore/impending-doom line.

Contact Mark at mark@gunhill.net
Mark Finkelstein
Mark Finkelstein is a contributing editor for NewsBusters.