More than 24 hours after NBC's Matt Lauer prompted him to say it in an interview, the morning programs all showcased it – and even after day-long playback on the cable channels – CBS and NBC on Tuesday night delighted in again highlighting President Barack Obama's boast that he's gathering information on the oil leak “so I know whose ass to kick.”
Katie Couric put the soundbite, from a competitor, at the top of the CBS Evening News: “In a TV interview aired today, the President said if BP's CEO worked for him, he'd be fired. And Mr. Obama defended his handling of the disaster.”
NBC Nightly News provided a re-run. A day after anchor Brian Williams trumpeted as “just into us” the bite illustrating how Obama “showed some anger on the topic of his handling of this spill so far,” reporter Anne Thompson touted: “Criticized for not conveying his anger over the nation's greatest environmental disaster, President Obama fired back during an exclusive interview with NBC's Matt Lauer.”
The American lawyers who flock to Guantanamo Bay to represent captured terrorists are simply fulfilling their duty to provide representation, it is often argued by those who seem to enjoy mucking up efforts to curtail future terrorism. But once representing the American beverage giant Coca Cola makes Attorney General Eric Holder a “corporatist” who’s going to “do the Devil’s work” and only “pretend” to go tough on BP after the oil spill, lefty talk radio host Mike Malloy (a onetime CNN news writer) argued Wednesday night. (Audio here.)
I guess you know this by now, the, uh, Justice Department under Eric Holder who defended, uh, was it Coca-Cola, against murder charges in, uh, South America? Good old Eric Holder, another corporatist, who, uh, is going to do the Devil’s work now and pretend that he is conducting a criminal investigation into the events that led to the oil gush?
For their part, the big three network evening newscasts reported Holder’s announcement of a “criminal investigation” against BP during their Tuesday night broadcasts, but only CBS’s Chip Reid struck what could be called a skeptical note about the Obama administration’s motives in publicly touting the investigation after a week of criticism about the federal government’s less-than-effective handling of the matter.
For years the global warming alarmists' mantra has been "the science is settled." But a recent series of shocking disclosures about climate science has shaken the credibility of that claim.
The first scandal - ClimateGate - came Nov. 20, 2009, after someone leaked thousands of e-mails from a major climate science group: University of East Anglia's Climatic Research Unit (CRU). The e-mails were full of startling admissions like this one: "We can't account for the lack of warming at the moment."
The broadcast networks couldn't ignore Holy Week, the pinnacle of the Christian calendar, so instead they used it this year to smear the Catholic Church as a harbor for abusive priests.
ABC, CBS and NBC featured 26 stories during Holy Week about Pope Benedict's perceived role in the sex abuse scandal the Catholic Church is now facing. Only one story focused on the measures the church has adopted in recent years to prevent abuse. In 69 percent of the stories (18 out of 26) reporters used language that presumed the pope's guilt. Only one made specific mention of the recent drop in the incidence of abuse allegations against the Catholic Church.
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."
Network journalists who were quick to see racists, haters and extremists amongst the “tea party” protesters were oblivious on Saturday to communists in the “climate justice” march in Copenhagen whose cause they trumpeted -- even as the video they showed included brief shots of marchers waving red flags displaying the Soviet Union's hammer and sickle.
“The streets were filled today with tens of thousands of protesters from around the world, demanding action to stop global warming,” NBC Nightly News anchor Lester Holt announced before Anne Thompson marveled: “An extraordinary sight in front of Denmark's parliament building: 35,000 protesters filling the square, stepping off on a slow march with an urgent plea: Save the planet.”
On the CBS Evening News, anchor Jeff Glor touted how “around the world tonight, protesters are creating heat over climate change. In Copenhagen, where UN talks on global warming are under way, police estimate 40,000 activists marched, mostly peacefully, to demand an agreement that produces real change.” Reporter Sheila MacVicar began: “From India to Australia, from China to Copenhagen, tens of thousands of demonstrators took to the streets.”
ABC and CBS discounted the scientific relevance of the admissions and obfuscations displayed in the ClimateGate e-mails, but on Wednesday night they finally devoted full stories to the controversy and quoted the “most-damning” of the e-mails, the ones referring to a “trick” to “hide the decline” in a temperature measurement and in which a scientist fretted “we can't account for the lack of warming at the moment, and it is a travesty that we can't.”
The two networks, however, painted the “stolen” e-mails not as laudatory whistle-blowing, but as an unwanted impediment to the left's global warming agenda. “Just as the world seems finally poised to do something about global warming, an inconvenient scandal,” ABC's David Wright began in playing off the title of Al Gore's movie. He despaired that “as the controversy heats up, the consensus about making the tough choices to curb carbon emissions threatens to crumble.”
On CBS, Wyatt Andrews relayed how “to many Republicans, ClimateGate proves that global warming is a deception,” before he countered: “But if that's true, it's a fraud adopted by most of the world's leading scientists, along with NASA, the U.N., the American Medical Association, and the National Academies of Science of 32 countries, including the United States. To most of them, ClimateGate is a sideshow compared to one overwhelming fact:” Viewers then were treated to this declaration from the scientist with the “hide the decline” boast: “The last decade is the warmest decade on record.”
CBS and NBC on Tuesday nightly eagerly pounced on the latest UN pronouncement about a warming world, without any regard for ClimateGate disclosures about manipulation of past data and without mentioning, as the AP noted, “the United States and Canada experienced cooler conditions than average.” CBS anchor Katie Couric announced: “At the world climate conference in Copenhagen today, scientists said this decade is on track to become the warmest since records were first kept back in 1850.”
NBC anchor Brian Williams touted “a big headline from that climate meeting going on in Copenhagen. The United Nations weather experts reported today this decade is on track to become the warmest since it started keeping records back in 1850. And 2009, they say, could rank among the top five warmest years ever.” He proceeded to set up a piece about Peru: “Anne Thompson shows us a place where they say the climate crisis is right there for all the world to see, in the form of glaciers melting and threatening the supply of fresh water.”
“Facing a clock some say has ticked down to zero, today 192 nations came together to take on a potential global catastrophe,” a dire ABC reporter Bob Woodruff ominously intoned from Copenhagen on Monday’s World News with “Saving the Planet?” on screen.
Those attending the conference on climate change “where an official said today the clock has ticked down to zero and it's time to act,” NBC anchor Brian Williams warned, “say it's so late in the game, so much damage has been done, they fear they can already see how this ends.” Anne Thompson then declared: “This is about life or death -- 192 countries are here in Copenhagen to cut the carbon emissions changing the climate and threatening the very existence of some nations and their people.”
Echoing that theme, CBS’s Mark Phillips stood in water up to his neck and then became completely submerged to illustrate the feared impact of rising sea levels: “The Maldives have become the canary in the global warming coal mine.”
NBC and ABC raised “ClimateGate” in passing – without actually using the term – only to dismiss the revelations. “The man who leads the U.N. panel that blames human activity for climate change said the science is broad and consistent,” Thompson reassured NBC viewers. Woodruff applied the “denier” pejorative as he asserted “climate change deniers say these e-mails are proof humans aren't causing global warming,” but “U.S. officials say the evidence proves otherwise.”
NBC's Anne Thompson, on Monday's Today, covered the Climategate story only to essentially dismiss it in a nothing-to-see here, move along fashion. CBS's The Early Show had a brief mention of it, and ABC's Good Morning America did nothing. Thompson, reporting live from Copenhagen, opened her piece declaring that delegates determined "this could be their last best chance to deal with the consequences of climate change," but then added "overshadowing all of this is a scandal involving some stolen e-mails that has skeptics, once again, questioning the whole idea of global warming."
Thompson went on to air criticism from Professor Ian Plimer, of the University of Adelaide who charged, "There's data being massaged," but then devoted the rest of her piece to confirming the existence of climate change, even allowing a Penn State scientist, who appeared in the e-mail exchange, to defend the use of the term "trick," by a colleague as he claimed: "What the person meant was it was a clever approach to the problem."
More than two weeks after ClimateGate broke, ABC's World News finally got around to mentioning it on Sunday evening, but not to explore how the e-mails discredited leading scientists who insist mankind is causing global warming as, instead, ABC declared “the science is solid” and NBC assured viewers “the evidence is overwhelming that man is behind climate change.”
ABC reporter Clayton Sandell merely included, in a larger story about the Copenhagen conference, how “global warming naysayers are claiming that e-mails stolen from” East Anglia University “show climate scientists discussing how to fudge results to promote the idea that humans are altering the planet.” After failing to inform viewers of any specifics the e-mails revealed, Sandell, who didn't utter a syllable about them on Sunday's Good Morning America, concluded his World News piece:
The science is solid, according to a vast majority of researchers, with hotter temperatures, melting glaciers, and rising sea level providing the proof.
Over on the NBC Nightly News, following a shoddy Friday night story, Anne Thompson checked in from Copenhagen with a story on “cautious optimism that a political agreement can be reached on reducing carbon dioxide emissions,” before she repeated the usual hysteria about how “the Greenland ice sheet...is melting at an ever faster pace.” Only at the very end did Thompson raise “this scandal called ClimateGate,” offering the most-benign explanation of how “essentially, in those e-mails, some climate scientists seem to be suggesting that perhaps they're massaging the data.” But, she countered in citing the UN's Yvo de Boer:
When you look at the overall science and the fact that science from around the world has been reviewed by scientists around the world -- 2,500 by the UN -- he says the evidence is overwhelming that man is behind climate change.
Two weeks after the scandal broke, NBC Nightly News on Friday night became the first broadcast network morning or evening news program to inform viewers about “ClimateGate,” but only in the most cursory manner as correspondent Anne Thompson, a long-time ally of the environmental left, despaired the e-mails may end up “giving politicians from coal and oil-producing states another reason to delay taking action to reduce emissions. The government's leading scientist told Congress there is no time to lose.”
Anchor Brian Williams had teased: “ClimateGate, they're calling it. A new scandal over global warming and it's burning up the Internet. Have the books been cooked on climate change?” But neither Williams nor Thompson ever again used the “ClimateGate” term as Thompson's story assured viewers the threat remains while she saw -- not a major scientific scandal -- but merely how “those who doubt that manmade greenhouse gases are changing the climate say” the e-mails “show climate scientists massaging data and suppressing studies by those who disagree.”
Thompson, who in 2007 declared “the scientific debate is no longer over society's role in global warming. It is now a matter of degrees,” allowed soundbites from a Republican Congressman and Patrick Michaels of the Cato Institute, but countered with how “25 leading U.S. scientists accused climate change opponents of misrepresenting the e-mails' significance” and, after a clip of left-wing activist Michael Oppenheimer, she fretted over how, as quoted above, the e-mails will “delay” vital action. Thompson concluded with NOAA's administrator: “Climate change is not a theory. It is a documented set of observations about the world.”
The the three broadcast network evening newscasts on Wednesday informed viewers that President Obama has decided to attend the United Nations climate conference in Copenhagen – while ignoring news of Climategate – but the NBC Nightly News uniquely devoted a full story to Obama’s intention to take part in the conference, and the prospects that America will bend to pressure from other countries in agreeing to cut greenhouse gas emissions. Anchor Brian Williams introduced the report calling global warming "one of the biggest issues facing the planet," and correspondent Anne Thompson relayed fears that "time is running out," and hopes that Obama will deliver "more than political hot air" on the issue. Thompson: "As scientists insist time is running out to combat global warming, news that President Obama will attend next month's climate talks revived hopes that Copenhagen would produce more than political hot air."
On any other day, NBC "Nightly News" would be attacking coal for being a dirty pollutant and advocating reliance on other forms of energy.
But on Nov. 15, as it began the first of its "Our Planet" segments for green week, the network used coal power as part of the argument in favor of destroying manmade dams.
"This is what the dams harness: the power of the Elwha to generate electricity. Impressive, even vital 100 years ago. But today the dams are no longer needed. Now with coal, wind and solar power, repairing the dams is just too expensive," said chief environmental correspondent Anne Thompson.
Thompson has often attacked coal power on NBC. On Feb. 21, 2009 she offered viewers plenty of reasons why building a much needed coal plant in Nevada was a bad idea. She has also supported the idea of capping carbon emissions, which would increase the cost of coal power.
But in this segment, Thompson presented the destruction of hydroelectric dams as a positive thing, bringing rivers back "to their natural state" for the sake of fish.
A lover's quarrel emerged Tuesday night in the media's love affair with President Barack Obama. He disappointed NBC by failing, at the UN's “Summit on Climate Change,” to go far enough on global warming. “President Obama's being accused of falling short on the environment today with the whole world watching,” Brian Williams teased NBC Nightly News. Williams framed his lead story through the prism of the left as he fretted that, “in the eyes of a lot of environmentalists,” Obama “fell short.” Worse, while other nations are “ready to change, ready to get cleaner, President Obama's speech left a lot of people wanting more.”
Reporter Anne Thompson wistfully recalled that “when Barack Obama became President, many in the world hoped the U.S. would take a leadership role in stopping climate change” and so “that led to big expectations for today's speech -- expectations that were quickly dashed.” Thompson asserted “the world wanted to hear President Obama make a commitment to specific cuts in carbon dioxide emissions. Instead of action, it got talk” and, in the ultimate insult a journalist can deliver, she rued how Obama had “one line that sounded a lot like his predecessor, George W. Bush, who refused to agree to emission cuts without similar actions from India and China.”
"There are new concerns tonight about the effects of global warming," "Nightly News" anchor Lester Holt said. "A new study warns rapidly melting ice in Greenland could result in a colossal rise in ocean levels."
But for every report "Nightly News" has shown over the years claiming the ice melt as evidence climate change is occurring, there are many contrary anecdotes the network ignores. For example, ice in Antarctica is expanding according to data from the National Snow and Ice Data Center in Colorado (The Australian reported the growth of ice in Antarctica in April 2009), which has gone unreported by NBC.
Lost in Thursday's "Today" coverage of Senator Ted Kennedy's letter requesting a succession plan, should the Massachusetts senator be unable to serve due to health reasons, was how nakedly partisan the act was. While NBC's Matt Lauer noted, at the top of the show, that Kennedy sent a "poignant letter to lawmakers," asking for a succession plan, he nor any other NBC correspondent, mentioned that Kennedy was asking for a change in a rule the state Democrats put in place to prevent a then-Republican Governor Mitt Romney from appointing a replacement for Democratic Senator John Kerry, if Kerry had won the presidential election in 2004. Now that Democratic Governor Deval Patrick is in charge, Kennedy is asking the rule be changed back to ensure an extra Democratic vote for a health care bill.
NBC's Anne Thompson missed the partisan ramifications as she depicted a missing Kennedy vote as only a loss to the people of Massachusetts in her piece:
With a cooler-than-usual winter and a mild temperatures leading up to the beginning of summer, global warming alarmists are finding they are losing steam in the debate. But "NBC Nightly News" won't give up the fight.
On the June 15 broadcast, anchor Brian Williams noted the peculiar weather patterns along the East Coast.
"The weather along the eastern seaboard has been more like Scotland in October lately," Williams said. "Then came the first of the Internet stories, some of them written by learned people in the weather field, wondering if summer as we know it was just not going to happen this year in some areas because of the high up air currents over this country that we can't see."
After 120 days of the new presidency, the automobile industry provides some of the best evidence of an administration that favors the heavy hand of government meddling in the private sector. And as is the case with mostcoverage of President Obama and his policies, criticism of his automotive tinkering has been sparse.
On May 19, Obama announced a 30-percent increase in Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards, which would come to a 35.5 miles per gallon (mpg) average for both cars and light trucks. It will equate to a higher percentage increase for cars, up from its current level of 27.5 mpg standard to 39 mpg starting in 2016. And the average for light trucks would rise from 24 mpg to 30 mpg.
"We have set in motion a national policy aimed at both increasing gas mileage and decreasing greenhouse gas pollution for new trucks and cars sold in the United States of America," Obama said during his May 19 announcement.
Between the very cold winter in many places and everyone including Vanity Fair focused on the economic downturn, many in the news media took a vacation from global warming alarmism. But on April 6, NBC brought the hype back with yet another story about the threat of melting ice caps.
Anchor Brian Williams introduced an "Our Planet" segment by reminding viewers that the Obama administration was remaining active on the issue of climate change.
"The Obama administration is calling for greater protection of the earth's polar regions, including limits on tourism," Williams said. "Secretary of State Hillary Clinton made the proposals at a global summit in Washington. Coincidentally, it comes two days after a crucial ice bridge collapsed at the South Pole, effectively changing the map of that part of the world."
The media love affair with Al Gore continues. Thursday night, after Gore delivered a speech calling for the end of “carbon-based fuels” within ten years, CBS anchor Katie Couric asserted that “as many as 10 million families could have their electricity shut off this year because they simply can't pay their bills,” but, she assured viewers, “Al Gore says there is a green answer.” Reporter Nancy Cordes then trumpeted: “The man who has cast himself as the country's environmental conscience issued an audacious dare to America's next President.” Cordes concluded with how “both Barack Obama and John McCain accepted Gore's challenge. As McCain put it, Katie, if the Vice President says it's doable, I believe it's doable.”
Introducing her interview with Gore, which she traveled to Washington, DC to conduct, Couric hailed: “Al Gore laid down a green gauntlet today.” And she couldn't resist reminding viewers that Gore's “environmental work earned him a Nobel prize” before she helpfully cued him up on energy policy: “It really is multi-tiered, isn't it? I mean, it's a national security issue, it's an environmental issue.” Couric soon moved on to pushing Gore about accepting the VP slot or at least “being, say, an environmental czar” in Obama's administration.
“Our Planet,” fill-in NBC anchor Ann Curry teased, "Al Gore's ambitious energy plan for America off fossil fuels within ten years. Is it possible?” Reporter Ann Thompson celebrated how Gore “threw down the gauntlet to the nation to dramatically change the way America generates electricity.” After reporting Gore's plan would cost $3 trillion, Thompson called Gore “undaunted” and concluded: “And he says the time to move is now.”
Wednesday’s NBC Nightly News cheered the Bush administration’s recent liberal moves on climate change — “a very big week for those who are fighting to save the environment,” anchor Brian Williams celebrated — but NBC’s “Environmental Affairs” correspondent Anne Thompson nevertheless trotted out an activist with the National Resources Defense Council to complain that the administration still hasn’t gone far enough to the left on global warming.
But Nightly News had no time for any conservative or free market spokesman who might have said that the administration had already gone too far in trying to appease environmental liberals, and that the act of placing polar bears on the threatened species list would make it easier for a more liberal successor to pursue economically-punishing regulations.
Monday's NBC Nightly News kicked off “Earth Week” by trumpeting Sweden as an environmental and economic paradise that could point the way for the United States. Anchor Brian William contended Swedes “always seem to be so happy and beautiful” and now “there's another reason to be green with envy about the Swedes. We're told they are living green lives, showing kindness to the planet, and saving a ton of energy in the process.” Sweden certainly enchanted reporter Anne Thompson who rode a bicycle in Stockholm and gushed:
Sweden's official colors are blue and yellow, but it lives green -- from the citizens who can eat the fish from waterways in Stockholm to King Carl XVI Gustaf, who rules the land and drives an ethanol-powered car.
Thompson focused on how the nation is researching “gasified wood” and putting people onto bicycles. Plus, “alternatives like the fuel made from organic waste that powers this train.” Highlighting that “to reduce traffic, Swedes pay to drive in the business district,” Thompson concluded by touting how “Sweden's most important export” is “real world ways to live green.”
On World News Sunday, ABC anchor Dan Harris filed a report on Pope Benedict's upcoming trip to America, labeling the Catholic leader as "sometimes controversial," and calling him a "hard-liner" for "strenuously condemning divorce, homosexuality, and abortion." Harris also suggested that he has a "tin ear" because of a 2006 speech in which he used a quotation of a historical figure calling Islam "evil" that sparked riots by Muslim extremists around the world, without mentioning that the Pope later clarified that it was not his personal view that Islam is evil. (Transcript follows)
Before a commercial break, Harris plugged the story: "And coming up here on World News this Sunday, who is Pope Benedict? The sometimes controversial Pope comes to America this week."
Suppose you had trees on your property that served as a privacy barrier and provided shade for your home. Then imagine your eco-minded neighbor installs solar panels and demands you cut down your trees so sunlight can reach his panels.
You might think: It's my property! The problem is - your neighbor has the law backing him up, according to the April 7 "CBS Evening News." Sounds like a case of environmentalism gone wild, right?
"Richard Treanor lives across the fence, drives a hybrid car," CBS correspondent Ben Tracy said. "Ten years ago he planted these redwoods to provide privacy. Now they had his neighbor seeing red."
"He called us over to the fence one day and said ‘I am going to be installing solar panels and therefore you have to take your trees down,'" Treanor explained.
One of the global warming community's favorite alternative energy resources is solar energy. Since it emits no greenhouse gas, it gives alarmists a warm and fuzzy feeling. However, that feeling has affected NBC's global warming reporter Anne Thompson ability to apply basic economic principles to her stories.
According to Thompson, there are two drawbacks to solar power - 1) You're at the mercy of Mother Nature for sunlight; and 2) It's drastically more expensive than fossil-fuel electricity.
"And there is the matter of price," Thompson said. "The Electric Research Power Institute says this kind of solar power is two to four times more expensive than electricity from natural gas or coal."
"Critics say emissions are exactly the issue, because coal-fired power is the nation's biggest producer of CO2 emissions," Thompson said in a February 21 report from Ely, Nev. "That's why Nevada is in the center of this fight. The Ely energy center, which would sit in this valley, along with the other two proposed coal-fired plants, could more than double those greenhouse gas emissions, sending another 31 million tons into the sky."
“In 2006, the Antarctic peninsula near South America lost 60 billion metric tons of ice; 132 billion tons disappeared in West Antarctica,” said Anne Thompson, NBC News chief environmental affairs correspondent. “Big numbers that could have a big impact.”
Thompson blamed mankind as the “prime suspect” for the changes – ignoring all other possibilities, despite some scientists that are skeptical of that theory.
ABC and CBS stuck Tuesday night with news stories on the impact of the roaring California wild fires, but as houses were still burning NBC Nightly News found it an opportune time to make the case that global warming caused the fires. NBC's sole expert, however, delivered a circular argument in which the lack of scientific proof did not detract at all from his media-shared presumption that anything bad which occurs in the environment can be tied to global warming. After reporter Anne Thompson cautioned scientists say you can't know “after just one season” whether warming is to blame, Princeton professor Michael Oppenheimer, a leading global warming alarmist who, NBC failed to mention, serves as a science adviser to Environmental Defense, reasoned:
The weather we've seen this fall may or may not be due to the global warming trend, but it's certainly a clear picture of what the future is going to look like if we don't act quickly to cut emissions of the greenhouse gases.