New Years seemed like a good time for ABC to push the marijuana "revolution" taking place in Colorado. World News reporter Clayton Sandell on Wednesday featured an almost entirely positive story, focusing on job growth related to pot and featuring one man (wearing green face paint) who enthused, "This is a historical event." Sandell showcased the grand opening of a new store that legally sells the drug for recreational use. [See video below. MP3 audio here.] Another man gushed, "We drove 17 hours to get here."
The journalist touted, "Other states are now watching to see how this new experiment works out as marijuana moves from the underground to the mainstream." Highlighting the economic angle, he continued, "Anyone over 21 can buy it, helping fuel a Colorado green rush." Sandell featured one businessman who enthused, "We want to be the Costco of marijuana."
Saturday's CBS Evening News ballyhooed the "enormous strain on resources" that the budget sequester has apparently put on extinguishing a massive wildfire in Colorado. Carter Evans played up how, in addition to fighting the flames, "federal firefighters are facing another challenge: a loss of $50 million, mandated by the budget sequester. That forced the Forest Service to cut 500 firefighters and 50 engines, just when they're needed most."
The CBS evening newscast was actually late to the game, as the network's Big Three competitors also spotlighted the same figures earlier in June.
Good Morning America's reporters on Tuesday hyperbolically attacked John McCain for creating a "firestorm" and a "political calamity" by suggesting that illegal immigrants have been responsible for fires in the southwest.
Reporter Clayton Sandell recounted the blaze in Arizona and hyperventilated, "Now, a political calamity has flared after Senator John McCain blamed at least some of the fires on illegal immigrants." He ignored mentioning the documented proof that illegals have been the cause of past fires.
ABC’s Bill Weir inaccurately lectured Friday night: “Consider Japan's state of the art undersea sensors and tsunami gates, protecting key ports, while just last month, our House of Representatives voted to slash funding for the Hawaiian tsunami warning center that issued last night's alarm.”
Then on Saturday’s World News, reporter Clayton Sandell found it newsworthy to highlight how “Democrats accuse Republicans of being irresponsible for proposing budget cuts to NOAA, the federal agency that provides forecasts and early warnings of natural disasters.”
Sandell cued up a California Democrat with a loaded question: “NOAA's budget gets cut, are people's lives more at risk?” The Congressman, who represents the state’s northern coast, naturally, agreed: “Absolutely.”
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.
ABC’s Good Morning America maintained its blackout on ClimateGate this weekend, even as Sunday’s show carried a preview of this week’s climate summit in Copenhagen, Denmark. Reporter Clayton Sandell showcased two scientists, both of whom argued that the U.S. was failing to do enough to combat global warming, and seemed distressed that public faith in the claims of a human-caused catastrophe are on the decline in spite of “growing scientific evidence.”
Despite growing scientific evidence that humans are to blame for warming the planet — rising sea level, melting glaciers, more intense droughts — polls show the number of Americans who believe global warming is happening is at its lowest point in 12 years.
It should be noted that the Washington Post/ABC News poll Sandell cited was conducted between November 12 and 15, before the revelations of e-mails from Britain’s Climatic Research Unit which suggest conniving among left-wing scientists to manipulate data and silence critics.