On Thursday night’s The Daily Show, Comedy Central’s Jon Stewart took CNN to task for its sensational and sometimes over-the-top coverage of certain news events, such as the missing Malaysian airplane.
The comedian suggested that CNN should replace its obsessive missing plane coverage with obsessive coverage of global warming. That’s right, Stewart wants to replace breathless hype with breathless hype. [Video below. MP3 audio here.]
Referring to the recent UN report on global warming, which was full of sensational and dire language, Stewart asked CNN a pointed question:
CNN, don't you think this is kind of actual, meaningful news and could fit very well into your unnecessary, over-dramatic hologram rooms, virtual reality rides, and random street yelling? You can't use your holo-deck green screen room to talk about global warming?
Stewart derided CNN for spending only two minutes on the UN global warming report on the day it came out, while Fox News and MSNBC each gave it roughly 22 minutes of coverage.
He also wondered aloud why CNN doesn’t give global warming the same ridiculous hype it gave to the manhunt for the Boston Marathon bombers last year, when, as Stewart put it, the network “sent [its] finest reporters into the streets to shout and point at [bleep].”
Stewart ended his tirade by declaring:
CNN, you don't have to waste your time and resources on hyperbolic, unnecessary, ridiculous stunt coverage of speculative nonstories. You can waste your time and resources on hyperbolic, unnecessary, ridiculous stunt coverage of real stories, too.
Notice that Stewart isn’t calling for calm and rational coverage of the global warming debate. He is calling for the same type of over-the-top obsession that CNN has brought to other stories – which, when applied to global warming, would amount to environmental activism. In other words, he is encouraging CNN to pump more left-wing bias into its programming.
Does Stewart really want the cable news giant to bring its hyperbolic coverage to global warming? If CNN really latches onto the topic like they did with the missing plane, it could be years and years before they finally let it go. That’s because global warming is not likely to cause a true catastrophe for many years, if ever. Until then, the predictions of doom will remain speculation – and we know CNN can and will beat speculation to death.
Below is a transcript of the relevant portions of the segment:
JON STEWART: There’s got to be something else worth covering.
JUDY WOODRUFF, PBS: The new U.N. report on climate change is full of serious warnings and predictions of what’s to come.
WOODRUFF: Intense heat waves that feed fires, wiping out forests and homes. Prolonged droughts that damage food and water supplies for billions of people.
STEWART: Oh sure, but that’s just PBS, I mean, they’re talking about the U.N. report that stated that we’re all going to die. But that, actually it sounds like it could be something. It’s no wheel of flotsam like they are reporting on CNN, but, in fact, the day the report dropped on climate change, Fox and MSNBC devoted around 22 minutes of coverage to it, Fox mostly to debunk it and MSNBC to see how it affected Hillary’s chance of becoming president. But – CNN clocked in at two minutes. Technically two minutes and ten seconds. I guess CNN is only interested in the fate of what’s floating in the world’s oceans. CNN, don't you think this is kind of actual meaningful news and could fit very well into your unnecessary, over-dramatic hologram rooms, virtual reality rides, and random street yelling? You can't use your holo-deck green screen room to talk about global warming?
STEWART: CNN, you wouldn’t even have to change that much. As part of your month-and-a-half-long breathless plane search, you’ve already got Martin Savidge underwater to demonstrate what it’s like under water. You could easily repurpose that for global warming coverage. Martin Savidge, what will the visibility be like if we were all underwater due to catastrophic climate change?
MARTIN SAVIDGE, CNN [on tape]: As you can see, the visibility here really is very, very limited.
STEWART: Thanks, Martin. Stay down there for another few weeks. I might have another question for you. And CNN, how about your Boston manhunt coverage, when you sent your finest reporters into the streets to shout and point at (bleep)?
CNN REPORTER [on tape]: Guys, you’ve got to come to us. Listen, okay. That’s at least the third canine dog that began barking, barking very, very loudly, so they may be smelling what we
-- what we thought we smelled.
STEWART: CNN. Your place for what a dog somewhere might or might not be smelling. Why can’t you give climate change the same treatment?
STEWART: You see, CNN, you don't have to waste your time and resources on hyperbolic unnecessary ridiculous stunt coverage of speculative nonstories. You can waste your time and resources on hyperbolic, unnecessary, ridiculous stunt coverage of real stories, too. We’ll be right back.