ABC Blames Wild Fires on Global Warming, See Vindication for Gore --6/22/2006
Sci-Fi to Re-Run Hyperbolic Lauer-Hosted 'Countdown to Doomsday'
Gumbel: Score in Soccer 'About as Often as Coulter Makes Sense'
The ABC News Web site is soliciting examples of warm weather in the summer in order to demonstrate the impact of global warming and on Wednesday's Good Morning America the network illustrated how their reporters and producers assume any disaster proves global warming and vindicates Al Gore. Charlie Gibson teased at the top of the June 21 show: "The hot zone. Wildfires ravage the West and threaten homes. Is global warming to blame?" Reporter Bill Blakemore soon affirmed: "Well, Charlie, many scientists say that it fits exactly into the pattern predicted for global warming and is likely to get drier and hotter on average. This year wildfires have already burned more than three million acres, more than three times the average by this time of year." Blakemore concluded with how a fire chief in California "told me he also worries about how all the carbon from the fires only contributes to global warming. That fact about forest fires is something that Al Gore also points out in his new book and that book is now near the top of the bestseller list. It seems that people are really starting to pay attention to global warming."
By that reasoning, since Ann Coulter's book as at the top of the New York Times bestseller list, "people are really starting to pay attention to how liberals are bad for America." But don't expect to see that expressed any time soon on ABC News.
On Tuesday in his "Best of the Web" column for OpinionJournal.com, James Taranto pointed out how ABCNews.com has put up a page asking:
Witnessing the impact of global warming in your life?
ABC News wants to hear from you. We're currently producing a report on the increasing changes in our physical environment, and are looking for interesting examples of people coping with the differences in their daily lives. Has your life been directly affected by global warming?
We want to hear and see your stories. Have you noticed changes in your own backyard or hometown? The differences can be large or small--altered blooming schedules, unusual animals that have arrived in your community, higher water levels encroaching on your property.
Show us what you've seen.
END of Excerpt
For ABC's page: abcnews.go.com
The archive of Taranto's daily compilations: www.opinionjournal.com
Gibson, the MRC's Brian Boyd noticed, teased at the top of the June 21 Good Morning America: "The hot zone. Wildfires ravage the West and threaten homes. Is global warming to blame? We'll take you live to one of the hottest spots on Earth."
About 16 minutes later, Gibson set up the story: "And now we're going to turn to the ferocious wildfires that are ravaging five Western states this morning and turning large parts of the American West into a tinderbox. According to the federal government, this Spring was the fourth hottest on record. So, as part of our series Our Warming World, ABC's Bill Blakemore is back with us, has some new information about what could be causing all of this. And obviously the question, Bill, is global warming a contributing factor?"
Bill Blakemore checked in from in-studio with video shot in California: "Well, Charlie, many scientists say that it fits exactly into the pattern predicted for global warming and is likely to get drier and hotter on average. This year wildfires have already burned more than three million acres, more than three times the average by this time of year. Over the past month we traveled through the western Sierras and Rockies to find out what scientists and firefighters make of the new flames that they must now face.
In a May 20 NewsBusters blog posting, the MRC's Tim Graham quoted Blakemore's enthusiasm for Gore's film and linked to earlier items on Blakemore's promotion on air of the most extreme global warming fears and predictions: newsbusters.org
For a lot more on media mis-reporting of global warming, check the May 17 report issued by the MRC's Business and Media Institute, "Fire and Ice: Journalists have warned of climate change for 100 years, but can't decide weather we face an ice age or warming," at: www.businessandmedia.org
This Sunday night (June 25) at 9pm EDT/PDT, the SciFi channel, part of the NBC-Universal empire, will re-run the Matt Lauer-hosted two-hour Countdown to Doomsday special packed with ominous warnings of impending disaster, as issued by such discredited doomsayers as Paul Ehrlich. Lauer declared: "Today, life on earth is disappearing faster than the days when dinosaurs breathed their last, but for a very different reason." He claimed: "Us homo sapiens are turning out to be as destructive a force as any asteroid." Lauer intoned: "Today, some of our greatest scientific minds are warning that we could be on the brink of another terrible extinction, only this one, is our own."
MRC intern Chadd Clark suffered through the entire show which first aired at 9pm EDT/PDT on June 14. Chadd lined up a long list of wild predictions of how we may all be dead tomorrow and, for a Wednesday posting on the MRC's NewsBusters site, Tim Graham laid out the quotes and added examples of how one of Lauer's experts, Paul Ehrlich, long ago issued wild predictions: newsbusters.org
SciFi's page for the program: www.scifi.com
# 9:03pm, Lauer on the threat of extinction: "Today, some of our greatest scientific minds are warning that we could be on the brink of another terrible extinction, only this one, is our own."
# 9:08pm, Lauer on the alleged threat of super volcanoes: "While these scenarios seem dire, they actually pale in comparison with the threat of super volcanoes, volcanoes capable of eruption so massive, they can end life as we know it. Now these eruptions are rare, about once every half a million years or so, but they can happen at any time."
# 9:42pm, on the destruction of ecosystems: "Today, life on earth is disappearing faster than the days when dinosaurs breathed their last, but for a very different reason."
As legendary liberal-media blowhard Eric Engberg would say, time out! NBC's "Today" and Paul Ehrlich have a history. (Yes, Sci-Fi's screen graphic is misspelled, see screen shot in NewsBusters.) In June 1989, NBC' Today gave Ehrlich a three-part series that he wrote, taped, and reported, all without a conservative counterpoint, despite Ehrlich's rather stunning record of predictions that did not pan out, especially in his man-hating 1968 manifesto "The Population Bomb." As we noted then in our MediaWatch newsletter:
In our February 1990 MediaWatch, NBC won our "Janet Cooke Award" for giving Ehrlich another three-part series on Today, which he produced again with absolutely no conservative counterpoint. His record of gloomy predictions have not often come to their fearsome fruition. The Ehrlich series kicked off January 9, 1990 with a story on "how man is destroying the entire ecological system with something that appears to be completely harmless." What was this global threat? The cow. "The dog may be man's best friend, but cows are family...our dependence on the cow is destroying the world environment."
Lauer and his Sci-Fi sob sisters never asked whether any of Ehrlich's wild predictions of doom in 1990 have come true in the last 16 years. As Julian Simon, professor of economics at the University of Maryland and author of The Ultimate Resource, a fact-filled refutation of Ehrlich's contentions, told MediaWatch: "On just about every point where his statements can be tested against evidence, Ehrlich is wrong. Indeed, he has been wrong across the board since the 1960's. Every one of his predictions has been falsified. How many times does a 'prophet' have to be wrong before he stops being a prophet?" In 1980, Ehrlich accepted a bet from Simon that five natural resources of Ehrlich's choosing would grow more scarce [i.e., expensive] by 1990. Ehrlich lost on all five counts. Sadly, Dr. Simon has passed away, and Ehrlich's still spinning tall tales on a Sci-Fi soapbox.
Back to the SciFi diatribe:
# 9:45pm, Lauer on overpopulation destroying ecosystems: "It's no coincidence that ecosystem destruction is happening at exactly the same time our population is exploding. 50 years ago, the world's population was only 2.5 billion people. Today, it's 6.5 billion. 50 years from now, it will be 9.5 billion. Not even fuzzy math can make numbers like that add up to a healthy planet."
# 9:47pm, on the loss of bio-diversity: "On land, wild creatures are also in trouble. Losing our cousins in the animal kingdom has dire implications for us too."
# 9:49pm, Lauer on the problem of ecosystem destruction: "The future lies beyond our vision. It's not beyond our control. We are the problem. We can be, and must be, the solution, or else, this beautiful green place we call home could turn into a lifeless, gray planet."
# 10:15pm, Lauer on the potential reality of global disaster: "Massive tornados in Los Angeles are just some of the ways that global warming wreaks death and destruction around the world in the movie The Day After Tomorrow. The movie's nightmarish scenario is not as far fetched as it may seem...For years, many scientists have warned that gasses emitted from burning fossil fuels are creating a greenhouse effect that's heating up the globe. Now, having ignored the calls for action, we may be at a tipping point."
# 10:18pm, on the ice caps melting: "Dramatic, as in starvation, since we all depend on fish for much of our protein. But, the warming of the ocean also presents another threat. You've undoubtedly heard that the polar ice caps and glaciers around the world are beginning to melt, but new data on the rate of the thaw is shocking scientists."
And so on:
Lauer: "The devastating effects of global warming may be much more imminent than most people realize. Hidden at the bottom of the ocean is a little known factor that could accelerate the whole process -- massive deposits of frozen methane, a potent greenhouse gas."
Florida would be gone? Well, let's consult the Ehrlich panic from Today in 1990 for another drink of that crazy brew. "As global temperatures rise, they may cause the massive West Antarctic ice sheet to slip more rapidly. Then we'll be facing a sea-level rise not of one to three feet in a century, but of 10 or 20 feet in a much shorter time. The Supreme Court would be flooded. You could tie your boat to the Washington Monument. Storm surges would make the Capitol unusable. For Today, Paul Ehrlich in Washington, DC, on the future shoreline of Chesapeake Bay."
The last I checked, the shoreline of the Chesapeake is still a decent drive from the Washington Monument.
# At 9:48pm, I found Ehrlich adding this nugget of political rhetoric to the special: "When you hear a politician say we've really gotta concentrate on the economy now, and forget about the ecology, you know you're listening to a moron."
Sigh, let's continue to the proposed solutions to Armageddon:
# 10:21pm, Lauer on the Kyoto energy-curbing agreement: "What can be done to prevent this global Armageddon? More than 160 countries have signed an agreement to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. But, the United States has refused to sign, saying it would threaten economic growth. As a result, emissions in the U.S. have increased by 2 percent each year...Recently, President Bush acknowledged there is a problem with too much oil consumption and supported a switch to alternative fuels. But so far, the United States has not come up with a plan to combat global warming."
# 10:22pm, Lauer on the feelings of the American people on global warming: "In the meantime, people are starting to reach their own tipping point. A recent U.S. poll shows that the majority of people believes that global warming is a global problem, and that the government needs to be part of the solution....The only way to ensure our survival is to take matters into our own hands, stop talking about developing new cleaner energy, like alternative fuel cars and wind farms, and start investing in them. The trend is unmistakable. The ten hottest years on record have all occurred since 1990."
# 10:36pm, on the ability of viruses to spread: "In 1918, the Spanish Flu killed more than 50 million people world wide, and this time, things could be even worse. Our modern global village is a crowded, hectic place, and that makes us more vulnerable than ever before."
Sadly, I prefer Matt questioning Britney Spears about the paparazzi to this panicked propaganda.
Fast forward to Tuesday night and Gumbel praised the World Cup soccer games as "athletic, intense, passionate and driven by a blend of patriotism and nationalism that is real and not commercial. In short, these games offer everything the Olympics want to claim and try to sell every four years." Gumbel concluded: "I know that in soccer they score about as often as Ann Coulter makes sense. And yes I know they all act like drama queens whenever they're fouled. But if you haven't watched any of the World Cup matches from Germany you should try it. You won't be disappointed. And after years of repeating the standard American denials, you might even have to admit that the rest of the world is onto something."
[This item was posted Wednesday afternoon, with video, on the MRC's blog, NewsBusters. The audio and video clip will be added to the posted version of this CyberAlert, but in the meantime, to watch the video clip in Real or Windows Media format, or to listen to the MP3 audio, go to: newsbusters.org ]
Gumbel's remarks at the end of the June 20 edition of HBO's Real Sports:
The February 16 CyberAlert recounted: Bryant Gumbel couldn't resist taking a racial shot at the Republican Party in a pre-Winter Olympic games commentary at the end of the February edition of his Real Sports magazine show on HBO. The former NBC and CBS morning news host concluded by telling viewers that as for the Winter Olympic games, "count me among those who don't like 'em and won't watch 'em." He condescendingly suggested viewers "try not to laugh when someone says these are the world's greatest athletes, despite a paucity of blacks that makes the Winter Games look like a GOP convention."
Gumbel's remarks came at the very end of the February edition of Real Sports, a monthly sports news magazine show which includes Bernard Goldberg amongst its correspondents. It first aired on Tuesday night, February 7, a few days before the Olympics opened in Italy.
For the full transcripts, as well as an audio/video clip: www.mrc.org
-- Brent Baker