Freezing Temps & Snow Falls, Yet Nets Hype 'Dire' Global Warming --4/9/2007
2. In 'Arctic Cold' April, GMA Hypes Global Warming's Early Spring
3. Poll: Repubs Trust Military on Iraq; Dems Prefer Media's Bad News
The ABC, CBS and NBC evening newscasts on Friday all hyped the "dire" warning on global warming from the UN's "prestigious" Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), with the CBS Evening News leading with two full stories. But ABC's Charles Gibson acknowledged "a bit of irony on the day global warming report was released," given "parts of the Northeast are digging out from April snow" as "temperatures could be 20 to 40 degrees below normal," making it "colder on Easter day than on Christmas day." NBC anchor Brian Williams followed up his newscast's global warming story with how "the problem isn't warming but what could be a record cold Easter weekend in parts of this country." CBS anchor Russ Mitchell didn't point out any contradiction with the hyperbolic stories on global warming as he described the current weather simply as "strange" since "a Spring freeze is on" in the Northeast.
Mitchell teased his top story of the day: "Tonight, dire new predictions about disappearing species, melting glaciers, shrinking continents and more. Scientists say all the results of global warming." Over on ABC, Gibson echoed: "Dire warning. The world's top scientists issue a stark forecast of drought, crop failure and floods because of climate change." NBC's Williams hailed the "new report on global warming from a prestigious panel of scientists" who issued "blunt" findings: "Climate change is happening, it will lead to tremendous changes around the world that could have a very negative impact on the well-being of people, animals and entire ecosystems."
[This item was posted Friday night on the MRC's blog, NewsBusters.org: newsbusters.org ]
The intros, and post-notes about the current weather, of the global warming stories on the April 6 evening newscasts:
# ABC's World News. Charles Gibson, after leading with the return home by the Brits held in Iran: "And the other major story today, a highly-anticipated report from the world's top scientists on the global warming. It is the clearest, most comprehensive statement yet on how industrial and motor vehicle emission are affecting the planet. It is a gloomy picture. And the report says in the immediate future, the effects of global warming can't be changed. Man just has to adapt. Which won't be easy."
Mitchell, after reports from Mark Phillips and Jerry Bowen: "Strange weather is certainly on a lot of minds in the Northeast tonight where a Spring freeze is on. Up to a foot and a half of snow fell this week in parts of Maine and New Hampshire, bringing down trees and power lines. Utility crews are still working tonight to get power back. At one point, 180,000 homes and businesses were in the dark. And it was cold, relatively speaking, in paradise. The temperature in Hawaii yesterday got as low as 57 degrees. It was a record for that date.
Williams, after Anne Thompson's piece: "Now we should add for the near future, this weekend, the problem isn't warming but what could be a record cold Easter weekend in parts of this country, especially the South. Much of the nation feeling the grip of a cold weather system that has already led to the cancellation of two major league ball games and a snow delay for the Mariners-Indians game this afternoon. And, by the way, it's predicted to be freezing, 32 degrees at tee-off time at the Masters final round on Sunday in Augusta, Georgia."
On Friday's Good Morning America, weatherman and liberal environmental activist Sam Champion hyped a new global warming study released on April 6. The ABC anchor also featured a representative from a left-wing environmental group and failed to identify the organization's political slant. Only minutes after reporting on the "arctic blast" of unusually cold temperatures that much of the country is facing, Champion touted a new report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) that noted "we're already facing earlier springs."
The GMA weatherman then went on to feature a clip from Brenda Ekwurzel, a representative of the Union of Concerned Scientists. Champion failed to mention, as did the on-screen graphic, the fact that the UCS has promoted liberal causes such as nuclear test ban treaties and even attacked the Media Research Center for casting doubt on global warming. See: ucsaction.org
Champion prefaced his piece on "baking droughts" and dramatic temperature increases with a report on the brutally cold weather that is striking the East Coast this spring:
[This item, by Scott Whitlock, was posted Friday on the MRC's blog, NewsBusters.org: newsbusters.org ]
Without any sense of irony, Champion began his segment, which aired a few minutes later at 7:13am, by discussing the new report:
Diane Sawyer: "Well, I'm here with Sam this morning, because there's a brand new report out on global warming. And this one finally translates what all this means for humans."
During the piece, the ABC anchor allowed no dissenting opinions and didn't explain the financial cost to "stop global warming."
Champion has a long history of promoting liberal environmental causes, often in disguise. On April 2, the GMA weatherman hosted a segment on the new phenomenon of green weddings: newsbusters.org
One of the participants in such a ceremony just happened to be an employee of the left-wing Sierra Club. In January, he highlighted an earlier global warming report in a piece that wondered if "billions" will die from global warming. See the February 1 CyberAlert: www.mrc.org
In comparison, NBC's Today show didn't mention the new report at all. Over on CBS, Early Show, reporter Mark Phillips hosted a segment in the 7am hour that covered much of the same ground, but without any liberal activists masquerading as neutral observers.
Chris Wragge: "Now to the latest report on global warming, and the news is not good. CBS News correspondent Mark Phillips is live in London with details this morning, Mark, good morning."
A new report from the Pew Research Center for the People and the Press found the public has relatively little confidence in what the military and the media are telling them about the war in Iraq, although the press has less credibility than the Pentagon. Interestingly, a majority of self-described Democrats say they are putting their confidence in the media, while Republicans have generally opted to trust the military. Pew discovered that "fewer than a third of Republicans (29%) feel confident in what they are hearing from the press, while about half of Democrats (51%) remain confident in the news from Iraq."
In 2005, a study by the Media Research Center determined the vast majority of network news reports highlighted the bad news coming out of Iraq, with few reports detailing the accomplishments or personal bravery of U.S. troops. See: www.mrc.org
An excerpt of the report on the poll written by the Pew Research Center's Associate Director Michael Dimock and released on Thursday:
Four years into the Iraq war, most Americans say they have little or no confidence in the information they receive -- from either the military or the media -- about how things are going on the ground. Fewer than half (46%) say they have a great deal or fair amount of confidence that the U.S. military is giving the public an accurate picture of the situation, and even fewer (38%) are confident in the press's portrayal of the war....
While Democrats, Republicans and independents all express less confidence in the information they are receiving about Iraq today, there is now a substantial partisan divide in how these two institutions are viewed. The vast majority of Republicans (73%) remain at least somewhat confident in the military's portrayal of how the war is going, compared with just 32% of Democrats. At the outset of the war, the partisan gap was far less pronounced.
Conversely, Republican confidence in the accuracy of media reports on the war has declined more sharply. In March 2003, eight-in-ten Americans generally trusted press reports and opinions did not differ across party lines. Today, fewer than a third of Republicans (29%) feel confident in what they are hearing from the press, while about half of Democrats (51%) remain confident in the news from Iraq.
Independents have become skeptical of the information they are getting from both institutions. The share of independents who express at least a fair amount of confidence in military portrayals of the war is down from 83% to 39% since the start of the war, and their confidence in the accuracy of press reports has declined from 81% to 34%.
END of Excerpt
For the April 5 report in full: pewresearch.org
-- Brent Baker