2. WPost Columnist Scolds Soldiers for Criticizing Those Against War
3. Law & Order: Coulter 'Causes' Murder, Has Drinks With Limbaugh
About 12 minutes into Thursday's NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams warned viewers about "global warming," but just eight minutes later NBC ran a story about the month-long "deep freeze" in Colorado. If journalists can fret about global warming every time there's a heat wave, it's just as legitimate to point out such a glaring contrast on a newscast even if the events are really no more contradictory than claiming above average temperatures one month are evidence of global warming.
With "Global Warming" on screen in the graphic over his shoulder, Williams promoted the "much-anticipated" upcoming report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change: "Global warming, they are to say, is very likely to be caused by people, by very likely, the scientists behind this report say, that means 90 percent certain." Williams went on to trumpet how "Al Gore has been nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize for his work fighting global warming." Then, 20 minutes into the program, viewers saw "Deep Freeze" on screen as Williams noted how a month ago "the devastating first wave of winter smacked into Colorado," and as a result, "many of the cattle in Colorado are in deep trouble and suffering badly now." Reporter Kevin Tibbles began with a newborn calf struggling "to survive in an especially brutal Colorado winter." Tibbles highlighted how the majority of calves born to one rancher have died and the rancher blamed the temperature: "They were born in the snow and it was too cold..."
[This item was posted Thursday night on the MRC's blog, NewsBusters.org: newsbusters.org ]
Thursday's CBS Evening News hyped the IPCC report a day early. Katie Couric asserted:
Mark Phillips soon maintained: "The science of global warming, a lot of it done in the U.S., is clearer than ever. The planet is heating up and will continue to do so. The polar ice caps have been shrinking and will continue to, and sea levels will rise. Droughts will deepen, deserts will spread, causing crops to fail."
In all the media-fueled hype about the scientific "consensus" on global warming, those outside the consensus are largely ignored. As recounted in Thursday's MRC CyberAlert, CNN's Larry King Live on Wednesday night featured a panel under the on-screen heading: "Could Global Warming Destroy Earth?" Though the panel was dominated by left-wingers who endorse Al Gore's calls for drastic government action to curb human-caused warming, CNN, unlike the other networks, included one scientist, Robert Lindzen, professor of atmospheric sciences at MIT, who doesn't buy into the "consensus." Last July, he penned an op-ed for the Wall Street Journal, "Don't Believe the Hype: Al Gore is wrong. There's no 'consensus' on global warming." For an excerpt from Lindzen's piece, check the February 1 CyberAlert: www.mrc.org
Back to the February 1 NBC Nightly News:
# Brian Williams, about 12 minutes into the newscast, with "Global Warming" on screen:
Kevin Tibbles: "A new born calf struggles to survive in an especially brutal Colorado winter.... For nearly a century, Bill Brooks' family raised cattle in this southeast corner of the-state. But today they're still reeling from back to back blizzards, which have dumped four feet of snow here in the past six weeks. Across Colorado, more than 10,000 head of cattle have perished. Some of Brooks' cattle have been stranded a month and with calfing season underway, he says 25 of 35 newborns on his ranch haven't made it."
Brooks: "They were born in the snow and it was too cold..."
A piddling one percent?
Reacting to last Friday's NBC Nightly News story in which some Army soldiers in Iraq expressed frustration with opposition back home to the war, including the contention that there's a contradiction between saying you support the troops but don't support the war, WashingtonPost.com columnist William Arkin, an NBC News military analyst, scolded the troops. In his Tuesday posting, Arkin lectured: "We pay the soldiers a decent wage, take care of their families, provide them with housing and medical care and vast social support systems and ship obscene amenities into the war zone for them, we support them in every possible way, and their attitude is that we should in addition roll over and play dead, defer to the military and the generals and let them fight their war, and give up our rights and responsibilities to speak up because they are above society?"
Arkin also took a potshot and the make-up of the armed forces: "The recent NBC report is just an ugly reminder of the price we pay for a mercenary -- oops sorry, volunteer -- force that thinks it is doing the dirty work."
In the "Grapevine" segment on Thursday's Special Report on FNC, Brit Hume noted the "ferocious" response to Arkin's posting. To read those comments, scroll to the end of Arkin's piece linked at the bottom of the excerpt below.
The January 29 CyberAlert recounted:
Staff Sergeant Manuel Sahagun directly took on the spin of war critics, complaining that "one thing I don't like is when people back home say they support the troops, but they don't support the war. If they're going to support us, support us all the way." Engel soon powerfully concluded: "Apache Company has lost two soldiers, and now worries their country may be abandoning the mission they died for."
For the full transcript, as well as an audio/video clip, go to: www.mrc.org
An excerpt from Arkin's January 30 "Early Warning" column, "The Troops Also Need to Support the American People," for washingtonpost.com, in which he reacted to what the soldiers said in the NBC Nightly News story:
....I'm all for everyone expressing their opinion, even those who wear the uniform of the United States Army. But I also hope that military commanders took the soldiers aside after the story and explained to them why it wasn't for them to disapprove of the American people....
These soldiers should be grateful that the American public, which by all polls overwhelmingly disapproves of the Iraq war and the President's handling of it, do still offer their support to them, and their respect.
Through every Abu Ghraib and Haditha, through every rape and murder, the American public has indulged those in uniform, accepting that the incidents were the product of bad apples or even of some administration or command order.
Sure, it is the junior enlisted men who go to jail. But even at anti-war protests, the focus is firmly on the White House and the policy. We don't see very many "baby killer" epithets being thrown around these days, no one in uniform is being spit upon.
So, we pay the soldiers a decent wage, take care of their families, provide them with housing and medical care and vast social support systems and ship obscene amenities into the war zone for them, we support them in every possible way, and their attitude is that we should in addition roll over and play dead, defer to the military and the generals and let them fight their war, and give up our rights and responsibilities to speak up because they are above society?...
[T]he recent NBC report is just an ugly reminder of the price we pay for a mercenary -- oops sorry, volunteer -- force that thinks it is doing the dirty work.
The notion of dirty work is that, like laundry, it is something that has to be done but no one else wants to do it. But Iraq is not dirty work: it is not some necessary endeavor; the people just don't believe that anymore.
I'll accept that the soldiers, in order to soldier on, have to believe that they are manning the parapet, and that's where their frustrations come in. I'll accept as well that they are young and naive and are frustrated with their own lack of progress and the never changing situation in Iraq. Cut off from society and constantly told that everyone supports them, no wonder the debate back home confuses them.
America needs to ponder what it is we really owe those in uniform. I don't believe America needs a draft though I imagine we'd be having a different discussion if we had one.
END of Excerpt
For Arkin's Tuesday, January 30 screed in full, as well as comments on it, go to: blog.washingtonpost.com
NBC.com's page for Law & Order: www.nbc.com
The Coulter character is played by a beautiful blonde, though huskier than the real Coulter, actress Charlotte Ross. She is probably best-known for playing "Detective Connie McDowell" on ABC's NYPD Blue. IMDb's page on Ross: www.imdb.com
Yahoo posted this plot summary: "Someone in a crowd fires a gun, killing a student, during a question-and-answer session of a controversial speaker." See: tv.yahoo.com
Yahoo's TV section has a 1:15 Flash video excerpt from the show: tv.yahoo.com
From Yahoo's page for Law & Order, on the right, click on "A Blonde Bombshell Likes 'Law & Order' Ed." That's presumably a reference to her crush on "Detective Ed Green," played by Jesse Martin: www.nbc.com
Of course, Law & Order often delivers plot twists which take the storyline away from the suspect featured in promos and as the show initially unfolds, so it's possible the Coulter character won't, in the end, be who motivated or caused the shooting.
(The MRC's Karen Hanna, who is inexplicably abandoning the MRC next week for other employment, first alerted me to the Coulter-themed episode.)
This would not be the first slam at Coulter this week on an NBC drama series. As Noel Sheppard recounted in a Monday NewsBusters item ( newsbusters.org ), on Sunday's Crossing Jordan, a program centered around a crime-solving coroner in Boston, she was castigated by name. In the midst of a race riot, as "Dr. Nigel Townsend" (played by Steve Valentine) attended to a whiny blonde woman, he asked:
When the ballistics on the bullet which killed the black judge showed it was fired by the same rifle which was used to kill the white judge, New York City Police Department "Detective Alexandra Eames" suggested to her fellow detectives and an Assistant District Attorney: "Maybe we should put out an APB for somebody in a Tom DeLay T-shirt." Another detective then presented evidence the shooter came from the West, prompting Eames to point out: "Home of a lot of white supremacist groups."
For a full transcript of the scene, MP3 audio as well as Real and Windows Media video, check the May 26, 2005 MRC CyberAlert: www.mrc.org
Back to Friday's Law & Order, a transcript of the promo spot aired during Tuesday's Law & Order: SVU:
For those who have missed the first 17 seasons of Law & Order, the show is about New York City detectives solving a crime and then the prosecutors who go to trial.
-- Brent Baker