NBC Nightly News Presumes Global Warming to Blame for Wild Fires --10/24/2007
2. CBS's Smith on Clintons: 'Dynamic Duo' Are Still 'Rock Stars'
3. ABC's Ross Focuses on Giuliani's Link to Accused Pedophile Priest
4. Worst Notable Quotables of the Past 20 Years: The Clintons
5. Don't Miss 'NewsBusted' Comedy Videos Making Fun of Liberals
ABC and CBS stuck Tuesday night with news stories on the impact of the roaring California wild fires, but as houses were still burning NBC Nightly News found it an opportune time to make the case that global warming caused the fires. NBC's sole expert, however, delivered a circular argument in which the lack of scientific proof did not detract at all from his media-shared presumption that anything bad which occurs in the environment can be tied to global warming. After reporter Anne Thompson cautioned scientists say you can't know "after just one season" whether warming is to blame, Princeton professor Michael Oppenheimer, a leading global warming alarmist who, NBC failed to mention, serves as a science adviser to Environmental Defense, reasoned: "The weather we've seen this fall may or may not be due to the global warming trend, but it's certainly a clear picture of what the future is going to look like if we don't act quickly to cut emissions of the greenhouse gases."
Environmental Defense's page for Oppenheimer: www.environmentaldefense.org
Standing in smoldering ruins of a home in San Diego County, anchor Brian Williams introduced the story: "This has been the driest season on record, unusually severe, that's leading some people here to wonder: Are these fires somehow a result of climate change? The UN panel on global warming did warn that we would see more wildfires, so is there a real connection? We've asked our chief environmental affairs correspondent, Anne Thompson. But Thompson is hardly in a position to provide an independent assessment. In August, she filed a story smearing critics of global warming panic as "deniers" and "denier groups" and, the day Al Gore won his Nobel Peace Prize, she endorsed his position on the threat of climate change.
With two uses of the "could" caveat, Thompson asserted in her Tuesday piece: "A new study out this week suggests the impact of climate change could be stronger and sooner than expected. And one of the predicted impacts from climate change could be more wildfires." She soon added: "The wildfires are just one example of this fall's extreme weather: Tornadoes in Michigan, a lack off fall color in the Carolinas, the spectacular foliage muted by drought and warm temperatures....And here in Minnesota's twin cities, they are still awaiting the first official frost."
[This item was posted Tuesday night on the MRC's blog, NewsBusters.org: newsbusters.org ]
For Thompson's smear of global warming panic doubters, see the August 16 CyberAlert article, "NBC News Joins Newsweek in Smearing Global Warming 'Deniers,'" online at: www.mediaresearch.org
The October 15 CyberAlert recounted Thompson's endorsement of Gore's views:
She [Thompson] enthused [on NBC Nightly News] that a presidential bid by Gore is "a tantalizing prospect," though "few expect" it to happen. Thompson concluded by seeing complete vindication: "Gore's co-winner of the Nobel Peace Prize, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, left no doubt that man is responsible for global warming. The debate now is over how much the climate will change if nothing is done."
For the entire posting: www.mrc.org
(MRC analyst Kyle Drennen's NewsBusters posting, "CBS's Pelley Uses Wildfires to Prove Global Warming," looked at a Sunday 60 Minutes report which argued warming has increased the frequency and size of "mega-fires" in Western forests: newsbusters.org )
After Katrina, the media were full of claims that it represented a dire trend of more powerful tornadoes fueled by warmer water. Two hurricane seasons later, there have been fewer and milder hurricanes yet I'm waiting to hear from any chastened journalists. If there aren't any huge California wild fires for a few years, what are the chances Anne Thompson or NBC News will see that short term reality as disproving what they are using a couple of years and one really bad week to prove is a long term danger?
A transcript of the October 23 NBC Nightly News story:
BRIAN WILLIAMS: As we all know, wildfires in this area are nothing new. In fact, we see them just about every year. As Don [Teague] mentioned, the last benchmark was the Cedar fire, but this has been the driest season on record, unusually severe, that's leading some people here to wonder: Are these fires somehow a result of climate change? The UN panel on global warming did warn that we would see more wildfires, so is there a real connection? We've asked our chief environmental affairs correspondent, Anne Thompson.
ANNE THOMPSON: Wildfires so unusual today may not be in the future. A new study out this week suggests the impact of climate change could be stronger and sooner than expected. And one of the predicted impacts from climate change could be more wildfires.
Early Show co-host Harry Smith adoringly introduced a Tuesday interview with Sally Bedell Smith, author of the new book For Love of Politics: Bill and Hillary Clinton, the White House Years: "Brad and Angelina, Charles and Diana, Burton and Taylor, and you can count Bill and Hillary's union as one of the most scrutinized marriages of our time. A simple Google search reveals there are more than 40 books about this still-young couple. They met in law school, two bookish, wonkish, idealistic kids who somehow transformed themselves into political rock stars. Remember when Bill grabbed a sax on the Arsenio Hall show during the '92 campaign? Now it's Hillary who's handling Letterman and trading one-liners with Jon Stewart on the Daily Show." Despite Bill Clinton being one of the most famous adulterers of all time, Smith managed to get through the interview without ever discussing the former President's infidelity. Instead, CBS's Smith fretted about how the "dynamic duo" will overshadow a vice presidential nominee: "What are you thinking in terms of the dynamic of the two of them? How do you fit into that?"
[This item is adapted from a Tuesday afternoon posting, by Kyle Drennen, on the MRC's blog, NewsBusters.org: newsbusters.org ]
Bedell-Smith later commented on how the Clintons had "...such a unique collaborative relationship that when they were back in Arkansas, people called them 'Billary.'" Smith wondered if Bill Clinton would maintain this "collaborative relationship" given the fact that "he has this separate life now. He is this world traveler. He is a solver of problems. The Clinton Global Initiative, et cetera..." When Bedell-Smith speculated on "the notion of having two Presidents in the White House," Smith countered with his own speculation: "Right. Maybe worse yet, a Secretary of State."
After such a glowing interview that completely glossed over some of the most obvious flaws in the Clinton marriage, Smith oddly ended it by discussing how Bedell-Smith's book "is meticulous and at times an excruciating look at the two of them in their public lives." It was clear that this segment was neither.
The full transcript of the October 23 interview in the 8am half hour of The Early Show:
HARRY SMITH: So many people say that Senator Hillary Clinton's biggest asset in her presidential bid is Bill Clinton, but it's only fair when he was president she was his biggest asset. And after 35 years, we still want to know what makes them tick. Brad and Angelina, Charles and Diana, Burton and Taylor, and you can count Bill and Hillary's union as one of the most scrutinized marriages of our time. A simple Google search reveals there are more than 40 books about this still-young couple. They met in law school, two bookish, wonkish, idealistic kids who somehow transformed themselves into political rock strs. Remember when Bill grabbed a sax on the Arsenio Hall show during the '92 campaign? Now it's Hillary who's handling letterman and trading one-liners with Jon Stewart on the Daily Show.
On Tuesday's Good Morning America, reporter Brian Ross continued his critical series of investigations into Republican presidential candidates. Just two weeks after he slammed Fred Thompson for his role in the 1973 Watergate investigation, the ABC correspondent looked into the fact that Rudy Giuliani's consulting firm has employed a priest that has been accused of molesting children in the '1970s.
Of course, neither Ross, nor Good Morning America, have seen fit to investigate Hillary Clinton's hiring of Sandy Berger, a man who has been convicted of stealing documents from the National Archives and stuffing them down his pants. Ross has similarly ignored the growing scandal of poor Chinese workers donating large sums of money to the Hillary Clinton campaign.
Ross's October 23 report focused on Monsignor Alan Placa, who has been accused of molesting two boys in New York in the 1970s. Placa has since been forced by the Catholic Church to stop performing his priestly duties and a grand jury concluded that he did commit these actions. (The statute of limitations has expired and no charges have been brought.) Ross questioned whether such a man should be employed by Giuliani's consulting firm. However, the GMA reporter closed the segment by conceding: "A Giuliani spokeswoman did arrange for four other students from the same school, although from a different class, to vouch for Father Placa. They said they had not been molested and that they had never heard of allegations like this when they were at the school." Although Ross did feature the students defense of Placa in an online version of the story, they were not interviewed on camera and did not appear in the piece airing on ABC.
Ross wrote on ABCNews.com: "'There was absolutely not a hint of rumor of a speculation or a whisper, in four years, or in decades after of any sexual predatoriness on the part of Rev. Placa,' wrote [former student] Matthew Hogan in an e-mail to ABCNews.com."
In addition to ignoring the Sandy Berger story, Ross and GMA have yet to cover the potential scandal relating to poor Chinese immigrants donating large sums of money to Hillary Clinton's campaign, as reported last week by the Los Angeles Times.
For more on Brian Ross's investigation into Fred Thompson's Watergate role, see the October 10 CyberAlert articles: "Nixon's Denigration of Fred Thompson Newsworthy to ABC" and "GMA Gleefully Plays Watergate Tapes Attacking 'Dumb' Thompson." Go to: www.mrc.org
A transcript of the segment, which aired at 7:33am on October 23:
7:31am tease, DIANE SAWYER: And also ahead in this half hour, other topics. Brian Ross is here with another major investigation in the presidential race, focusing on a longtime friend of Rudy Giuliani who faces some terrible accusations.
7:33am, DIANE SAWYER: But now let's change topics and get back to Brian Ross's investigation. Rudy Giuliani has been dogged by questions in the past about his colleagues. Well, there's another one that has now arisen because of the defense of a longtime friend. And chief investigative correspondent Brian Ross is here with that. Brian?
ABC GRAPHIC: Brian Ross Investigates: Predator or Priest?
BRIAN ROSS: Good morning, Diane. For Rudy Giuliani, it is apparently a case of loyalty to a close friend. But the friend is priest accused of sexually abusing teenage boys and currently banned from performing his priestly duties by the church. And now, some of the priestly accusers want to know why Giuliani is defending and protecting him. When he went to Rome this year, Giuliani was accompanied by his wife Judith and his longtime friend and priest, Monsignor Alan Placa.
Now Online with 50 Flash Videos: 20th Anniversary NQ. Since the MRC was founded 20 years ago, Notable Quotables has been a vital tool in our mission to document, expose and neutralize the media elite's liberal bias. The special 20th Anniversary Edition contains more than 100 of the most outrageous quotes from our past two decades, many accompanied by audio and video clips. Watch Dan Rather berate Vice President Bush during a live interview; listen to Bryant Gumbel suggest radio hosts like Rush Limbaugh bore responsibility for the Oklahoma City bombing; and recall the media's sneering disdain for Ronald Reagan, and their utter admiration for Bill and Hillary Clinton.
To read the quotes and watch the videos: www.mrc.org
For the 8-page PDF which matches the hard copy, but without any pictures or videos: www.mrc.org
CLICK AND PLAY FLASH VIDEO, Plus other options: We're very excited that this production marks the MRC's first time to post "click and play" Flash video. So if you have Flash functional in your browser, as most do who use Firefox or Internet Explorer, just click on a screen shot and the video will play.
If you want to see a larger version, or prefer to download, you'll see Windows Media icons to allow you to download the wmv. Same goes for the MP3 audio clips for radio hosts or producers who wish the play the clips of their show.
The media's love affair with Bill and Hillary Clinton.
For 15 years, liberal reporters have made themselves looked like the sycophants they are, as they made excuse after excuse for the Clintons' moral failings even as they applauded the couple's supposed greatness. But perhaps no one looked sillier than Dan Rather on May 15, 2001, when the then-CBS News anchor was asked on Fox's The O'Reilly Factor if he thought Bill Clinton was honest.
Bill O'Reilly: "I want to ask you flat out, do you think President Clinton's an honest man?"
I'll let you decide whether Rather was more or less adoring than former Time magazine reporter Nina Burleigh, who made this suggestion in July 1998 during the Lewinsky scandal: "I would be happy to give him [Bill Clinton] a blow job just to thank him for keeping abortion legal. I think American women should be lining up with their presidential kneepads on to show their gratitude for keeping the theocracy off our backs."
Some of the other quotes that show the media's affection for Bill and Hillary:
# "I must say I was struck by the expanse of their chests, though. They may have to put out their stats." -- Newsweek reporter Eleanor Clift on the new Democratic ticket of Bill Clinton and Al Gore, CNN's Inside Politics, July 9, 1992.
# "If we could be one-hundredth as great as you and Hillary Rodham Clinton have been in the White House, we'd take it right now and walk away winners....Tell Mrs. Clinton we respect her and we're pulling for her." -- Dan Rather to Bill Clinton at a May 27, 1993 CBS affiliates meeting, talking about anchoring with Connie Chung.
# "Hillary Rodham Clinton will define for women that magical spot where the important work of the world and love and children and an inner life all come together. Like Ginger Rogers, she will do everything her partner does, only backward and in high heels, and with what was missing in [Lee] Atwater -- a lot of heart." -- Time correspondent Margaret Carlson, May 10, 1993.
# "She's ecumenical but prefers Italian and Mexican. The President fixes her eggs with jalapeno peppers on the weekends....Valentine's Day at the Red Sage restaurant. Even at a romantic outing, the President can be the date from hell, talking to everyone but the girl he brung....Finally alone, they have 'painted soup' and the lamb baked in herbed bread. They exchange gifts and touch each other more in two hours than the Bushes did in four years." -- Time reporter Margaret Carlson, June 1993 Vanity Fair.
# "His sturdy jaw precedes him. He smiles from sea to shining sea. Is this President a candidate for Mt. Rushmore or what?...A single medley of expressions from Clinton may be worth much more, to much of America, than every ugly accusation Paula Jones can muster." -- Los Angeles Times television writer Howard Rosenberg reviewing Clinton's Inaugural Address, January 22, 1997.
# "There is a simple alchemy to their relationship: she's goofy, flat-out in love with him and he with her. 'They don't kiss. They devour each other,' says one aide. He needs her -- for intellectual solace, political guidance and spiritual sustenance....They see themselves in almost Messianic terms, as great leaders who have a mission to fulfill. Her friends speculate that the Bible gives her a historical context for what she's going through. 'There's a lot of consolation, guidance and refueling that comes from reading about centuries-old calamities,' says a friend. Given the storm they're in, it's a source of inspiration they'll need." -- Matthew Cooper and Karen Breslau writing in the February 9, 1998 Newsweek.
# "I'm endlessly fascinated by her [Hillary Clinton]....She's so smart. Virtually every time I've seen her perform, she has knocked my socks off." -- CBS's Lesley Stahl, as quoted by Gail Shister in the December 8, 1999 Philadelphia Inquirer.
Tomorrow's edition: America the Awful.
Have you yet watched the MRC's "NewsBusted" comedy video show posted on our NewsBusters blog? If not, a fresh two-minute edition was posted Tuesday. "NewsBusted" is a new, twice a week, comedy show with jokes about politics, Hollywood and media bias. The idea for the show is really quite simple: Politics is absurd, so is the news. Why not have some laughs from it all? Enjoy the freshest comedy on the Web making fun of liberals and the media.
You'll find the latest edition at the top of NewsBusters: www.newsbusters.org
For the archive of ones you've missed, as posted on YouTube in click and play Flash format: www.youtube.com
There are 13 episodes online to enjoy.
-- Brent Baker