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Nets Hype Democratic Hearings on 'Silencing' of Warming Science --1/31/2007


1. Nets Hype Democratic Hearings on 'Silencing' of Warming Science
The broadcast network evening newscasts on Tuesday, especially NBC and ABC, jumped to hype a House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform hearing meant to publicize a report from two far-left groups about how the Bush administration supposedly suppressed science about the dire threat of global warming -- as if that view isn't already getting plenty of play in the mainstream media. "The question in Washington today was this," anchor Brian Williams intoned in leading the NBC Nightly News: "Did the Bush administration in any way try to cook the books on the topic of global warming? Government scientists were called before a congressional committee today and asked if the White House or anyone else ever tried to stifle or squelch or silence the evidence that climate change is taking place around the globe." Andrea Mitchell refused to properly label the groups as she trumpeted: "With Democrats holding the gavel in both houses, advocacy groups were given the chance to present a new study revealing unprecedented and widespread interference with scientific reports, largely by a former oil industry lobbyist working for the White House."

2. GMA Meteorologist Touts UN Report's Dire Threat of Global Warming
Proving that even the weatherman can be biased, Good Morning America's Sam Champion used Tuesday's edition of the ABC program to tout an apocalyptic study on global warming. In a report that featured no skepticism about the cause or genuine threat of climate change, Champion utilized dire language to discuss an impending report from the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). Champion charged that "some say we already may be at a point of no return" and he began Tuesday's report by foreshadowing the immediate future: "This morning, 500 of the top scientists in the world are meeting behind closed doors to finish up a landmark report on global warming. And the picture they're painting isn't pretty. We're talking about change that's not 100 years away, but within the next 10 years. This is not the future -- it's happening today."

3. Vieira Presses Nader to Concede He Was 'Spoiler' for Al Gore
NBC's Meredith Vieira played the role of disappointed Democrat on Tuesday's Today as she repeatedly asked Ralph Nader if he's worried he'll go down as Al Gore's "spoiler" as opposed to "consumer crusader." On to promote his book The Seventeen Traditions, Nader deflected Vieira with his usual spiel about the need for more "progressive" voices in the process even going as far to push for a Bill Moyers campaign.

4. Hume Scolds Media for Saying Wilson Disproved Niger-Iraq Link
In his Tuesday "Grapevine" segment, FNC's Brit Hume scolded the Washington Post as illustrative of how "mainstream news outlets covering the Scooter Libby trial continue to say that President Bush's contention that Iraq had tried to buy weapons-grade uranium in Africa was contradicted by the findings of Joe Wilson following his CIA mission to Niger" when "Wilson's report to the CIA actually confirmed that the former Prime Minister of Niger had met with Iraqis to discuss what was called 'commercial relations,' which Wilson interpreted as meaning sales of yellowcake uranium." Wilson, Hume reminded viewers, "told the CIA he had found no evidence of a successful deal, but not that there had been no attempts to broker a deal."

5. Top 10 Ways Country Would Be Different If Hillary Were President
From the Late Show Newsletter, the "Top Ten Ways This Country Would Be Different If Hillary Clinton Were President."


Updated with video. The Tuesday CyberAlert item, about the scene in Showtime's 'the L word' drama series featuring the "Unauthorized Abortion of W," a sculpture of Barbara Bush's exposed womb displaying George W. Bush's adult face and with the suction end of a vacuum cleaner just below her crotch, will be updated with video. After 10am EST Wednesday, to watch the scene via Real or Windows Media: www.mrc.org Before then, check the NewsBusters posting at: newsbusters.org

Nets Hype Democratic Hearings on 'Silencing'
of Warming Science

The broadcast network evening newscasts on Tuesday, especially NBC and ABC, jumped to hype a House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform hearing meant to publicize a report from two far-left groups about how the Bush administration supposedly suppressed science about the dire threat of global warming -- as if that view isn't already getting plenty of play in the mainstream media. "The question in Washington today was this," anchor Brian Williams intoned in leading the NBC Nightly News: "Did the Bush administration in any way try to cook the books on the topic of global warming? Government scientists were called before a congressional committee today and asked if the White House or anyone else ever tried to stifle or squelch or silence the evidence that climate change is taking place around the globe." Andrea Mitchell refused to properly label the groups as she trumpeted: "With Democrats holding the gavel in both houses, advocacy groups were given the chance to present a new study revealing unprecedented and widespread interference with scientific reports, largely by a former oil industry lobbyist working for the White House."

[This item was posted Tuesday night on the MRC's blog, NewsBusters.org: newsbusters.org ]

ABC's Jake Tapper largely followed the same script, but World News did not lead with his piece and he at least included a brief note of doubt as he cited a same-day Senate hearing on global warming and how "the committee's previous Chairman, Senator Jim Inhofe, has called global warming a 'hoax.'"

(Later, Tuesday's Nightline led with a longer version of Tapper's story which anchor Cynthia McFadden forebodingly teased: "Only ten years left? New fears the world has only a decade to take on global warming and the scientists who say the White House would not let them speak their minds." Tapper asserted: "Many scientists believe we have less than ten years to bring these emissions under control to prevent a catastrophe.")

Like Mitchell, however, on World News Tapper followed up with the same John McCain-enabled formulation: "For the most part, though, Senators from both parties expressed concern." Tapper began with the House confab as he relayed how "scientists say their work on global warming has been watered down and twisted by a White House that does not want the public to hear about it."

But the public certainly is hearing about the most-dire claims.

Just Tuesday, on ABC's Good Morning America as detailed in item #2 below, Sam Champion highlighted how "some say we already may be at a point of no return." Previewing a UN report, Champion touted:
"This morning, 500 of the top scientists in the world are meeting behind closed doors to finish up a landmark report on global warming. And the picture they're painting isn't pretty. We're talking about change that's not 100 years away, but within the next ten years. This is not the future -- it's happening today. Already massive glaciers and sea ice are disappearing. Droughts are ravaging Africa, Southern Asia, and Australia. And rising oceans are covering islands and beaches. And a draft of a new report on climate change obtained by ABC News paints a disastrous look for global warming....
"But some say we already may be at a point of no return. On Monday, Indonesia's environmental minister warned that rising sea levels may cover some 2000 of his country's more than 18,000 islands in just 23 years. And we'll be talking about other stories about global warming all this week as we count down to the release of that full report on Friday. And I'll be there in Paris on Friday for the release of that report."

Back on the January 24 CBS Evening News, anchor Katie Couric teased a story about the same report: "An important report on global warming comes out next week. We have it tonight. Is it too late to avert worldwide disaster?"

And two weeks ago, Williams set up a NBC Nightly News report from an ITN correspondent about an impending "catastrophe":
"NBC News 'In Depth' tonight, a trip to one of the coldest and most remote places on earth to see in dramatic fashion the impact of climate change on planet earth. Correspondent Lawrence McGinty of our British partner ITN reports tonight from the stunning landscape of Antarctica, a place he says where a catastrophe is unfolding slowly but surely."

The MRC's Brad Wilmouth corrected the closed-captioning against the video for the January 30 NBC Nightly News story centered around the report from the Union of Concerned Scientists: www.ucsusa.org

And the Government Accountability Project: www.whistleblower.org

Brian Williams teased: "Did the Bush administration turn up the heat on government scientists to stifle their views on global warming?"

Williams led: "Good evening. The question in Washington today was this: Did the Bush administration in any way try to cook the books on the topic of global warming? Government scientists were called before a congressional committee today and asked if the White House or anyone else ever tried to stifle or squelch or silence the evidence that climate change is taking place around the globe. What happened today is a direct result of the last election. There is a new urgency these days on Capitol Hill, where the Democrats in charge say the reality out there is worse than the reports they've been getting. And they say the time to fix it is running very short. We begin tonight in our Washington news room with NBC's Andrea Mitchell. Andrea, good evening."

Andrea Mitchell: "Good evening, Brian. Government scientists have been complaining for two years that the Bush administration has been forcing them to soft-pedal their findings on global warming. But now Democrats have the clout to demand answers. With Democrats holding the gavel in both houses, advocacy groups were given the chance to present a new study revealing unprecedented and widespread interference with scientific reports, largely by a former oil industry lobbyist working for the White House."
Rep. Henry Waxman (D-CA): "They tried to delete a discussion of the human health and environmental effects of climate change."
Mitchell: "Documents uncovered by the Government Accountability Project, an advocacy group, revealed that critical findings were eliminated from draft reports. Questions like: Is abrupt climate change real? And: What is the relationship between the drought in the West and climate variability and change? Both crossed out with a handwritten note: 'It is not necessary here to list these examples.'"
Rick Piltz, former climate change senior associate: "It wasn't just policy, it was spinning the scientific, the state of knowledge."
Mitchell: "A survey of more than 300 scientists and seven agencies studying climate change found nearly half were personally pressured to eliminate the words 'climate change' or 'global warming.'"
Dr. Francesca Grifo, Union of Concerned Scientists: "Our investigations found high-quality science struggling to get out."
Mitchell: "There is now a growing consensus that fossil fuel emissions are melting the ice cap with dramatic results, as witnessed in Antarctica two weeks ago by our British partners, ITN."
Mark Austin, ITN News, over video of part of an iceberg collapsing: "You can see some of these icebergs are melting. You can feel, there we are, I mean, that, there we are, that gives you an idea of what it's like."
Mitchell: "Who watered down most of the government reports? The scientists point to Philip Cooney, a former oil lobbyist in charge of the Bush policy who then left to work for ExxonMobil. He refused to talk to NBC News today."
Carol Browner, Clinton EPA Administrator: "The idea that an oil, a former oil lobbyist would be allowed to edit a scientific document from one of the agencies is simply inexcusable."
Mitchell: "Now, candidates in both parties are scrambling to cap emissions."
Senator John McCain (R-AZ): "The argument about climate change is over. Now it's time to act. The argument is over."
Mitchell: "Tonight the Bush administration told NBC News claims that the administration interfered with scientists are false and our focus is on taking action and making real progress. Many Republicans and Democrats in Congress want to see a lot more."

GMA Meteorologist Touts UN Report's Dire
Threat of Global Warming

Proving that even the weatherman can be biased, Good Morning America's Sam Champion used Tuesday's edition of the ABC program to tout an apocalyptic study on global warming. In a report that featured no skepticism about the cause or genuine threat of climate change, Champion utilized dire language to discuss an impending report from the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). Champion charged that "some say we already may be at a point of no return." The IPCC's site: www.ipcc.ch

Champion recently touted the "very sexy" group of actors and environmental activists/actors: newsbusters.org

Champion began Tuesday's report by foreshadowing the immediate future:
"This morning, 500 of the top scientists in the world are meeting behind closed doors to finish up a landmark report on global warming. And the picture they're painting isn't pretty. We're talking about change that's not 100 years away, but within the next 10 years. This is not the future -- it's happening today."

The morning weatherman went on to cite the liberal position on global warming: A call for reducing carbon emissions and he also noted that the IPCC scientists cite humans as the cause: "No one's really gotten together to blame it on humans -- this big of a crowd."

[This item is adopted from a posting, by Scott Whitlock, on the MRC's NewsBusters blog: newsbusters.org ]

Champion began the segment, which aired at 7:15 on January 30, by predicting impending doom. He didn't, however, note that previous media-promoted predictions of apocalypse have proved incorrect: www.businessandmedia.org

Chris Cuomo: "It's interesting, while politicians invite the blame game about who may or may not have muzzled science, there's actually a new report that hits on the most pressing issue, when global warming could make a difference. Sam, you've been gearing up for this report coming out. What could it mean?"
Sam Champion: "And first time study this size, Chris. This morning, 500 of the top scientists in the world are meeting behind closed doors to finish up a landmark report on global warming. And the picture they're painting isn't pretty. We're talking about change that's not 100 years away, but within the next 10 years. This is not the future -- it's happening today. Already massive glaciers and sea ice are disappearing. Droughts are ravaging Africa, Southern Asia, and Australia. And rising oceans are covering islands and beaches. And a draft of a new report on climate change obtained by ABC News paints a disastrous look for global warming."
Kenneth Denman (co-author IPCC Report) "We're hoping that it will convince people that it's, you know, that climate change is real."
Champion: "The soon to be released report predicts an increase in heat waves, intense tropical storms, and hurricanes. A sharp rise in sea levels and at an even faster pace, the continuing melting of the world's ice. American scientists reportedly want the final version of the report to recommend new technologies, called geo-engineering. One idea, for instance, would use giant mirrors to deflect some of the sun's rays from getting to get to the Earth, cooling the planet back down. Sounds like science fiction. With NASA funding, University of Arizona professor Roger Angel is researching using small discs to create a giant sun shade in space."
Roger Angel: "The effect would be, could be, to take our temperature back to pre-industrial level."
Champion: "But these ideas are still considered a last resort. Most scientists believe we need to focus on reducing carbon emissions before looking into alternatives in space."
Mike MacCracken (Climate Institute): "Well, I don't think geo-engineering is a magic bullet. We just haven't found anything that has really come close to being able to do anything that doesn't have other side effects that you just wouldn't want to have happen."
Champion: "But some say we already may be at a point of no return. On Monday, Indonesia's environmental minister warned that rising sea levels may cover some 2000 of his country's more than 18,000 islands in just 23 years. And we'll be talking about other stories about global warming all this week as we count down to the release of that full report on Friday. And I'll be there in Paris on Friday for the release of that report."
Cuomo: "We hear about timing, but to have all these scientists on the same page about how soon? That's rare, isn't it?"
Champion: "That's what's new about this. No one's really gotten together to blame it on humans -- this big of a crowd."

Nobody has gotten together to blame this on humans? Perhaps the ABC meteorologist missed the concerted effort that was "An Inconvenient Truth."

So, while the East Coast continues to suffer under a cold snap, Americans should probably expect more global warming propaganda from GMA's weatherman.

Vieira Presses Nader to Concede He Was
'Spoiler' for Al Gore

NBC's Meredith Vieira played the role of disappointed Democrat on Tuesday's Today as she repeatedly asked Ralph Nader if he's worried he'll go down as Al Gore's "spoiler" as opposed to "consumer crusader." On to promote his book The Seventeen Traditions, Nader deflected Vieira with his usual spiel about the need for more "progressive" voices in the process even going as far to push for a Bill Moyers campaign.

[This item, by Geoffrey Dickens, was posted Tuesday on the MRC's blog, NewsBusters.org: newsbusters.org ]

The following are all of Vieira's questions to the former Green Party candidate on the January 30 Today.

Meredith Vieira: "Consumer rights activist, humanitarian, election spoiler. Ralph Nader has been called a lot of things during his remarkable career but now he's out with a new book called The Seventeen Traditions, about lessons that he learned during his childhood. He's also the subject of a new documentary called An Unreasonable Man [www.imdb.com ], a profile which examines the charge that his presidential campaign cost Al Gore the election in 2000."
[Begin clip from documentary]
Jimmy Carter: "Go back to examining the rear end of automobiles and don't risk costing the Democrats the White House this year as you did four years ago."
Phil Donahue: "That's the real tragedy. It's, it's gonna be the first line of his bi-, of his obit. It's really, there's a Shakespearean feature to this."
[End clip]
Vieira: "Ralph Nader good morning to you. I want to talk about the book it is terrific but first Phil Donahue, what he just said. Do you worry that when everything is said and done the first thing they say about Ralph Nader will be, 'spoiler,' instead of 'consumer crusader?'"
[Nader]
Vieira: "Well do you ever wonder, 'what if I hadn't run?'"
[Nader]
Vieira: "So you think you actually helped him."
[Nader]
Vieira: "Let's talk about this book, The Seventeen Traditions, because in it you list the 17 lessons really that your family taught you. What was your goal in writing this book?"
[Nader]
Vieira: "Yeah some of them are kind of obvious like education and discipline but others are not. You talk about the tradition of listening and solitude and simple enjoyments. Why those? What did you gain from those?"
[Nader]
Vieira: "One of the biggest problems you say that parents face today is they don't have any self-confidence? Is that right?"
[Nader]
Vieira: "You were, you were raised to care very deeply about this country. Are you thinking about running again for President?"
[Nader]
Vieira: "Too early to say? So there's a chance?"
Nader: "Well there's always a chance but I like other people. In fact there are a lot of people who think Bill Moyers should run because he's had this White House experience with Lyndon Johnson and of course is a great communicator."
Vieira: "Ralph Nader always a pleasure to see you. The book, again, The Seventeen Traditions. And An Unreasonable Man opens in theaters tomorrow."

Hume Scolds Media for Saying Wilson Disproved
Niger-Iraq Link

In his Tuesday "Grapevine" segment, FNC's Brit Hume scolded the Washington Post as illustrative of how "mainstream news outlets covering the Scooter Libby trial continue to say that President Bush's contention that Iraq had tried to buy weapons-grade uranium in Africa was contradicted by the findings of Joe Wilson following his CIA mission to Niger" when "Wilson's report to the CIA actually confirmed that the former Prime Minister of Niger had met with Iraqis to discuss what was called 'commercial relations,' which Wilson interpreted as meaning sales of yellowcake uranium." Wilson, Hume reminded viewers, "told the CIA he had found no evidence of a successful deal, but not that there had been no attempts to broker a deal."

Hume's "Grapevine" item on the January 30 Special Report with Brit Hume: "Mainstream news outlets covering the Scooter Libby trial continue to say that President Bush's contention that Iraq had tried to buy weapons-grade uranium in Africa was contradicted by the findings of Joe Wilson following his CIA mission to Niger, down in Africa, to investigate the matter. The Washington Post today said quote, 'Wilson's mission there was to explore reports, ultimately proved false, that Iraq had tried to buy nuclear material in Niger.' But Wilson's report to the CIA actually confirmed that the former prime minister of Niger had met with Iraqis to discuss what was called 'commercial relations,' which Wilson interpreted as meaning sales of yellowcake uranium. Wilson told the CIA he had found no evidence of a successful deal, but not that there had been no attempts to broker a deal. Wilson later wrote an op-ed piece in The New York Times which, to say the least, differed from his CIA report."

The January 30 Washington Post article: www.washingtonpost.com

Top 10 Ways Country Would Be Different
If Hillary Were President

From the e-mailed Late Show Newsletter for the week of January 29, "an exclusive un-aired Top Ten for newsletter subscribers," the "Top Ten Ways This Country Would Be Different If Hillary Clinton Were President." Late Show home page: www.cbs.com

10. Tax breaks for pantsuits

9. Secretary of the Interior? Martha Stewart

8. Oil drilling begins in Crawford, Texas

7. First President who kisses men since Nixon. It's true -- look it up, people 6. Extra Secret Service agents assigned to guard Bill's pants

5. Vice President no longer allowed to get drunk and shoot a guy

4. For once Air Force One would stop and ask for directions, am I right ladies?

3. Presidential approval ratings above 20%

2. Four more years of old Bill Clinton sex jokes on the "Late Show"

1. President's affair with female intern would be way hotter

To subscribe to the Late Show Newsletter: www.cbs.com

The Late Show returns Thursday night from re-runs to celebrate David Letterman's 25th anniversary as a late night host.

-- Brent Baker