ABC, CBS and NBC on Tuesday morning uncritically hyped an extended effort by Senate Democrats as an "all-night marathon" to raise awareness on climate change. Yet, these same networks mocked a similar effort by Ted Cruz in fall of 2013 as a "bizarre," "long-winded protest."
Today's Natalie Morales explained, "The dusk to dawn talk-a-thon was expected to go about 15 hours." She noted that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid called global warming action a "question of our own survival." It was only CBS This Morning co-anchor Norah O'Donnell who pointed out that there "are no plans to bring a climate bill to the Senate floor this year." If no legislation is planned, how does this warrant network coverage? [MP3 audio here.]
Good Morning America reporter Josh Elliott narrated, "And on Capitol Hill, Senate Democrats have been pulling an all-nighter to draw attention to climate change making the case that global warming is real."
In contrast, when Senator Cruz in September of 2013 conducted a multi-hour effort against ObamaCare, GMA co-host George Stephanopoulos labeled it "bizarre."
On Today, Natalie Morales deemed it a "long-winded protest."
Another angle that journalists could have covered is hypocrisy. This Senate climate change protest is largely meaningless as no legislation will come of it. Yet, several of the Democrats lobbying for action were in the Senate on July 25, 1997. On that day, a 95-0 vote expressed opposition to the United States government ratifying the Kyoto Protocol efforts to reduce greenhouse gases.
That would include Democratic senators such as Joe Biden and John Kerry, the current vice president and secretary of state.
A transcript of the three reports can be found below:
JOSH ELLIOTT: And on Capitol Hill, Senate Democrats have been pulling an all-nighter to draw attention to climate change making the case that global warming is real. Massachusetts Senator Ed Markey, in fact, even quoted from the Dr. Seuss classic The Lorax which encourages action on environmental issues
CBS This Morning
NORAH O'DONNELL: The Washington Post said Senate Democrats had all-night marathon talks on climate change and their still talking at this hour. More than two dozen speakers are calling for action. They plan to talk for nearly 15 hours. But there are no plans to bring a climate bill to the Senate floor this year.
NATALIE MORALES: Senate Democrats pulled an all-nighter. Lawmakers took to the Senate floor Monday night to talk about global warming. The dusk to dawn talk-a-thon was expected to go about 15 hours. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid says climate change is a question of our own survival.