TV viewers woke up Friday to news that former Vice President Al Gore has won this year's Nobel Peace Prize for his crusade against climate change. As has been the case all year, the broadcast networks made no mention of anyone who disagrees with Gore's alarmist scenario as they applauded the once (and perhaps future) presidential candidate's environmental activism.
In April, an MRC study revealed that the ABC, CBS and NBC morning shows have been tilted almost completely in favor of promoting Gore's "climate crisis" position, with 97% of all global warming stories excluding contrary viewpoints.
This morning, the coverage was just as adulatory:
ABC's Good Morning America began with co-host Diane Sawyer touting how Gore was "helping awaken the world to global warming" and "educating the world." Reporter Kate Snow enthused on Gore's behalf: "It's been a pretty good year for him. He got an Oscar for his film, An Inconvenient Truth. He won an Emmy for his television channel and now, some might say, the biggest prize of them all: the Nobel Peace Prize."
Like her counterparts at CBS and NBC, Snow never suggested that the Nobel committee might have been motivated by politics in selecting Gore, whose climate crusade has little to do with war or peace. But she did point out a few of those who were pushed aside in favor of Gore, including Irena Sendler (whom ABC did not identify by name), a 97-year-old Polish woman who saved an estimated 2,500 children from the Nazi Holocaust.
On CBS's The Early Show, co-host Harry Smith was the most celebratory, replaying the video of how in May he tried to pin a "Gore 2008" button on the reluctant candidate. "We tried to pin it on him," an unembarrassed Smith recalled this morning, as co-host Hannah Storm explained, "He wanted no part of that."
In a report from London, correspondent Richard Roth was the only broadcast reporter to mention how Gore's An Inconvenient Truth has problems with the truth: "Just this week, a judge in Britain ruled the film needs a warning label saying it's not all fact." Indeed, apart from that one sentence, none of Friday's morning shows challenged any of Gore's environmental assertions.
Later, Smith asked The Politico's Jim VandeHei whether Gore might now run. "The inconvenient truth for all the Al Gore for President dreamers is he doesn't really want to run," VandeHei replied. But VandeHei had nothing but praise for Gore's crusade: "He was vindicated....He looks like a genius when it comes to global warming."
NBC's Today emphasized the campaign to draft Gore, with reporter David Gregory claiming Gore's Nobel Prize will "only add to the hunger for him to get into the presidential race." Tim Russert insisted "Gore seems to relish the role of prophet much more than presidential candidate," although he presented the weird - "very long shot" - scenario that Gore could be nominated if "something happened that would incapacitate" a nominee selected in the primaries.
At 8am, Today returned with a phone interview with Jimmy Carter, who was thrilled Gore won: "I think this adds just another element of luster to his deserved fame." Noting that Carter had called Gore "the best qualified person in America to be President," co-host Matt Lauer pleaded: "Do you plan on giving him a call?"
For its part, CNN's American Morning did point out the nine inaccuracies a British judge found in Gore's Truth, but correspondent Miles O'Brien stressed how the errors "do not actually go after the central thesis of the film itself.... There isn't much debate in the science." If Gore does run, it seems he'll have lots of friends in the media.
- Rich Noyes