Networks play Captain Planet, downplay ClimateGate and other scandals

Julia Seymour Contributor
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Happy Earth Day.

As the mainstream media celebrate 40 years of eco-madness in the name of “saving the planet” it’s time to discuss the story they’ve been ignoring for months.

The credibility of the global warming alarmism movement is melting faster than the bogus claim that the Himalayan glaciers would be gone by 2035, thanks to more than a dozen climate science scandals since the ClimateGate e-mails were leaked in November 2009.

Yet, the networks have mentioned those scandals in less than 10 percent of “global warming” or “climate change” stories between the day the ClimateGate e-mails were leaked (Nov. 20, 2009) and April 1, 2010. Only one CBS story mentioned any of the revelations that followed ClimateGate.

Despite the network’s attempt to hide those scandals, a March Gallup poll found that 48 percent of Americans think that the threat of global warming is “generally exaggerated.” They must have been watching the network news’ catastrophic predictions about melting glaciers, more “intense droughts” and imminent destruction of polar bears for the past decade. After all, NBC even managed to warn about global warming during the 2009 presidential inauguration – a sub-zero day.

Even as the credibility of such catastrophic predictions eroded, the networks warned that melting Andes glaciers would deprive people of drinking water, France may lose its winemaking abilities because of a changing climate and Arctic animals would struggle to survive.

ClimateGate was only the beginning of many disclosures threatening to undermine climate alarmism. Thanks to the internet and British newspapers, the public learned that the UN’s climate change report included unverifiable predictions about melting Himalayan glaciers taken from at liberal activist group. That Russian climatologists allege only 25 percent of Russian stations were used to come up with global temperatures. That the location of 42 rural weather stations in China used to generate global climate is unknown.

But ABC and NBC newscasts didn’t bother reporting any of the scandals that came after ClimateGate. Instead they continued to defend global warming scientists and label critics “naysayers,” “deniers” and “skeptics.”

Despite the climate change snow job the networks have perpetrated against their viewers, nearly half of Americans have managed to dig out. The ClimateGate e-mails and data certainly gave people reason not to trust the world’s leading climate scientists.

One e-mail appeared to show “manipulation” of temperature data, referring to “Mike’s Nature trick” used to “hide the decline.” The e-mail referred to Penn State professor Michael Mann and what the UK columnist Christopher Booker called his “comprehensively discredited” hockey stick graph of temperature data. Mann claims the word “trick” was a colloquial phrase for an accepted scientific practice. His defense could colloquially be referred to as BS.

Another embarrassing e-mail exchange between climate scientists read: “We can’t account for the lack of warming at the moment.” Of course, that contradicts all those claims that the planet is warming now, not that the media notice.

Despite these and many more damning admissions and allegations, the networks consistently downplayed the news in the few stories about the climate scandals. CBS’s Wyatt Andrews defended alarmists against accusations of “fraud” and “deception” saying “if that’s true, it’s a fraud adopted by most of the world’s leading scientists …” And?

ABC’s Clayton Sandell sought to reassure the public that “The science is solid, according to a vast majority of researchers, with hotter temperatures, melting glaciers and rising sea level providing the proof.”

The networks labeled all of the scandals “mistakes,” but Myron Ebell of the Competitive Enterprise Institute begs to differ.

“What they were doing was not making mistakes, they were manipulating data,” he told BMI. The entire argument supporting the theory of carbon emissions causing global warming is based on the temperature record, Ebell explained. The CRU e-mails revealed that “they were adjusting the [weather] stations they were using” to show warmer recent decades and cooler temperatures in the 1930s and ’40s.

Instead of following the lead of the London press by thoroughly investigating climate scientists, their organizations and their profit motives, the networks maintained their entrenched global warming alarmism in 65 percent of stories. From concern over wildlife to support for the Copenhagen convention, the networks’ theme never really changed.

Co-anchor Maggie Rodriguez worried about the plight of “cuddly” animals like the Arctic Fox on the CBS “Early Show.” NBC’s Anne Thompson was awed by “climate justice” protesters in Copenhagen, Denmark seeking reparations from developed countries like the U.S.

Thompson described the protests positively calling them an “extraordinary sight” despite more than 700 hundred arrests that took place.

At least two network reporters did admit that the public’s concern about the threat of global warming has declined, but neither CBS’s Russ Mitchell, nor ABC’s Clayton Sandell drew the obvious conclusion that ClimateGate and all the other climate science “gates” played a major role. In fact neither reporters even mentioned the scandals in those stories.

As in years past, network reporters continue to hype the climate “crisis” and act as advocates rather than neutral observers. It doesn’t seem to bother them that they are failing the American public and violating the journalistic code of ethics. Journalists should leave the crusading to Captain Planet, and get back to being Lois Lane.