Saturday’s Good Morning America kept up the applause for Al Gore’s Nobel Peace Prize award, featuring a completely one-sided report from correspondent Bill Blakemore -- who said that scientists were “joyous” over the award to Gore because “scientists have been far more worried than anyone about global warming, finding it's far more dangerous, coming much quicker, than they expected” -- followed by an equally slanted interview with Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., who lectured an admiring Bill Weir that the media have failed to suppress any disagreement with his liberal views “because of a massive propaganda campaign by the Exxon corporation.”
Kennedy claimed: “In the scientific community, there was literally zero dissent. But at the same time, in the United States press, over 60% of the newspaper stories and, particularly, the television stories published, expressed some doubt about this issue. Why is that? The reason is because of a massive propaganda campaign by the Exxon corporation and by others -- but largely funded by Exxon -- that has been very, very successful at persuading the media not to cover this issue seriously and reporters simply don't go read the science.”
The claim that the media are bending over backwards to reject the liberal view of global warming is preposterous; network TV coverage has been nearly 100% invested in the Al Gore alarmist view of the issue for years (see here and here and here and here).
And as for the idea that there is “literally zero dissent” among scientists, that’s another phony argument. Top hurricane specialist William Gray, at Colorado State University, told Discover magazine a couple of years ago that while the temperature has risen, “it is not human induced” and that “nearly all of my colleagues who have been around 40 or 50 years are skeptical as hell about this whole global-warming thing. But no one asks us.”
Obviously ABC News hasn’t knocked on their door recently, preferring to broadcast the talking points of celebrity politicians like Gore and RFK, Jr.
***UPDATE, October 17: Iain Murray corrects more of RFK's phony facts here.
Here’s how the October 13 Good Morning America celebrated Gore’s award and again promoted the activist view of global warming without any dissent, followed by more of how an actual scientist sees the issue:
Bill Weir: “We turn now to Al Gore and the Nobel Peace Prize. The former Vice President shares that honor with thousands of climatologists around the world. The latest award here evidence to many that the movement to fight man-made climate change has finally come of age and it has been a long time coming. ABC’s Bill Blakemore now takes a look at the man, and his movement.”
Bill Blakemore: “This award has eminent scientists everywhere excited. We caught up with climatologist Robert Corell in a Massachusetts diner.”
Robert Corell: “When Nancy called me and screamed in the telephone the message, that Al and IPCC, I mean it was really hard for me not to pull over to the side of the road and just get out and yell, ‘Yay!’ Probably 10 or 15,000 scientists who have been involved in IPCC will be just joyous.”
Blakemore: “Joyous, because scientists have been far more worried than anyone about global warming, finding it's far more dangerous, coming much quicker, than they expected. Many scientists sharing the prize have complained that the only thing now missing was leadership. Some say there's symbolism in being linked by the Nobel to the world's most visible leader on the issue.”
Clip of Al Gore: “If you want to go quickly, go alone. If you want to go far, go together. We have to go far quickly.”
Climatologist Michael Oppenheimer: “Al Gore's absolutely unique. He's unique among political leaders having focused on this problem for almost 30 years.”
Blakemore: “In that time, the movement to fight global warming has evolved with Al Gore.”
Jerry Seinfeld at the Oscar Awards: “And the Oscar goes to ‘An Inconvenient Truth.’”
Blakemore: “From what seemed a fringe liberal cause, to a cause celebe around him.”
Carell: “It was a voice that was often seen as a political voice. But when you talk to him personally this is visceral. This is inside his being.”
Blakemore: “His persistence as much as anything has won him a devoted following, as humanity now struggles with what Al Gore calls ‘An Inconvenient Truth.’ For Good Morning America, Bill Blakemore, ABC News, New York.”
Weir: “And joining us live now from Minneapolis is another man who has made protecting the environment a lifelong cause, Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., President of the Waterkeeper Alliance. Good morning.”
Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.: “Morning.”
Weir: “Your father ran for president, convinced that was the best way to tackle big problems, but forty years later it seems Al Gore is content to act as a citizen activist. Do you agree with that decision? Do you think he would do more good to the grand cause as a candidate?”
Kennedy: “Well, I think that's a personal decision for him. He said he doesn't want to run so -- you know, he did win once before. [Weir laughs] But I think -- at this point, he's saying that he's not going to run. So I think we have to look for leadership someplace else.”
Weir: “Well, let me follow that up then-”
Kennedy: “That kind of leadership.”
Weir: “Yeah. Well, if he's not in, who do you like as the most qualified candidate on environmental issues?”
Kennedy: “You know, I think all of the Democratic candidates have said the right thing about global warming. We've yet to see concrete plans from anybody. John McCain on the Republican side has some genuine bona fides -- although I think he's being pulled now by the gravities of the Republican primary voters to reverse some of those -- that initial good work that he's done on the issue. All the Democrats have been good on this issue. Hillary Clinton. Johnny Edwards. Obama. Bill Richardson. Chris Dodd. They've all been wonderful on this issue.”
Weir: “But no endorsement this morning?”
Kennedy: “I think -- I'm going to be supporting Hillary Clinton in the race. I think she has the strongest record on the environment of any of the candidates and-”
Weir: “Well, let me ask you just about the fight at large. The last poll we did at ABC was in the spring, and 56% of the people still says, said, there's a debate among scientists as to whether or not climate change is manmade. Where's the tipping point? And, does the message have to change in any way to get more people on board before any grand action can be-”
Kennedy: "Well, it's not the message, it's really the media that I think is at fault here. If -- you know, the National Academy of Sciences did a study an inventory, three years ago, of all of the scientific documents that had -- the peer reviewed, refereed scientific documents that had been published in the previous decade, over 10,000 documents, 10,000 scientific studies. All of them agreed on the basics: that global warming exists; that human beings are causing it; that it's upon us now; and that its impacts are going to be catastrophic. In the scientific community, there was literally zero dissent. But at the same time, in the United States press, over 60% of the newspaper stories and, particularly, the television stories published, expressed some doubt about this issue. Why is that? The reason is because of a massive propaganda campaign by the Exxon corporation and by others -- but largely funded by Exxon -- that has been very, very successful at persuading the media not to cover this issue seriously and reporters simply don't go read the science. They say, ‘Oh, well, there's somebody out there, you know, Exxon is saying-”
Weir: “Looking for the other side.”
Kennedy: “-Exxon's lackeys are saying this. And it's irresponsible of the media ultimately. People think -- journalists now think if they achieve balance they've done their job. But that's not the job of journalism. A true journalist, their job is to go out, to discern the truth, and then to convey the truth to the American people. And that has not happened in this case. They've simply said, well, we've done our job if we've done balance, and it's simply -- they've given a really, really, really wrong impression to the American public and they've let down American democracy.”
Weir: “Robert Kennedy, we appreciate your thoughts this morning. Thanks for being with us.”
Now, more of Gray’s interview from the September 2005 “Dialogue” in Discover Magazine:
Discover Magazine: You don’t believe global warming is causing climate change?
Dr. William Gray: “No. If it is, it is causing such a small part that it is negligible. I’m not disputing that there has been global warming. There was a lot of global warming in the 1930s and ’40s, and then there was a slight global cooling from the middle ’40s to the early ’70s. And there has been warming since the middle ’70s, especially in the last 10 years. But this is natural, due to ocean circulation changes and other factors. It is not human induced.
Discover: That must be a controversial position among hurricane researchers.
Gray: Nearly all of my colleagues who have been around 40 or 50 years are skeptical as hell about this whole global-warming thing. But no one asks us. If you don’t know anything about how the atmosphere functions, you will of course say, “Look, greenhouse gases are going up, the globe is warming, they must be related.” Well, just because there are two associations, changing with the same sign, doesn’t mean that one is causing the other.