NBC Joins CBS, Fails to Include Inconvenient Tidbit About Global Warming Teen’s Voyage

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Wednesday’s CBS This Morning gave another glowing segment to Swede and climate change teen Greta Thunberg, but as my colleague Scott Whitlock noted, they failed to include an embarrassing tidbit that, while the teen sailed on a zero emissions-boat across the Atlantic to New York for a United Nations conference, two individuals are being flown across the Atlantic to retrieve the boat. 

This was despite the fact that Thunberg herself has decried flying as horrid for the planet. While an Associated Press story claimed that “the carbon emissions from their flights will be compensated for,” the irony remained. Yet, the CBS Evening News and NBC Nightly News ignored it while covering Thunberg’s arrival (while ABC’s World News Tonight didn’t cover it).

 

 

The 130-word AP item said a team “spokeswoman....said it'll be necessary to fly the crew to the U.S. because the high-profile trip with the 16-year-old Swedish campaigner that left Plymouth on Wednesday was arranged at very short notice” and that they recognize that this is “an imperfect solution.”

Yikes. 

At any rate, the CBS Evening News kept up the hype and good feelings. Fill-in anchor John Dickerson referred to Thunberg in a tease for an 18-second brief as a “climate warrior....with a message to the President.”

New to this part of her story was NBC Nightly News, which gave her arrival a one-minute-and-13-second story. Filling in for Lester Holt, Sunday anchor Kate Snow introduced correspondent Kelly Cobiella’s piece: “A teenage climate activist whose passion for the planet has attracted global attention arrived in New York City today. The young environmentalist chose to travel on a zero emissions yacht and she invited fans to share the journey.”

Cobiella even made a point to mention Thunberg’s decision to sail here because of her disdain for flying (which took 15 days and one day later than planned due to rough seas):

The 16-year-old Swedish student, who started a global youth movement when she went on strike from school last year, set sail from England August 14th for New York and the United Nations Climate Conference taking a boat, she said, because flying is terrible for the planet....Sharing her maiden voyage with her two million social media followers tweeting “it's like camping on a roller coaster.” And on day 8, “you really lose sense of time.”

While such a small tidbit in the bias by omission department isn’t that big of a deal compared to MSNBC host Lawrence O’Donnell’s bit, it’s yet another reminder of how many in the national media fail to accomplish the most basic elements of news gathering.

To see the relevant transcript from August 28's CBS Evening News, click “expand.”

CBS Evening News
August 28, 2019
6:49 p.m. Eastern [TEASE]

[ON-SCREEN HEADLINE: Greta’s Message]

JOHN DICKERSON: Coming up, a teenage climate warrior sails into New York harbor with a message for the President.

(....)

6:52 p.m. Eastern

[ON-SCREEN HEADLINE: Sailing into New York]

[ON-SCREEN HEADLINE: Teen Climate Activist Sails into NYC]

DICKERSON: After a two-week journey across the Atlantic, 16-year-old climate activist Greta Thunberg sailed into New York harbor today aboard a zero-emissions boat. Her message to President Trump upon arriving in his hometown? Listen to the science. Thunberg will address the UN Climate Action summit next month.

To see the relevant transcript from August 28's NBC Nightly News, click “expand.”

NBC Nightly News
August 28, 2019
7:11 p.m. Eastern

[ON-SCREEN HEADLINE: Mission Accomplished]

[ON-SCREEN HEADLINE: Teen Climate Activist Completes Boat Journey Across Atlantic]

KATE SNOW: A teenage climate activist whose passion for the planet has attracted global attention arrived in New York City today. The young environmentalist chose to travel on a zero emissions yacht and she invited fans to share the journey. Here’s Kelly Cobiella.

KELLY COBIELLA: Tonight climate activist Greta is back on dry land after 15 days at sea. 

GRETA THUNBERG: All this is very overwhelming. 

COBIELLA: The 16-year-old Swedish student, who started a global youth movement when she went on strike from school last year, set sail from England August 14th for New York and the United Nations Climate Conference taking a boat, she said, because flying is terrible for the planet. 

THUNBERG: So I think this will be fun. 

COBIELLA: Sharing her maiden voyage with her two million social media followers tweeting “it's like camping on a roller coaster.” And on day 8, “you really lose sense of time.” But one day stood out. 

THUNBERG: It’s very rough. There are very high waves. 

COBIELLA: That bad weather making them just one day late. 

THUNBERG: It is insane that a 16-year-old would have to cross the Atlantic Ocean to — to make a stand. 

COBIELLA: After two weeks to stare at the ocean and think about the planet. Kelly Cobiella, NBC News. 

NB Daily Environment Global Warming Bias by Omission Associated Press CBS CBS Evening News NBC NBC Nightly News Video Kate Snow John Dickerson Greta Thunberg
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