NBC's Al Roker was appalled by a poll of conspiracy theories that showed 37 percent of those surveyed believed global warming was a hoax. During a discussion, on Wednesday's Today show, of a Public Policy Polling survey that included respondents' views on everything from the John F. Kennedy assassination to the existence of Bigfoot, co-host Willie Geist reported: "Global warming is a hoax. Thirty-seven percent believe that."
To which Roker responded with an audible, "Wow!" and then later scolded global warming skeptics: "Okay, two words: Superstorm Sandy!"
The following is the relevant exchange as it was aired on the April 3 Today show:
WILLIE GEIST: Take 2, some conspiracy theories. Want to show you a little Public Policy Polling. They took 20 widespread conspiracy theories and asked the American public what it thought. Do you believe in these?
NATALIE MORALES: What does this say about us?
GEIST: Global warming is a hoax. Thirty-seven percent believe that.
AL ROKER: Wow!
GEIST: Twenty-nine percent say aliens exist.
GEIST: Fourteen-percent of Americans believe in Bigfoot. Seven percent say the moon landing was faked. Five percent, Al, say that Paul McCartney actually died in 1966.
ROKER: Let me run the record backwards and see if that's what it says.
MORALES: But the number one most believe theory: 51 percent believe that JFK was killed in a conspiracy.
GEIST: That's a majority of Americans believe that.
ROKER: But 37 percent said, 37 percent of these people don't believe in global warming!
ROKER: They think it's a hoax.
ROKER: I mean that-
MORALES: All these weather events.
ROKER: Okay, two words: Superstorm Sandy!
MORALES: Sandy? Right. There you go.