‘Go, Greta, Go!’: NBC & CBS ‘Smitten’ With Teen ‘Climate Crusader’

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On Wednesday night, all three network evening newscasts hailed radical teenage climate change activist Greta Thunberg sailing across the Atlantic to attend a United Nations global warming summit but ignored the inconvenient truth that the trip won’t actually save carbon emissions. On Thursday, NBC’s Today show and CBS This Morning kept cheering on the “climate crusader” while skipping that detail, with one host even confessing she was “smitten” with Thunberg.

“Teenage climate change activist Greta Thunberg has completed her sailboat trip across the Atlantic to attend a United Nations global warming conference,” fill-in co-host Kristen Welker announced early in the 8:00 a.m. ET hour. The anchor explained: “Thunberg, who never sailed before, says she took the wind and solar powered yacht because flying is bad for the environment.” Welker forgot to mention that a crew would have to fly to New York to retrieve Thunberg’s sailboat.

 

 

After delivering the news brief, Welker gushed: “How incredible! She’s just 16 years old.” Fellow co-host Craig Melvin enthusiastically proclaimed: “Go, Greta, go!” Welker added: “Go, Greta!”

On CBS This Morning, co-host Gayle King happily announced: “A world-famous teenage climate activist is in New York now after crossing the Atlantic in a solar-powered sailboat, wow.” The liberal host touted: “Now, she chose not at to fly because of the environmental impact of jet travel. While she says she would actually rather be a normal teenager, she says somebody has to take a stand on climate change.”

The headline on screen during the report equally editorialized: “Fighting for the Future; Teen Activist to Speak at United Nations Climate Change Summit.” On Wednesday, the CBS morning show promoted Thunberg as the “voice of the planet.”

After playing a soundbite of Thunberg on Thursday, King couldn’t contain her excitement: “I am so smitten with this little girl. I keep reminding myself she’s only 16, and what she’s doing.” Fill-in co-host Adriana Diaz chimed in: “What’s amazing – and she told our Roxana Saberi in London that she’s an introvert, and look what she’s doing. She’s inspiring a whole generation.”

Saberi, a CBS News London-based correspondent, interviewed Thunberg before the trip and eagerly teed up the teenage activist to scold the United States, and President Trump specifically, for not taking more action on climate change.   

If only such environmental crusaders didn’t keep getting caught in their own hypocrisy.

Here is a full transcript of the August 29 news brief on NBC’s Today show:

8:05 AM ET

KRISTEN WELKER: Teenage climate change activist Greta Thunberg has completed her sailboat trip across the Atlantic to attend a United Nations global warming conference.

[ON-SCREEN HEADLINE: Teen Climate Crusader Arrives In NYC; Crossed Atlantic on Yacht Powered By Wind & Sun]

The Swedish 16-year-old and her crew arrived in New York yesterday, two weeks after heading out from England. Thunberg, who never sailed before, says she took the wind and solar powered yacht because flying is bad for the environment.

She first made headlines last year by leading weekly school strikes to demand that world leaders address the climate issues. She shared the journey with her two million social media followers. How incredible! She’s just 16 years old.

CRAIG MELVIN: Go, Greta, go!

WELKER: Go, Greta!

MELVIN: That could have been a boost, but how about another one here?

WELKER: Let’s have another one.

Here is a transcript of the news brief on CBS This Morning:

8:14 AM ET

GAYLE KING: A world-famous teenage climate activist is in New York now after crossing the Atlantic in a solar-powered sailboat, wow. Greta Thunberg is her name. She arrived in Lower Manhattan yesterday after a two-week transatlantic journey. Now, she chose not at to fly because of the environmental impact of jet travel. While she says she would actually rather be a normal teenager, she says somebody has to take a stand on climate change.

[ON-SCREEN HEADLINE: Fighting for the Future; Teen Activist to Speak at United Nations Climate Change Summit]

GRETA THUNBERG: If you try hard enough and long enough, you will make a difference, and if enough people stand together and fight for the right thing, then anything can happen.

KING: Thunberg will protest outside the United Nations tomorrow and speak at a U.N. climate change summit next month. I am so smitten with this little girl. I keep reminding myself she’s only 16, and what she’s doing.

ADRIANA DIAZ: What’s amazing – and she told our Roxana Saberi in London that she’s an introvert, and look what she’s doing. She’s inspiring a whole generation.

TONY DOKOUPIL: Don’t underestimate introverts, they’re everywhere. You may not realize it.

KING: I’m an introvert.

DOKOUPIL: I am too.

KING: Yeah, right. Okay, Tony. [Laughter]

NB Daily Environment Global Warming CBS CBS This Morning NBC Today Video Gayle King Kristen Welker Craig Melvin Greta Thunberg

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