CNN FINALLY Reports ClimateGate -- To Downplay It Of Course

November 26th, 2009 12:20 PM

It only took CNN six days to notice the growing international scandal known as Climategate, and when it finally reported on the matter, it predictably did so by downplaying the significance.

Maybe even more embarrassing for the supposedly "Most Trusted Name In News," Russia Today did a far better job of detailing what happened at Britain's Climate Research Unit and how the global warming debate is impacted by it.

Throughout her report on Wednesday's "The Situation Room," CNN correspondent Brooke Baldwin regularly referred to the "global warming consensus."

Even worse, she complained about there being "very little context" in the e-mail messages hacked from a "climate research institute," but never actually read ONE complete message or named ONE of the scientists involved.

Baldwin also withheld from viewers the connection these scientists have to the United Nations' Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change as well as their ties to the White House and Congressional Democrats (videos embedded below the fold with CNN transcript):

SUZANNE MALVEAUX, CNN: President Obama will go to Copenhagen next month for a major climate change summit. That word today coming from the White House and it comes as Congress is still divided over new climate change legislation. Meanwhile, the global warming controversy, that is heating up as well, after hackers have made public some of the sensitive e-mails. Our CNN's Brooke Baldwin has the story.

Brooke, tell us what this is about, the center of this controversy over the e-mails.

BROOKE BALDWIN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Suzanne, how about the timing of all of this. Yes, we are talking about hundreds of e-mails and documents spanning just about a decade here among prominent climate scientists and they have been hacked fanning really debate over whether some scientists my have exaggerated their case for manmade climate change.


BALDWIN: The consensus that the climate is changing, that the burning of fossil fuels is a significant factor goes way beyond the pop culture sensation of Al Gore's "Inconvenient Truth" and his appearance on last week's episode of "30 Rock" on NBC.

AL GORE, FORMER VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Kenneth, encourage your lawmakers to take action and recycle everything, including jokes.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm sorry, sir, what?

GORE: Quiet. Oil is in trouble. I have to go.

BALDWIN: So when a reputable climate research institute has its computer server hacked and hundreds of its private e-mails made public, the news gets around fast, especially from groups that don't believe the global warming consensus. One e-mail attributed to the research center's director had this cryptic excerpt referring to the, quote, trick of adding in the real temps to each series to hide the decline in temperature. Because there's very little context in that e-mail and the others, it's hard to know what they will all add up to. A climate research unit in question posted a message calling this e- mail hack job mischievous and saying it is helping the police to confirm. Senator James Inhofe for many years has portrayed this data showing the warming trend as a hoax and sees the e-mails as evidence.

SEN. JAMES INHOFE (R), OKLAHOMA: I'm pleased by the vast and growing number of scientists, politicians, reporters, all over the world who are publicly rejecting climate alarmism, alarmism. This is those who want to scare people into some kind of action, you know. The water is going to rise up. The world is coming to an end.

BALDWIN: But the White House energy czar points to the 2,500 climate scientists all around the world who agree the climate is warming and that these e-mails aren't changing that. As for the American public, according to a "Washington Post"/ABC News poll out this week, the number of Americans who believe global warming is happening is down from 80% to 72% from last year, down but still a large majority.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We really do have a global warming. The polar bears are getting in trouble and the glaciers are melting.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I do think that we tend to blow things a little out of proportion, but I do think we need to be concerned.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think it is over hyped. I think some of it is attributed to man but not all of it.

BALDWIN: That same "Washington Post"/ABC News poll shows since 2006 the increase in climate skepticism is driven largely by a shift within the Republican Party and independents. There was also a dip among Democrats but small. Still, a majority of respondents support a national cap on greenhouse gas emissions.


BALDWIN: Now back to those hacked e-mails and the documents. We also want to point out that it suggests some scientists pressured journals not to publishing work of those who questioned whether the earth is in fact warming but, again, here, all of this coming out weeks as you mentioned Suzanne ahead of Copenhagen's climate summit where President Obama will in fact be attending, and today the White House announced that the president has prepared, speaking of those caps, to put on the table a U.S. emissions reduction target in the range of 17% below 2005 levels. That deadline for 2020, and by 83% by 2050, and you know this will ultimately be in line with targets laid out in a bill passed by the House earlier this year -- Suzanne?

MALVEAUX: Yes. OK, thank you.

Obviously a problem potentially for the administration, relying on Congress to make this thing happen so thank you very much.

Is that what CNN considers a good report on this subject?

Maybe they should take a tip from Russia Today which logged the following the same day:

Now THAT'S what I call reporting!