Tone Deaf CBS Finds Environmental ‘Silver Lining’ to Pandemic Killing Thousands

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Talk about tone deaf. CBS This Morning on Thursday attempted to report the upside to a global pandemic that is killing thousands. Correspondent Vladimir Duthiers, reporting from his home because of the virus, cheered, “Let's talk to you about Italy. Obviously that country, its people have been devastated by the coronavirus. But there is a little bit of a silver lining in some of its historic cities. This is Venice.... You can never see the waters because they're so murky from all the boats.”

He continued, “Now you can see the crystal-clear waters of the Venice canals. You can see fish swimming around in the canals. That’s pretty amazing, pretty remarkable for those of you who have visited Venice.”

Not willing to stop there, Duthiers kept digging, “This is a map, a satellite map showing you the level of pollution that has gone away the past three months because of the reduction of emissions across northern Italy.” The current death toll in Italy is 3,000 people. The overall death toll worldwide is around 10,000. But, hey, slightly less pollution.

 

 

The cringe-inducing report came to an end with this: “So, there is a bit of a silver lining even though our hearts go out to our world citizens going through this world pandemic in Italy.”

CNN’s Laura Jarrett on Thursday covered the same story while managing to be not as awkward as Duthiers:

On a slightly lighter note, the coronavirus lockdown in Italy having an unexpected side effect in Venice. Water in the newly cloudy canals is crystal clear, enough so you can see fish swimming below. Officials say it isn't so much a sign of better water quality as it is from the lack of boat traffic. Tourism in Italy came to a screeching halt after coronavirus cases spiked.

On March 9, PBS’s Christiane Amanpour found, you guessed it, another environmental silver lining. Apparently, all this death is reducing carbon emissions in China as well:

So if there is a silver lining to this crisis, it's visible in the skies above China. The dramatic slowdown in manufacturing and driving has caused a reduction in carbon emissions. We've all seen these NASA satellite images which show the improvement in China's air quality.

CBS and CNN transcripts are below. Click “expand” to read more.

CBS This Morning

3/19/2020

7:51 AM ET 

VLADIMIR DUTHIERS: Let's talk to you about Italy. Obviously that country, its people have been devastated by the coronavirus. But there is a little bit of a silver lining in some of its historic cities. This is Venice. For the first time, you guys have been to Venice, you can never see the waters because they're so murky from all the boats. This time, now you can see the crystal-clear waters of the Venice canals. You can see fish swimming around in the canals. That’s pretty amazing, pretty remarkable for those of you who have visited Venice. And check that out. I’m no Lonnie Quinn or Jeff Berardelli. But this is a map, a satellite map showing you the level of pollution that has gone away the past three months because of the reduction of emissions across northern Italy. So, there is a bit of a silver lining even though our hearts go out to our world citizens going through this world pandemic in Italy.

 

CNN Early Start

3/19/2020

4:49 AM ET

LAURA JARRETT: On a slightly lighter note, the coronavirus lockdown in Italy having an unexpected side effect in Venice. Water in the newly cloudy canals is crystal clear, enough so you can see fish swimming below. Officials say it isn't so much a sign of better water quality as it is from the lack of boat traffic. Tourism in Italy came to a screeching halt after coronavirus cases spiked.

 

NB Daily Coronavirus CBS CBS This Morning Video Vladimir Duthiers
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