No Bias, No Bull
Surprise - a British panel ruled that the scandal known as ClimateGate that supposedly revealed the manipulation of certain data strengthen the case of manmade global warming was much ado about nothing. But, The New York Times in a July 7 story called these findings of an inquiry led by Muir Russell, a retired British civil servant and educator, "a sweeping exoneration" of the ClimateGate scientists in question.
While there are still some serious and legitimate concerns to be raised about what ClimateGate reveal despite the findings, Bill Nye, the so-called "Science Guy" is celebrating and at the same time dismissing skeptics of Russell's findings. He explained why he thought this was important on CNN's July 7 broadcast of "Campbell Brown."
"Well, it's important to people like me," Nye said. "It's important to all the scientists. I think people who don't believe in climate change, who deny climate change, I don't think it's going to affect them very much at all because they're already committed to their - to their beliefs and this will be just one more brick in the great ziggurat of conspiracy for those people."
Anchor John Roberts introduced the special correspondent's near the end of the 8 pm Eastern hour by trying to make a tenuous connection between the report and the continuing major news of the Gulf oil leak: "All eyes are on Gulfport, Mississippi this morning as the President arrived for the first leg of his three-state tour, but about 150 miles north of the Gulf, in a small town called Wesson, the big news this season was all about the high school yearbook. It was here that a teenager's senior picture triggered an unexpected backlash, and sparked outrage throughout the state."
O'Brien sympathized with Ceara Sturgis, the teen from Wesson, Mississippi, from the start of her report: "For 18-year-old senior Ceara Sturgis, her high school yearbook is more than a collection of memories. It's about her struggle to be who she is in tiny Wesson, Mississippi, population about 2,000." After asking the lesbian to describe herself ("18 years old and I'm gay. I don't like people to push me around, especially when I have the right, and I don't give up."), the correspondent continued that "what she didn't give up on was her fight to get this picture in her yearbook, a picture she took wearing a tuxedo instead of the traditional dress, called a drape."
Brown's evening CNN show has consistently failed to reach enough viewers to justify itself, and she concluded that there was no realistic hope of recovery. So, unlike a certain CBS Evening News anchor, Campbell Brown is doing the honorable thing, and resigning. She has told the network to find someone who might perform better.
Meanwhile, give the Associated Press piles of demerits. Its brief story on Brown's departure contained a final-paragraph howler about network's news posture that must be read to be believed (link is dynamic and may change over time; full AP item is presented below for fair use, discussion, and embarrassment purposes):
Brown played the interview of the soldier, Specialist Zachari Klawonn, during the first full segment, which began 2 minutes into the 8 pm Eastern hour. Klawonn was joined by his lawyer, Randal Mathis, as well as the commanding officer of his battalion, Colonel Jimmy Jenkins. As she introduced the segment, the anchor emphasized how the specialist is "a model soldier," "exactly what the Army says it is looking for," and how he "has an exemplary service record, and has earned the praise of both his commanders and his Army buddies."
Anchor Rick Sanchez brought on CNN national political correspondent Jessica Yellin during a segment 21 minutes into the 3 pm Eastern hour of his Rick's List program on Wednesday. After noting how Democratic Representative David Obey, a "partisan brawler," was retiring, and how "Sarah Palin and tea party influences" might be "running some of these rascals out of office," Sanchez turned to Yellin and asked her about the results: "Those allegedly angry voters could have stormed the polls in droves and thrown out the bums. They would have all been there in big numbers, and they're going to get rid of the incumbents, get rid of the old hacks. So, did that happen?"
Brown brought on Churchill at the bottom half of the 8 pm Eastern hour. Midway through the interview, she made her "right wing extremism" claim and cited "a number of studies that have looked at this. The Department of Homeland Security came out with a study last year saying that, perhaps, it's the economy, or possibly the President's race." The anchor then asked, "What do you see as driving recruitment right now, beyond just sort of the generic more- or not generic, but more general libertarian view?"
Before the replay of correspondent Mary Snow's report on Father James Scahill's public call for Benedict XVI's resignation at 26 minutes into the 8 pm Eastern hour, Yellin, who was filling-in for anchor Campbell Brown, noted that "just yesterday, in a rare reference to the scandal, the Pope called for penitence for the Church's sins. But for some, penitence is not enough." After Snow's report, the substitute anchor read a promo for the upcoming segment, which included the "why is he having such a hard time saying he's sorry" claim.
That is an irresponsible question on the part of Yellin. Just under a month ago, the Pope did make such an apology in his pastoral letter to the Catholics of Ireland, directly addressing the victims of the abuse: "You have suffered grievously and I am truly sorry. I know that nothing can undo the wrong you have endured....It is understandable that you find it hard to forgive or be reconciled with the Church. In her name, I openly express the shame and remorse that we all feel." Two years ago, in April 2008, he met with some of the victims of abuse during his visit to the U.S., and addressed the scandal during a homily in New York City. Later that year, he apologized again, this time for the sex abuse in Australia while he visited that country.
The network's Jeff Simon and Charles Riley put up a six-paragraph article on the lopsided figures on CNN.com at 7:12 pm Eastern time: "A CNN analysis of the meeting shows that Democrats - including President Obama, who helmed the meeting - were granted more than twice the amount of speaking time as Republicans. Democrats spoke for a total of 135 minutes while President Obama spoke for 122 minutes, for a total of 257 minutes. Republicans, meanwhile, spoke for just 111 minutes, about 30 percent of the total speaking time."
CNN contributor and Daily Beast columnist John Avlon labeled "saving freedom," the theme for CPAC 2010, as "a little extreme" and "a little far out" on Thursday's Campbell Brown program and Friday's American Morning. Avlon went further, bashing conservatives' criticism of President Obama: "When they say 'saving freedom,' they're confusing, at heart, losing an election with living under tyranny."
(Avlon is a Tea Party hater, insisting recently on CNN.com that the GOP must repudiate them.)
The CNN analyst appeared during a segment 20 minutes into the 8 pm Eastern hour of Brown's program with Red State's Erick Erickson and CNN senior political correspondent Candy Crowley. The CNN anchor asked Avlon, who attended the first day of CPAC, "What was your take on what was going on?" It didn't take long for this self-appointed voice of independents to criticize the theme of the annual conference for conservatives:
One person who will not be in attendance is Meghan McCain, despite the year-long media attempt to make citizens believe she is somehow representative of conservatives. She tweeted on Feb. 11, "I have no idea where this weird rumor I am speaking at CPAC came from, it isn't true and I will not be attending or speaking."
McCain, the 25-year-old daughter of former Republican presidential nominee John McCain and a writer for The Daily Beast, has taken it upon herself to tell the GOP what needs to be fixed within the party. Because she calls herself a Republican, media outlets have perpetuated the notion that she is also conservative. By doing that, they've pushed a liberal social agenda that directly conflicts with conservative values.
Writer Kathleen Parker, herself no stranger to conservative bashing, praised McCain last spring as "one smart cookie" who "in a matter weeks ... has created a brand, presenting herself as a fresh face of her daddy's party and voice of young conservatives."
Jonathan Capehart of The Washington Post and a contributor to MSNBC, suggested last summer that "maybe what the Republican Party is going to have to do is skip a generation and wait for the Meghan McCains to come of age so they can run for office and take over the mantle of the party."
Brown’s interview of Dorgan aired at the bottom of the 8 pm Eastern hour. During the second half of the segment, the anchor expressed some of the left’s concerns over his decision to not run for reelection: “You know, this is that rare moment where Democrats have a supermajority and are able to get through what they wanted to accomplish. And so there are people- fairly or unfairly- who are saying, why are you doing this to us now?”
North Dakota's Democratic senator, Byron Dorgan, just announced he won't run for reelection to the U.S. Senate in November. The surprise announcement could give Republicans a chance to pick up a Senate seat in that red state. Dorgan was first elected to the Senate back in 1992 after serving a dozen years in the House. The moderate Democrat says he wants to pursue other interests.Hours later on her program, Campbell Brown announced:
On the political front, a big blow to Democrats' hopes of keeping control of the Senate. North Dakota Senator Byron Dorgan announced today he won't run for reelection this year, a big surprise here. Dorgan was expected to easily win a fourth term, so a boost for Republicans there.Is Dorgan a moderate, as Blitzer described him? Interest group ratings compiled by Project Vote Smart show:
A 100 percent rating for 2008 from NARAL Pro-Choice America
A 90 percent rating for 2008 from Americans for Democratic Action
A 100 percent rating for 2008 from the AFL-CIO
A grade of A from the National Education Association for 2007-2008
A 100 percent rating for 2007-2008 from the American Civil Liberties Union
An 8 percent rating for 2008 from the American Conservative Union
A grade of D for 2008 from the National Taxpayers Union