Right Wing Targets ABC's Bill Blakemore for His Mainstream Media Breakthrough

Mon, 2006-06-26 04:43Ross Gelbspan
Ross Gelbspan's picture

Right Wing Targets ABC's Bill Blakemore for His Mainstream Media Breakthrough

The right-wing outfit “Newsbusters” has targeted ABC News correspondent Bill Blakemore for his coverage of climage change.

Blakemore was the first major network correspondent to make the connection between weather extremes and global warming (in his recent segment on the 10-inch flood in Houston and the spreading wildfires several hundred miles away in Arizona. For breaking the long-standing reluctance of the media to make that connection, he deserves GREAT congratulations!

The Newsbuster site emphasizes that Blakemore does not have a climate science background. It conveniently ignores the fact that Blakemore interviews Kevin Trenberth, one of the world's leading climate scientists, for the segment.

The site also conveniently ignored the fact that more intense downpours and more severe droughts have been an established indicator of man-made global warming since 1995, when Tom Karl of the National Climatic Data Center (and a longtime skeptic about greenhouse warming) declared such extremes are exactly what we expect to see in an enhanced greenhouse. Newsbusters, by the way, whose mission is to “Expose and Combat Liberal Media Bias,” was set up by right-wing activist Brent Bozell. A sister organization, The Media Research Center, is launching a campaign to prosecute the New York Times for compromising national security by revealing a Treasury Department program, unauthorized by Congress, to screen financial transactions by citizens.

Comments

Blakemore talking about the "spinners" is like the pot calling the kettle "black".

MONDAY, OCTOBER 30, 2006

Contact: (Marc_Morano@epw.senate.gov ), (Matthew_Dempsey@epw.senate.gov )

ABC News Reporter Bill Blakemore declared “I don’t like the word ‘balance’ much at all” in global warming coverage at a journalism conference in Vermont over the weekend.

Blakemore, who reported on August 30, 2006, “After extensive searches, ABC News has found no such [scientific] debate” on global warming, (http://abcnews.go.com/US/print?id=2374968) said he rejects ‘balance’ in order to justify excluding any skeptics of manmade catastrophic global warming from his reporting. He made his remarks at Friday’s panel discussion at the Society of Environmental Journalists annual conference in Burlington.

Blakemore lamented “the deep professional shame that I discovered two years ago,” regarding how he believes the media had been manipulated by skeptics of manmade catastrophic global warming.

“Of course [skeptics] play on the idea that we have to be ‘balanced,’” he noted.

“It was very lazy of us for 10 years when we were asked for balance from the [climate skeptic] spinners. We just gave up and said ‘Okay, okay – I will put the other side on, okay are you happy now?’” he said. “And it saves us from the trouble of having to check out the fact that these other sides were the proverbial flat earth society.”

Blakemore also took on the role of psychologist in explaining that global warming presents an “existential” dilemma and people face what he termed “psychological obstacles” about whether to believe the dire predictions that the planet is facing a climate crisis.

“We are looking at serious mainstream scientists now tell us that maybe - it’s over. It’s hard. It’s the kind of news you have to take in small doses,” Blakemore explained. [EPW note: Many scientists dispute the notion that mankind has created a climate doomsday. See: (http://epw.senate.gov/pressitem.cfm?party=rep&id=264777 )]

“Denial is initially natural and healthy; the psychologists tell us it is what we do to hold our meaning system together, so that we can at least function at first when trauma happens and we are all being delivered a major trauma here,” he explained. He added that greenhouse gas theory is akin to “3rd grade science.”

“Does [extreme weather patterns] fit exactly within the predicted pattern that we projected almost 30 or 40 years ago? This is the little logical problem that we journalists can still work on and solve,” Blakemore said. (EPW Note: 30 and 40 years ago, scientists were erroneously predicting a coming ice age. See last week’s Newsweek’s retraction of global cooling reporting 31 years after its initial report: (http://epw.senate.gov/fact.cfm?party=rep&id=265087 ))

“The problem is we journalists have not stood up on our own feet and said ‘Excuse me, this is going to be my assessment of where the scientific assessment is.’ Because those spinners would say you got to listen to who -- for the scientific assessment and they will point to their favorable [skeptical] organizations.” He also said, “I am a professional journalist; don’t tell me how to do my job.”

Blakemore said skeptics of global warming should be ignored because some of them are being funded by industry. But he has failed to note that scientists he promotes such as James Hansen, Michael Oppenheimer, are both recipients of huge sums of money from environmental special interest groups.

When Blakemore reported on January 29, 2006, that NASA scientist James Hansen was alleging that the Bush Administration was censoring his scientific work, he failed to inform viewers that Hansen had received a quarter of a million dollars from Teresa Heinz Kerry's foundation, the Heinz Foundation, and subsequently endorsed her husband Democrat John Kerry for President in 2004 http://www.abcnews.go.com/WNT/story?id=1555183 In addition, Michael Oppenheimer is a paid partisan of the group Environmental Defense.

Blakemore also told the journalism conference that global warming was an ever present entity that “affects everything in the weather, everywhere all the time and in every instance.”

Blakemore has also lavished praised on Vice President Al Gore and his movie “An Inconvenient Truth”, comparing Gore to Shakespeare and Robert Frost. http://blogs.abcnews.com/theworldnewser/2006/05/al_gore_and_an_.html

Related Links:

Renowned Scientist Defects From Belief in Global Warming – Caps Year of Vindication for Skeptics – (http://epw.senate.gov/pressitem.cfm?party=rep&id=264777)

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