Gibson's Gun Crusade; Pardons Pardoned; Floyd Blamed on Global Warming
1) To make his show
"experiential and informational" a wet Dan Rather stood outside
without an umbrella in Myrtle Beach.
2) After claiming "I
don't want to politicize this," in the wake of the Ft. Worth
shooting ABC's Charlie Gibson demanded of Al Gore: "Do you think
the 2000 campaign will largely be about guns?"
3) In overwhelming,
bi-partisan votes the House and Senate condemned Clinton's pardons, but
not a word on ABC, CBS or NBC.
4) "The sea change in our
climate has created the potential for bigger and much more ferocious
hurricanes," NBC's Tom Brokaw warned in introducing a one-sided
story which ignored scientists who believe there's no link to global
5) What really matters:
Entertainment Tonight dug to find the impact of the hurricane on Ricky
Martin's TV special.
The September 13 CyberAlert quoted Jack Germond as saying, in a discussion
of Terry McAuliffe's payment for the Clinton house purchase, "If
that were a Republican we'd all being screaming..." That should
have read "we'd all be screaming."
Peter Jennings remained inside Wednesday night, but not his broadcast
colleagues. NBC's Tom Brokaw anchored from Wilmington, NC where he
remained dry because it was not raining during Nightly News, but CBS
Evening News viewers watched a throughly soaked "Hurricane Dan"
Rather standing in the rain in Myrtle Beach, SC, sans umbrella.
people might wonder why he was standing in the rain, so he explained:
"We want our CBS Evening News coverage to be both experiential and
informational for you the viewer and that's why we're at this
++ See a picture
and brief RealPlayer clip of a drenched Rather with rain bouncing off his
head and wet hair. This morning MRC Webmaster Sean Henry will post a
RealPlayer clip of Rather from the September 15 Evening News.
In the immediate aftermath of the deadly church shooting Wednesday night
in Ft. Worth, Texas, Vice President Al Gore tried to avoid political
rhetoric about gun control, but ABC's Charlie Gibson didn't have such
class. As CyberAlert readers know, Gibson regularly abuses his ABC venue
to push his advocacy of gun control laws.
September 16, Gore appeared live from San Diego (where it was just past
4am) to discuss Hurricane Floyd, but Gibson first forwarded his personal
"I don't want to politicize this and this
is not the time for political questions, but do you think the 2000
campaign, especially if you are the Democratic candidate, do you think the
2000 campaign will largely be about guns?"
Gore pointed out Gibson's contradiction:
"You said you didn't want to politicize it. I can assure it's the
last thing that I want to do and I just don't want to get into a
discussion like that."
Undeterred, Gibson pressed again: "I'm
just saying do you think that this is going to be a discussion in the year
2000, this country will sit down and have a frank discussion about
display shows, it doesn't matter what the candidates want. Journalists
like Gibson will make their causes an issue that politicians will be
forced to address.
The House and Senate have delivered overwhelming bi-partisan condemnations
of Bill Clinton's decision to pardon and release 11 FALN terrorists, but
none of the broadcast networks bothered to tell their viewers anything
about the rebukes.
September 9, the House voted 311 to 41, with about 70 Democrats voting
"present" and thus refusing to support Clinton, to condemn his
action. CNN's Inside Politics and FNC's Fox Report mentioned it, but
not ABC, CBS or NBC though both Good Morning America and Today the next
morning ran short items on how the Puerto Ricans were scheduled for
release later in the day.
September 14, the Senate voted 95 to 2 for a resolution calling the
pardons "deplorable." Only Democrats Akaka and Wellstone voted
no. Democratic Senator Bob Graham and Republicans John McCain and Judd
Gregg did not vote. Coverage: A brief mention on FNC's Fox Report that
night, but not a syllable on CNN's Inside Politics or on the broadcast
networks Tuesday night or Wednesday morning.
Global warming means we can't avoid Floyd, or so NBC argued in promoting
the minority scientific view that man is making hurricanes bigger and more
dangerous. Tuesday night, as MRC analyst Geoffrey Dickens and intern Ken
Shepherd noticed, both NBC Nightly News and MSNBC's The News with Brian
Williams featured a one-sided piece by Robert Bazell blaming big
hurricanes on global warming. But, as sources Bazell ignored point out,
hurricanes go through cycles and there's no proof of any unusual
ominously warned in introducing the story on the September 14 Nightly
"Hurricane Floyd is an unusually intense
storm. Hurricanes of this magnitude were once incredibly rare, but not any
longer. The sea change in our climate has created the potential for bigger
and much more ferocious hurricanes."
Bazell began by
explaining how Floyd is an unusually large hurricane, then argued:
"If you think hurricanes are more powerful
and more frequent than they used to be, you are right. From 1970 through
1994, fewer than five hurricanes a year on average formed in the Atlantic.
Since 1995, the average has jumped above seven. Why the increased
hurricane activity? One answer is higher sea temperatures in both the
Atlantic and the Caribbean. Hurricanes feed off ocean heat that gives
birth to the enormous storm clouds at their center. This NASA radar
satellite image shows clouds towering almost 60,000 feet above Hurricane
Bonnie last year."
Bazell then turned
to liberal advocate Dr. Stephen Schneider of Stanford University, who
insisted: "Since heat and energy is what drives hurricanes, anything
that adds more heat and energy is likely to increase the intensity of
Bazell backed him up: "Many scientists blame
the increasing temperatures on the greenhouse effect -- the trapping of
the sun's energy by carbon dioxide and other gases from things we burn.
While no one can say whether Floyd or any single weather event results
from global warming, the circumstantial evidence gets stronger with every
Schneider: "I would, if I had to bet on the
future, would bet that we'll have more intense hurricanes as a result of
Without bothering to let viewers hear another
view, Bazell concluded: "A somber warning as the Southeast prepares
for one of the biggest hurricanes ever."
-- Reality Check.
In a Q & A format report a few months ago, the Competitive Enterprise
Institute addressed this kind of media hype:
"Q. But what about hurricanes? The globe is
getting warmer, and it sure seems like there have been more hurricanes
lately. Isn't the connection obvious?
"A. As Dr. William Gray, Professor of
Atmospheric Science at Colorado State University, and the world's
foremost expert on hurricanes, points out, there is some evidence of
warming over the past century, but the incidence of major hurricanes
making landfall in Florida decreased up until Hurricane Andrew. According
to Dr. Gray's studies, hurricane activity follows a natural 20 to 30
year cycle in ocean currents. In the 1940s and 1950s there were many
land-falling hurricanes, but from 1960 to 1988 there were only two. The
recent upswing in hurricane activity is just another shift in the cycle,
and has nothing to do with global warming."
To read this
report in full, go to: http://www.cei.org/PRReader.asp?ID=690
Just last month
the Greening Earth Society released a report, by Dr. Anthony Lupo of
Department of Soil and Atmospheric Sciences at the University of
Missouri-Columbia, titled: "Does global warming threaten US coastal
regions with stronger hurricanes? The facts will blow you away!"
Here's an excerpt:
A number of
studies -- e.g. Landsea (1993), O'Brien et al. (1996), Bove et al.
(1998), and Landsea et al. (1999) -- have examined the issue of past
Atlantic Ocean Basin hurricane activity, especially those that strike the
coast. Landsea et al. (1999) found that there to have been a decrease in
the number of US landfalling hurricanes between 1944 and 1996, with no
significant trend in hurricane intensity. Landsea (1993) found that there
has been a tendency toward fewer intense hurricanes over a similar time
period (1944-1991). This was reflected by a tendency toward fewer
landfalling, intense hurricanes during the 1970's and 1980's when
compared to the 1940s and 1950s.
It is now well known that there is a
connection between the El Niņo/La Niņa oscillation and hurricane
activity in the Atlantic Ocean Basin. For example, there is a tendency
toward fewer hurricanes during El Niņo years and more hurricanes during
La Niņa years. O'Brien et al. (1996) and Bove et al. (1998) studied
this variation with respect to landfalling US hurricanes. They found that
fewer hurricanes make landfall along the US coast during an El Niņo year,
and that the chance for a major hurricane is reduced as well.
Landsea (1993) demonstrates that hurricane
frequency and intensity may follow even longer-term cycles than the El Niņo-related
variability. This study and others have linked long-term pressure and sea
surface temperature trends and oscillations in the Atlantic Ocean Basin to
hurricane frequency. As mentioned above, these factors are the basis for
the statistically-based annual hurricane forecasts....
The Johnston and Lupo (1999) study also
found little long-term trend in the overall frequency of hurricane
occurrence over the Atlantic Ocean Basin (Figure 1), and any trend was
found to be statistically insignificant. The data in Figure 1 can be
downloaded directly from the Colorado State University Archive compiled by
Dr. Christopher Landsea (Landsea, 1993): http://typhoon.atmos.colostate.edu....
Some individuals will interpret hurricane
activity since 1995 as being related in some way to increased man-made
greenhouse gases. There is no reasonable way such an interpretation can be
Anthropogenic greenhouse gas warming, even
if a physically valid hypothesis, is a very slow and gradual
process....And even if man induced greenhouse increases were to be
interpreted as causing global mean temperature increase over the last 25
years, there is no way to relate such a small global temperature increases
to more intense Atlantic Basin hurricane activity during this same period.
Atlantic intense hurricane activity showed a substantial decrease during
1970-1994 to only about 40 percent of the amount of intense hurricane
activity which occurred 25-50 years ago....
To read the entire
scintillating report, go to: http://www.GreeningEarthSociety.org/Articles/1999/lupo1.htm
Now to what really matters. Here's a plug from Mary Hart, co-host of
Paramount's syndicated Entertainment Tonight, at the top of
"Entertainment Tonight has learned how the
hurricane affected the taping of Ricky Martin's TV special in Puerto
If you care, I
can't help you. I didn't stay tuned to learn the answer. --
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