Appearance Alert!
MRC's Brent Bozell on FNC's Hannity, 10:40pm ET/PT Wednesday

MSNBC: ClimateGate 'A Controversy That's Not Really There'

Near the end of the 2PM ET hour on MSNBC, anchor Contessa Brewer discussed the ClimateGate scandal only to claim there was no scandal in the emails that seemed to show climate scientists manipulating global warming data: "I mean is someone using differences in semantics to try and play up a controversy that's not really there?"

Brewer spoke with Politico reporter Erica Lovely about the emails in which scientists referred to a "trick" to conceal evidence that contradicted predicted warming trends. Brewer explained: "...there's a Penn State scientist Michael Mann....He says the word 'trick' doesn't actually refer to any kind of deception, but to a very well-known accepted data technique." Lovely saw nothing improper in concealing data: "They wanted to keep it out of some of the international reports that the United Nations would be looking at, you know, just to - to move the global talks forward."

After Brewer suggested the use of the word "trick" as "just semantics," Lovely agreed: "Sure....They'll use language that maybe to us would look like, you know, something fishy is going on. But to them this is just everyday speak." Lovely again defended their actions: "...they've been working so many decades trying to get some traction on the global warming science that they really can't afford to have much detracting science get out."

Having throughly dismissed the controversy, Brewer moved on to discuss the Copenhagen climate conference, asking Lovely: "Are you expecting some big work to be done in Copenhagen or is this still all going to be done behind the scenes, country by country?" Lovely enthusiastically praised the summit: "No, this is going to be huge in Copenhagen. We've got two weeks, we've got hundreds of nations together, thousands - tens of thousands of people attending."

She was particularly excited about one special guest: "Not to mention that Obama is going to show up at the very last minute, kind of for the whiz bang finish. He's really kind of the frosting on the cake as far as these deliberations go. And it's really expected that if he shows up he's basically signaling the United States is ready to move forward and it's ready to lead the rest of the world to get some sort of solution."

Brewer concluded the segment: "Well, and given the EPA's declaration today, finally, that greenhouse gases are bad for you, at least we're seeing movement on that front."

On NBC's Today on Monday, correspondent Anne Thompson similarly dismissed the ClimateGate scandal: "...some stolen e-mails that has skeptics, once again, questioning the whole idea of global warming....But does this controversy change the science? A team of explorers will present findings on Arctic ice melt in Copenhagen, findings that have nothing to do with the e-mails."

Here is a full transcript of the MSNBC segment:

2:52PM

CONTESSA BREWER: In fewer than two hours, President Obama will meet with former Vice President Al Gore at the White House to talk about global warming, ahead of the President's trip to Copenhagen's summit next week. Meanwhile scandal has discolored the beginning of the U.N. climate change talks today. Some scientists saw their e-mails leaked to the media and they have stirred up debate over whether global warming's been exaggerated for political purposes.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: It just confirmed what a lot of scientists thought, that things are not right. That there's data being massaged, there's complete obstruction.

BREWER: Erica Lovely's a reporter for Politico, so what's the scoop here? What was in those e-mails that was so controversial?

ERICA LOVELY: So basically these e-mails show that a number of different scientists working on this issue of global warming occasionally wanted to withhold some of the reports on climate change that didn't really show the planet warming that quickly. They wanted to keep it out of some of the international reports that the United Nations would be looking at, you know, just to - to move the global talks forward. And the problem with this is, it makes the scientists look like they are - they're not, you know, basically corresponding well with the research and the data that - that needs to move forward.

BREWER: But - but I mean isn't some of this about semantics that scientists use. For instance, there's a Penn State scientist Michael Mann, who's defending the use of the phrase 'Mike's nature trick.' He says the word 'trick' doesn't actually refer to any kind of deception, but to a very well-known accepted data technique. Let me play it.

MICHAEL MANN: It was all clearly labeled in the paper. There was nothing secret about it. What the person meant was, it was a clever approach to the problem.

BREWER: I mean is someone using differences in semantics to try and play up a controversy that's not really there?

LOVELY: Sure. I mean, this is the perfect piece of evidence for global cooling skeptics to use in these climate talks. And secondly, this is the kind of language that scientists just use from time to time. I mean, they're just corresponding personally with each other. They'll use different references. They'll use language that maybe to us would look like, you know, something fishy is going on. But to them this is just everyday speak. You know, this is an issue that they're concerned with. And largely they've been working so many decades trying to get some traction on the global warming science that they really can't afford to have much detracting science get out. And this was definitely, obviously, a point of concern to them.

BREWER: Alright, are you expecting some big work to be done in Copenhagen or is this still all going to be done behind the scenes, country by country?

LOVELY: No, this is going to be huge in Copenhagen. We've got two weeks, we've got hundreds of nations together, thousands - tens of thousands of people attending. Not to mention that Obama is going to show up at the very last minute, kind of for the whiz bang finish. He's really kind of the frosting on the cake as far as these deliberations go. And it's really expected that if he shows up he's basically signaling the United States is ready to move forward and it's ready to lead the rest of the world to get some sort of solution.

BREWER: Well, and given the EPA's declaration today, finally, that greenhouse gases are bad for you, at least we're seeing movement on that front. Erica, thank you so much for joining us. Appreciate that.

LOVELY: Thank you.

-Kyle Drennen is a news analyst at the Media Research Center.