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Nets Ignore Climategate While FNC CNN Report, CNN Dismisses Relevance

Even though all three of Wednesday's broadcast network evening newscasts reported on President Obama's decision to attend the climate change summit in Copenhagen, they also continued to ignore email evidence that scientists who push global warming theory have distorted data to support their assertions while trying to suppress the views of dissenters. FNC's Special Report with Bret Baier gave attention to the Climategate controversy on Monday and Wednesday, while Wednesday's The Situation Room on CNN, guest hosted by Suzanne Malveaux, ran what appears to be CNN's first story on the controversy, but correspondent Brooke Baldwin downplayed the story's significance. The same story ran twice on the Friday, November 27, American Morning on CNN.

Baldwin began and ended her report fretting over the timing of the revelation as coming so soon before the climate change summit in Copenhagen. She also twice referred to a climate change "consensus," a loaded term which is normally employed by those who believe global warming theory is not debatable. Baldwin began her report by rhetorically asking, "How about the timing of all of this?"

She again noted the timing in her conclusion: "Again, here, all of this coming out weeks - as you mentioned, Suzanne - ahead of Copenhagen's climate summit where President Obama will, in fact, be attending, and today the White House announced that the President is prepared, speaking of those caps here, to put on the table a U.S. emissions reduction target in the range of 17 percent below 2005 levels."

Baldwin partially quoted one email, but, unlike FNC's Angle and Goler, the CNN correspondent seemed to give her own opinion that "it's hard to know what [the emails] will add up to" because "there's very little context," rather than quoting the view of one of the scientists in question for a dissenting view as FNC did. Baldwin:

When a reputable climate research institute has its computer server hacked and hundreds of its private e-mails made public, the news gets around fast, especially from groups that don't believe the global warming consensus. One e-mail attributed to the research center's director had this cryptic excerpt referring to the, quote, "trick of adding in the real temps" to each series to hide the decline in temperature. Because there's very little context in that e-mail and the others, it's hard to know what they'll all add up to.

Video of the CNN report can be found here.

FNC's Special Report first got to Climategate on Monday during the regular "Political Grapevine" segment. After noting that Republican Senator James Inhofe was planning to investigate the issue, substitute host Jim Angle relayed the content of one of the emails, and the contention by its author that it was taken out of context. Angle: "One of the e-mails found and posted from center director Phil Jones refers to a technique, quote, 'hide the decline in recent global temperatures.' Jones wrote that in compiling new data he had used what he called the 'trick' of adding in temperatures from different time periods to hide the decline. ... Jones says the comment was taken out of context."

Wednesday's show led with the story of President Obama's decision to go to Copenhagen, and correspondent Wendell Goler's report dealt partially with Climategate. Substitute anchor Chris Wallace treated the issue with credibility as he introduced the report. Wallace: "The White House is characterizing President Obama's decision to go to next month's U.N. climate change conference as a sign of his commitment to find a solution to global warming, but recently discovered emails from climate scientists have many people now doubting just how legitimate that threat is."

Goler relayed that hacked emails "allegedly show climate change data was distorted or destroyed to make the case for global warming," and then quoted one scientist, Dr. Kevin Trenberth, as the scientist seemed to fret about some evidence that contradicted global warming theory. The FNC correspondent passed on Trenberth's contention that his words were taken out of context. Goler: "Kevin Trenberth of the U.S. Center for Atmospheric Research saying, quote, 'The fact is we can't account for the lack of warming at the moment, and it's a travesty that we can't.' Dr. Trenberth and others say their words were taken out of context."

FNC's Fox Report showed a similar report by Goler the same evening.

During the show's "Fox All Stars" segment, conservative leaning syndicated columnist Charles Krauthammer gave his view on the matter's significance:

So what you see in the emails are people who have, are on somewhat shaky grounds. It's not as if there's no science at all in this, but there is contradictory evidence, such as the flattening of the rise in temperatures, which they cannot explain. And their response is, as we saw here, either suppression or manipulation or, even worse, the delegitimation and the personal attacks on skeptics in an attempt to write them out of the journals, to get them fired, and all kinds of nasty stuff. So I think it puts a lot of their research in question.

Below are transcripts of relevant portions of the Monday, November 23, Special Report with Bret Baier on FNC, the Wednesday, November 25, Special Report, and the Wednesday, November 25, The Situation Room on CNN:

# From the November 23 Special Report:

JIM ANGLE: And now the latest from the "Political Grapevine." The leading global warming skeptic in Congress says he'll ask for an investigation into allegations that some scientists have purposely overstated the data supporting the theory of man-made climate change. Oklahoma Republican Senator James Inhofe is referring to information discovered by computer hackers who reportedly broke into a server at a well-respected climate change research center in Britain.

One of the e-mails found and posted from center director Phil Jones refers to a technique, quote, "hide the decline in recent global temperatures." Jones wrote that in compiling new data he had used what he called the "trick" of adding in temperatures from different time periods to hide the decline. Climate change skeptics argue data indicates global temperatures stopped increasing as far back as 1960. Jones says the comment was taken out of context. Inhofe points to all that to bolster his suspicion that the U.N. and its climate change panel, quote, "cooked the science to make this thing look as if the science was settled when all the time we knew it was not."

# From the November 25 Special Report:

CHRIS WALLACE: Welcome to Washington. I'm Chris Wallace in for Bret Baier. The White House is characterizing President Obama's decision to go to next month's U.N. climate change conference as a sign of his commitment to find a solution to global warming, but recently discovered e-mails from climate scientists have many people now doubting just how legitimate that threat is. White House correspondent Wendell Goler explains.

WENDELL GOLER: Aides announced the President will stop in Copenhagen near the start of the climate change conference before going to Oslo, Norway to receive the Nobel Peace Prize. Environmentalists will be watching.

KEYA CHATTERJEE, WORLD WILDLIFE FUND: -and what we're looking for is a signal that climate and clean energy are going to be the next legislative priority up after health care.

GOLER: Mr. Obama will promise to cut America's greenhouse gas emissions at least 17 percent over the next 10 years, 30 percent over the next 15. Since a treaty is unlikely in Copenhagen, his goal is something less.

BARACK OBAMA: A strong operational agreement that will confront the threat of climate change while serving as a stepping stone to a legally binding treaty.

GOLER: Still, environmentalists want a stronger commitment to a green economy and something more than an operational agreement.

CHATTERJEE: We're looking for legal treaty text to come out of Copenhagen.

GOLER: The Chamber of Commerce says the U.S. would have to build 130 nuclear power plants to cut greenhouse gases enough to meet the targets - a huge expense that comes as polls show belief in global warming has fallen six percent among Democrats over the past few years, 15 percent among independents, and 22 percent among Republicans. It's unclear if economic concerns are feeding the doubts, but they are fueling a challenge to the EPA's claim that it has the authority to regulate greenhouse gas emissions which the Competitive Enterprise Institute says could cost trillions.

MYRON EBELL, COMPETITIVE ENTERPRISE INSTITUTE: We think that the EPA's decision is fundamentally flawed because it is based on junk science.

GOLER: Myron Ebell's group has found new ammunition in thousands of e-mails hacked or leaked from East Anglia University in England which allegedly show climate change data was distorted or destroyed to make the case for global warming.

EBELL: If we're cherry-picking, these are very large cherries. They're very ripe and they're very hard to miss once you look through these files and these e-mails.

GOLER: For example, Kevin Trenberth of the U.S. Center for Atmospheric Research saying, quote, "The fact is we can't account for the lack of warming at the moment, and it's a travesty that we can't." Dr. Trenberth and others say their words were taken out of context.

KEVIN TRENBERTH, NATIONAL CENTER FOR ATMOSPHERIC RESEARCH: It certainly doesn't mean that there's no global warming. It does mean we don't have a complete enough observing system to fully track exactly what's going on and especially why it's going on.

GOLER: Trenberth says rising CO2 levels, melting ice, rising water and warmer temperatures are all measurable.

TRENBERTH: Global warming is happening. There are some uncertainties and the models are not perfect, and the key questions are then what do we do about it, and this is where the debate certainly is required.

GOLER: Oklahoma Senator James Inhofe plans hearings on whether the e-mails show the science on climate change was cooked. Meanwhile, even though the President only plans to spend the day in Copenhagen, a half a dozen of his cabinet secretaries will spend time there making presentations they hope will lead to an agreement.

...

CHRIS WALLACE: Charles, I want you to weigh in on all this and also this fascinating story about somebody hacking into the files of the Climate Research Unit in East Anglia in Britain and finding some e-mails from climate scientists where they talked about, quote, "hiding the decline in global temperatures" because obviously if the earth is cooling, then that hurts the global warming argument.

CHARLES KRAUTHAMMER, SYNDICATED COLUMNIST: The global warming science is not junk science, but it's speculative. It's based on incomplete data. It's based on computer models that rest on assumptions that, in turn, rest on an understanding of how the globe, the climate controls itself that is extremely incomplete. So its projections are speculative. But it pretends that, of course, that it's the hardest of all sciences and anybody who is skeptical is a denier, using a term used normally about the Holocaust, which is, of course, an event that actually happened as opposed to projections in global warming, which are speculative science.

So what you see in the emails are people who have, are on somewhat shaky grounds. It's not as if there's no science at all in this, but there is contradictory evidence, such as the flattening of the rise in temperatures, which they cannot explain.

And their response is, as we saw here, either suppression or manipulation or, even worse, the delegitimation and the personal attacks on skeptics in an attempt to write them out of the journals, to get them fired, and all kinds of nasty stuff. So I think it puts a lot of their research in question. I think what's interesting about Obama is he's going to be at the U.N. to announce the policy about climate change on the basis of nothing. He's going to be proposing what the House has passed that he knows is not going to pass in the Senate. And we are actually a constitutional democracy where the President can't announce a policy unilaterally. It actually has to pass the two houses of the Congress, and our allies abroad know that, and they're going to look at this announcement he's going to make and think it's going to be extremely strange.

# From the 5:00 p.m. hour of the November 25 The Situation Room:

SUZANNE MALVEAUX: President Obama will go to Copenhagen next month for a major climate change summit. That word today coming from the White House, and it comes as Congress is still divided over new climate change legislation. Meanwhile, the global warming controversy, that is heating up as well, after hackers have made public some of these sensitive e-mails. Our CNN's Brooke Baldwin, she's got the story. Brooke, tell us what this is about, the center of this controversy over the e-mails.

BROOKE BALDWIN: Yes, Suzanne, how about the timing of all of this? Yes, we are talking about hundreds of e-mails and documents spanning just about a decade here among prominent climate scientists, and they have been hacked, as you mentioned, fanning really a debate over whether some scientists might have exaggerated their case for manmade climate change.

BALDWIN: The consensus that the climate is changing, that the burning of fossil fuels is a significant factor goes way beyond the pop culture sensation of Al Gore's Inconvenient Truth and his appearance on last week's episode of 30 Rock on NBC.

AL GORE, FROM 30 ROCK: Kenneth, encourage your lawmakers to take action and recycle everything, including jokes.

KENNETH, THE PAGE, FROM 30 ROCK: I'm sorry, sir, what?

GORE: Quiet, a whale is in trouble. I have to go.

BALDWIN: So when a reputable climate research institute has its computer server hacked and hundreds of its private e-mails made public, the news gets around fast, especially from groups that don't believe the global warming consensus. One e-mail attributed to the research center's director had this cryptic excerpt referring to the, quote, "trick of adding in the real temps" to each series to hide the decline in temperature. Because there's very little context in that e-mail and the others, it's hard to know what they'll all add up to. A climate research unit in question here posted a message calling this e- mail hack job "mischievous" and saying it is helping the police investigate. Senator James Inhofe has for many years portrayed this data showing the warming trend as a hoax and sees the e-mails as evidence.

SENATOR JAMES INHOFE (R-OK): I'm pleased by the vast and growing number of scientists, politicians, reporters, all over the world who are publicly rejecting climate alarmism, alarmism, this is, those who want to scare people into some kind of action, you know, the water's going to rise up, the world's coming to an end.

BALDWIN: But the White House energy czar points to the 2,500 climate scientists all around the world who agree the climate is warming and that these e-mails aren't changing that. As for the American public, according to a Washington Post/ABC News poll out this week, the number of Americans who believe global warming is happening is down from 80 to 72 percent from last year, down but still a large majority.

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN #1: We really do have a global warming. The polar bears are getting in trouble, and the glaciers are melting.

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN #2: I do think that we tend to blow things a little out of proportion, but I do think we need to be concerned.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: I think it is over hyped. I think some of it is attributed to man but not all of it.

BALDWIN: That same Washington Post/ABC News poll shows since 2006 the increase in climate skepticism is driven largely by a shift within the Republican Party and independents. There was also a dip among Democrats but small. Still, a majority of respondents support a national cap on greenhouse gas emissions.

BALDWIN: Now back to those hacked e-mails and the documents. We also want to point out that it suggests some scientists pressured journals not to publishing work of those who questioned whether the earth is, in fact, warming, but, again, here, all of this coming out weeks - as you mentioned, Suzanne - ahead of Copenhagen's climate summit where President Obama will, in fact, be attending, and today the White House announced that the President is prepared, speaking of those caps here, to put on the table a U.S. emissions reduction target in the range of 17 percent below 2005 levels. That deadline for 2020, and by 83 percent by 2050, and, you know, this will ultimately be in line with targets laid out in a bill passed by the House earlier this year.

- Brad Wilmouth is a news analyst at the Media Research Center.