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CNN's Dobbs Warns of Dire Global Warming, But NBC: Hotter in '30s --7/26/2005


1. CNN's Dobbs Warns of Dire Global Warming, But NBC: Hotter in '30s
Whenever a heat wave hits inevitably a news outlet will rush to contend it demonstrates dire global warming, and CNN's Lou Dobbs came through on Monday night. He ominously asked: "Record heat and drought in the United States and Europe. New fears tonight that it's all the result of global warming. Is the Earth witnessing a massive environmental change?" In a subsequent story on Lou Dobbs Tonight, reporter Kitty Pilgrim relied on a spokesman from the far-left Union of Concerned Scientists, though she failed to label the group before she warned: "The climate change is not about discomfort, it's deadly." Pilgrim insisted: "Nine of the last ten years have been the warmest years on record." But on Monday's NBC Nightly News, after a man on the street declared that "it seems like each summer is a little warmer than the one before," Carl Quintanilla countered: "Actually, that's not right." He noted that "three of the five warmest summers on record were in the 1930s. Climate experts like Kevin Trenberth say the one-degree increase in temperature this century is no reason to break a sweat." with audio

2. Mrs. Roberts Against "Abortion Rights," Fed Society "Dogging" Him
On the John Roberts front, on ABC's Good Morning America on Monday co-host Kate Snow pointed out that "he has been tight-lipped about his own views on abortion. But his wife, Jane Sullivan Roberts, is very outspoken about her views." Reporter Jessica Yellin warned that she "is also a devout Catholic and in 1995 joined the board of Feminists for Life, an organization that opposes abortion rights and is against the death penalty." And prompted by a silly Washington Post front page story, "Roberts Listed in Federalist Society '97-98 Directory: Court Nominee Said He Has No Memory of Membership," as if there's something bad about any affiliation with the conservative group, on CNN's Inside Politics anchor Dana Bash ridiculously referred to the membership question as "dogging Supreme Court nominee John Roberts." She intoned: "Has he ever been a member of the conservative legal group The Federalist Society?"

3. Olbermann Raises Watergate in "Potentially Explosive" Rove Case
MSNBC's Keith Olbermann applied a Watergate analogy Monday night to the Plame/Rove case as he asserted that "in the same summer in which Deep Throat has been identified, that remodeled phrase from Watergate keeps reappearing: What did the 'fill-in-the-blank' know and when did he know it?" Olbermann noted how "the White House Chief-of-Staff knew about the investigation at least 12 hours before the White House itself was warned." Citing a supposedly "potentially explosive question," Olbermann reveled in how "a phone call between Alberto Gonzales and Andy Card" is "raising eyebrows and raising questions about a 12-hour gap, a 12-hour gap that might really be an 84-hour gap." As for whether President Bush will sacrifice Karl Rove, Olbermann recalled how "Richard Nixon loved Ehrlichman and Haldeman and got rid of them both on the same day."

4. "Top Ten George W. Bush Solutions for Global Warming"
Letterman's "Top Ten George W. Bush Solutions for Global Warming."


CNN's Dobbs Warns of Dire Global Warming,
But NBC: Hotter in '30s

Whenever a heat wave hits inevitably a news outlet will rush to contend it demonstrates dire global warming, and CNN's Lou Dobbs came through on Monday night. He ominously asked: "Record heat and drought in the United States and Europe. New fears tonight that it's all the result of global warming. Is the Earth witnessing a massive environmental change?"

CNN's Lou Dobbs
Listen to MP3 audio clip
Text of clip + audio archive

In a subsequent story on Lou Dobbs Tonight, reporter Kitty Pilgrim relied on a spokesman from the far-left Union of Concerned Scientists, though she failed to label the group before she warned: "The climate change is not about discomfort, it's deadly." Pilgrim insisted: "Nine of the last ten years have been the warmest years on record." But on Monday's NBC Nightly News, after a man on the street declared that "it seems like each summer is a little warmer than the one before," Carl Quintanilla countered: "Actually, that's not right." He noted that "three of the five warmest summers on record were in the 1930s. Climate experts like Kevin Trenberth say the one-degree increase in temperature this century is no reason to break a sweat."

Lou Dobbs plugged his upcoming story: "Record heat and drought in the United States and Europe. New fears tonight that it's all the result of global warming. Is the Earth witnessing a massive environmental change?"

Dobbs soon set up the July 25 segment: "Heat advisories in effect tonight all around the Midwest, the Southeast, Southwest, northeastern United States. That just about covers it. The triple-digit temperatures and other bizarre weather patterns have many now wondering whether this is the reality of global warming. Kitty Pilgrim reports."

Kitty Pilgrim Pilgrim began her story on the 6pm EDT newscast: "It's sizzling from coast to coast. In Arizona, the heat left 18 dead. This weekend, Denver had the fifth day in a row of 100 degree heat. In Las Vegas, no fun at 117 degrees. Chicago, over 100 degrees. The Governor asked for federal disaster help, with half the normal rainfall in the state in the past four months."
Peter Frumhoff, Union of Concerned Scientists: "The scientific consensus is that we are beginning to see a trend in global warming, not because of the most recent heat waves, but because of the changes we're seeing over time. The last decade, best estimate is, is it's the warmest decade for the past thousand years."
Pilgrim: "Waters in the Atlantic hurricane region are two to four degrees warmer than normal. Never before have so many storms formed so early in the season. And this spring brought the worst red tide season to New England in decades. Concentrations were ten to hundreds of times higher than normal, changing the balance of marine life. The climate change is not about discomfort, it's deadly. In Europe, the summer of 2003 was the hottest in nearly 300 years. Thirty-five thousand heat related deaths. And the worry is that those kind of extremes will become more frequent."
Matt Kelsch, meteorologist: "What we look for is, is there a pattern where there's more heat waves than there are cold waves over a number of years? And also things like what's happening to the glaciers and the different mountain regions or the polar ice caps or ocean temperatures. Those are all better measures of what the Earth's temperature is. And because of what's happening to those things, there is a general consensus that the earth is warming."

[Kelsch is a hydrometeorologist in UOP's Cooperative Program for Operational Meteorology, Education and Training. Known as COMET: www.ucar.edu ]

Pilgrim on set next to Dobbs: "Nine of the last ten years have been the warmest years on record. Global warming is turning out to be more than a scientific theory, but scientists say it's hard to keep people concentrated on the threat of global warming, except when it becomes an obvious discomfort. And that would be right now, Lou."

Dobbs: "Indeed it is for too many people. Kitty, thank you very much, Kitty Pilgrim. These blistering temperatures and drought in most parts of the country and Europe provoked the natural question, is this global warming. Here now, climatologist and climate modeler, for NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies, Dr. Gavin Schmidt. Good to have you with us."
Gavin Schmidt, NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies: "Thank you."
Dobbs: Let's go to the first question. When we look at these temperatures and see what everyone's experiencing around this country, Gavin, is this global warming?"
Schmidt agreed, but was more cautious than the hype delivered by Dobbs: "Global warming is a real phenomena. The global temperatures over the whole of the planet and especially in the northern hemisphere have been increasing decade after decade for the last 30 years. And are projected to continue to do so. The pattern of heat waves and droughts that we're seeing this particular summer can't be directly tied to the global warming pattern that we're seeing over the whole world. But as we get to a warmer planet those kinds of things become more likely to happen."
Dobbs: "More likely to happen? We've had some of the warmest weather ever on record over the course of the past, little over a decade -- decade-and-a-half. Is that indicative of, quote unquote, global warming?"
Schmidt: "The longer the period that you average over, and the larger the region, the more clear we are that there's a signal that's coming out of the weather noise. You know, one summer to another summer can be quite different. We can have a -- May this year was actually quite cool in the United States, June was quite warm, July is looking to be hotter. But if you take an average over the last six months, for instance, over the last year, over the last five years, then you start to see patterns emerging that seem to be more directly related to the things that we're doing to the atmosphere."
Dobbs: "In sum, global warming is a fact?"
Schmidt: "Yes."
Dobbs: "Two. These extremes in temperature that we're experiencing right now are cyclical within the context of the overall climate over a long period of time and may or may not be suggestive of global warming, is that a fair capsule?"
Schmidt: "It is. global warming is what happens to the planet as a whole. But the ups and downs in a particular region, or over a particular season, that's much more related to weather. In this particular case, we have two big blocking high pressure systems. And those are part of the weather systems."
Dobbs: "The striking thing for, I think, most people are these horribly high temperatures, particularly in the Southwest, the Midwest, the drought that now is gripping the Midwest, the drought that looks like it's a long running drought in the Southwest."
Schmidt: "Right. And there is a connection. The drier the Earth is, the less evaporation there is from soil moisture, and that can lead to higher temperatures than you would otherwise see. And that was one of the things that happened in Europe in 2003 was that the spring before that had been very dry. So there wasn't very much moisture in the soil. The long-term drought trends that we're seeing in the Southwest may well be related to longer term patterns in sea surface temperatures, which we know are rising, and as your reporter said, temperatures in the North Atlantic, where the hurricanes are being formed, those are at a historically high level and continue to be posted."
Dobbs: "And temperatures in the Great Lakes also moving to record levels. So it's not just the oceans, but the -- some of the larger bodies of water."
Schmidt: "Right."
Dobbs: "The question everybody wants to know, when will there be relief from these high temperatures and drought? You can give us the definitive answer, can you not?"
Schmidt: "Because I checked the weather forecast before coming on air, and there's a cold front coming through from the Northwest over the next few days. So there will be some relief, temporarily. The problem of climate change and global warming, that's a much longer term forecast. And it's not clear that there's much relief from that."
Dobbs: "Gavin Schmidt, it's good to have you here. And thanks for giving us the short-term view. We often take the long-term view on this broadcast. We appreciate you modulating across the spectrum there. Thank you."

The July 25 NBC Nightly News provided a contrasting take. Anchor Brian Williams introduced a story: "The temperature in Florida is downright chilly compared to parts of this country much further north these days. The brutal heat wave that's gripped a big part of the nation is topping off what has already been a season of records. In fact, at least three cities -- Las Vegas, Denver and Needles, California -- have tied or broken all-time temperature records so far this summer. NBC's Carl Quintanilla tonight on the question many ask, whether global warming has anything to do with this."

From a hot Chicago, Quintanilla relayed: "In Louisville, Kentucky, this was the road less traveled today, buckling in the summer heat. The same heat wave that's killed elderly residents in Kansas, Missouri, Oklahoma, and fueled a grass fire today near Dallas."
Unidentified Man #1: "The two major things that everybody, you know, preaches about's water and sun block, but that's the truth."
Quintanilla: "We've all seen hot summers before, but this is ridiculous. It seems too much to be coincidence. Is it the result of global warming? And is it something we're all going to have to get used to?"
Unidentified Man #2: "Over the past five years or so, there's been a lot of drastic shifts in the weather."
Unidentified Man #3: "It seems like each summer is a little warmer than the one before."
Quintanilla countered: "Actually, that's not right. Yes, there have been more hurricanes at this point in the season than ever, lots of tornadoes, and forest fires, too, but three of the five warmest summers on record were in the 1930s. Climate experts like Kevin Trenberth say the one-degree increase in temperature this century is no reason to break a sweat."
Kevin Trenberth, climate expert: "Well, global warming is a part of the overall piece. It's probably contributing a small amount."

[Dr. Kevin E. Trenberth is head of the Climate Analysis Section at the National Center for Atmospheric Research: www.cgd.ucar.edu ]

Quintanilla explained: "Experts blame this heat wave on a stubborn high pressure system that's lingered over the West and Midwest, shutting out cool air and rain. Until today. A storm front passing through Chicago is expected literally to pour cold water on a sizzling summer."
Unidentified Woman: "I think they are connected, and there is global warming for sure."
Quintanilla concluded: "Even if our own private theories live on. Carl Quintanilla, NBC News, Chicago."

No doubt those ill-informed men and women on the street have relied on the preponderance of fear-mongering media reports.

Mrs. Roberts Against "Abortion Rights,"
Fed Society "Dogging" Him

On the John Roberts front, on ABC's Good Morning America on Monday co-host Kate Snow pointed out that "he has been tight-lipped about his own views on abortion. But his wife, Jane Sullivan Roberts, is very outspoken about her views." Reporter Jessica Yellin warned that she "is also a devout Catholic and in 1995 joined the board of Feminists for Life, an organization that opposes abortion rights and is against the death penalty." And prompted by a silly Washington Post front page story, "Roberts Listed in Federalist Society '97-98 Directory: Court Nominee Said He Has No Memory of Membership," as if there's something bad about any affiliation with the conservative group, on CNN's Inside Politics anchor Dana Bash ridiculously referred to the membership question as "dogging Supreme Court nominee John Roberts." She intoned: "Has he ever been a member of the conservative legal group The Federalist Society?"

GMA substitute co-host Kate Snow, the MRC's Brian Boyd noticed, set up a July 25 taped story: "Now, to some new details about President Bush's Supreme Court nominee, John Roberts. He has been tight-lipped about his own views on abortion. But his wife, Jane Sullivan Roberts, is very outspoken about her views. ABC's Jessica Yellin has been looking into this and she joins us from the White House. Good morning, Jessica."

Yellin checked in: "Good morning, Kate. This morning as both sides continue to study Judge John Roberts position on hot button issues, the spotlight has turned to his wife. Opponents are examining her political activities and especially her involvement in a group that opposes abortion. Friends describe Jane Roberts as a pioneer."
Henny Wright, friend: "Jane, when she was practicing full-time, was one of the most powerful women lawyers in Washington."
Yellin: "She also was part of the first coed class at Holy Cross. Her college roommate describes then Janey Sullivan as perky, bubbly, the girl who would swing dance in the hallway and throw fondue parties in their dorm room. She married John Roberts when she was 41. Friends say she admired his legal mind, once taking the day off to watch him argue before the Supreme Court. Some call them soul mates."
After another bite from Wright, Yellen asserted: "The Roberts have two adopted kids, Josephine and Jack. She is a gourmet cook and an expert dancer, something son, Jack, seems to have picked up. Jane Roberts is also a devout Catholic and in 1995 joined the board of Feminists for Life, an organization that opposes abortion rights and is against the death penalty. She currently serves as their legal counsel. Family friends say it would be a mistake to assume Judge John Roberts would overturn Roe versus Wade just because his wife is involved with this group."
Wright noted that they have great respect for each other's beliefs, so you shouldn't assume both have "identical" views.
Yellin: "Which means those examining Jane Roberts views may learn little about how her husband may rule. The head of Feminists for Life tells Good Morning America that she has never discussed Roe versus Wade with Judge John Roberts and does not know his position on the issue. As for the confirmation process, Senator Ted Kennedy says Judge Roberts' wife's positions are not relevant. Now it's up to the rest of the senators to decide if they agree."

Later in the day, on CNN's Inside Politics, anchor Dana Bash, the MRC's Megan McCormack noticed, set up a segment: "We're now going to go back to the question dogging Supreme Court nominee John Roberts. Has he ever been a member of the conservative legal group The Federalist Society? The Washington Post reports Roberts name appeared in the group's leadership directory in the late '90s, but the White House says Roberts has no memory of ever joining the group or paying dues."

John King then profiled the conservative group.

For the July 25 Washington Post front page article: www.washingtonpost.com

Olbermann Raises Watergate in "Potentially
Explosive" Rove Case

MSNBC's Keith Olbermann applied a Watergate analogy Monday night to the Plame/Rove case as he asserted that "in the same summer in which Deep Throat has been identified, that remodeled phrase from Watergate keeps reappearing: What did the 'fill-in-the-blank' know and when did he know it?" Olbermann noted how "the White House Chief-of-Staff knew about the investigation at least 12 hours before the White House itself was warned." Citing a supposedly "potentially explosive question," Olbermann reveled in how "a phone call between Alberto Gonzales and Andy Card" is "raising eyebrows and raising questions about a 12-hour gap, a 12-hour gap that might really be an 84-hour gap." As for whether President Bush will sacrifice Karl Rove, Olbermann recalled how "Richard Nixon loved Ehrlichman and Haldeman and got rid of them both on the same day."

Olbermann teased at the top of the July 25 Countdown: "Another 'oops' in the Karl Rove case: The White House chief of staff knew about the investigation at least 12 hours before the White House itself was warned, 'Don't shred any documents.'"

Before an ad break, he provided another plug: "And another angle in the Karl Rove CIA leak investigation. Now, it's a phone call between Alberto Gonzales and Andy Card raising eyebrows and raising questions about a 12-hour gap, a 12-hour gap that might really be an 84-hour gap."

Before the next break: "Also tonight, new questions arising in the investigation into who leaked the identity of a CIA officer."

And before another ad break: "They may know the number and the feeling as well at the White House. The CIA leak investigation now sending shocks to yet two more key administration figures."

At 8:32pm EDT Olbermann set up the repeatedly-plugged segment, as tracked by the MRC's Brad Wilmouth:
"In the same summer in which Deep Throat has been identified, that remodeled phrase from Watergate keeps reappearing: What did the 'fill-in-the-blank' know and when did he know it? Our third story in the Countdown, the Karl Rove CIA leak story mutates again, this time with the current Attorney General involved. Alberto Gonzales admitting that nearly two years ago he sat on the knowledge that the Justice Department had launched a criminal investigation into the leak for half a day before officially instructing the White House staff about the inquiry and reminding them to not do nasty things like, oh, say, shred documents relevant to the case. Gonzales, who was White House counsel at that time, saying over the weekend that when he was first informed about the investigation by the Justice Department, he did indeed wait overnight -- about 12 hours -- before he informed the other folks in the West Wing. Well, he did tell one person: White House Chief of Staff Andrew Card. He did not say why he called Mr. Card almost immediately, one Democratic lawmaker not alone in wondering who, in turn, may have been on the Chief-of-Staff's late-night call list."
Senator Joseph Biden (D-DE): "The real question now is who did the Chief of Staff speak to, did the Chief of Staff pick up the phone and call Karl Rove, did the Chief of Staff pick up the phone and call anyone else? Ordinarily, you would think they'd immediately send out an email to every member of the staff and say, you know, you don't have to call them. Every one of those staff members carries around a Blackberry and send an email saying, 'Boom.'"
Olbermann expounded, over a graphic of a calendar: "'Boom,' indeed. And there is another potentially explosive question to ponder tonight: What if that gap between when the Counsel's office first knew that the investigation was at least imminent, and when White House staff members were told not to destroy any documents, was more than just 12 hours? The timeline we have now: Monday evening, September 29, 2003, about 8:00, Mr. Gonzales gets the official word from Justice, literally minutes later, say 8:05, he told Mr. Card, Tuesday morning, September 30, 2003, about 8am, he told everybody else. But September 29th was probably not the first time he'd heard about the investigation. The story first reported on Friday night, September 26th by Alex Johnson and Andrea Mitchell on MSNBC.com, nearly 72 hours earlier, making the gap until staffers were told 84 hours.
"Alex and Andrea wrote at that time: 'The CIA has asked the Justice Department to investigate allegations that the White House broke federal laws by revealing the identity of one of its undercover employees in retaliation against the woman's husband, a former ambassador who publicly criticized President Bush's since-discredited claim that Iraq had sought weapons-grade uranium from Africa, NBC News has learned.' Oops. I'm joined now by our own chief counsel, Craig Crawford of Congressional Quarterly and MSNBC. Good evening, Craig."
Crawford, from Washington, DC: "Hi there. I wonder how long it takes to word search your email when you've got to check for something."
Olbermann: "This gap here of 12 to 84 hours, maybe three days, four days worth, is there a splatter pattern here? I mean, it makes Gonzales look bad, it makes Card look bad, you don't necessarily have to be as cynical as Joe Biden to assume that these great political operatives -- Card and Rove -- promptly spoke to each other that night, do you?"
Crawford: "Not at all. And, of course, there was a lot of buzz at the time about the CIA launched, you know, initiated this inquiry and prompted what has turned into the investigation in the grand jury probe, so it was all about town that this was going on. So anybody who was worried about emails that they had written in the past on this topic had a lot of time to word search it and delete it if they wanted to. But we also know there's a lot of evidence that did get through. So if they were getting rid of documents or shredding documents, whatever, a lot of it did get through, at least from what has been leaked from the grand jury investigation about emails between Karl Rove and Vice President Cheney's Chief-of-Staff, Scooter Libby, for example."
Olbermann could have been speaking of himself, not Democrats, in this formulation: "Whether you buy into this as important or you dismiss it as mere politics, wherever you stand on the political spectrum, is it not time for everybody to admit that this has become the baseball bat that will not break, and at the end of this, unless Patrick Fitzgerald has somehow been able to indict Howard Dean, that the Democrats will keep using this baseball bat and keep hitting the President and the administration over the head for literally months to come?"
Crawford: "Well, of course, if somebody's hitting themselves over the head with a baseball bat, do you really need to swing one of your own in the Democrats' case? This case is becoming a political liability for the President down the road, and his party, the Republican Party, because we're not that far away from the campaign for control of Congress next year, and if Karl Rove becomes something of a poster child for the Democrats to talk about excess and abuse at the White House, and accuse the White House of lack of credibility and everything else, this would be a liability for Republicans in that campaign."
Olbermann: "And whether or not you like his politics, the President's loyalty to people who have worked well for him is admirable. It certainly is impressive and unusual in politics. But relative to Karl Rove, could it also be genuinely self-destructive. I mean, at some point, does somebody say to the President, 'Look, we have congressional elections next year. They are vitally important. You have to cut your losses here.'"
Crawford: "As loyal as he is, there have been instances before the midterm elections in 2002 when the economy was such a problem, not long after those elections, and as the President prepared for his own reelection, he got rid of the Secretary of Treasury and his chief economic advisor to show that he was taking charge of the economic problems. So there's a little bit of history that the President will do that, but there's nothing like the loyalty he would owe to Karl Rove for certain. But at some point, I would imagine some of the Republican leaders may go to him and say, 'Look, Karl Rove's brilliant and we need his strategy, but he's better off doing that privately out of the public service out of the White House and quietly somewhere at a private foundation and not out in the public where he's a whipping boy for the media and the Democrats.'"
Olbermann: "Now, context and accusation are not comparable I don't think, but, you know, Richard Nixon loved Ehrlichman and Haldeman and got rid of them both on the same day. Lastly, a question of the defense in this. Am I reading something into it, or have the administration and the media sympathetic to it been kind of foundering here? I mean, my old colleague, John Gibson, said it again over the weekend -- and I love John, I think he's a great guy -"
Crawford: "I do, too."
Olbermann: "- but I actually, I heard him say that this was really all about the fact that it was Joe Wilson's wife who sent Joe Wilson to Africa. And I'm thinking, John, that is the dumbest thing I have ever heard. Joe Wilson's wife was in charge of the CIA in 2002? I did not know that!"
Crawford: "You know, this politics of distraction -- whenever you're attacked and you don't want to meet the merits of what's being charged, then change the subject, attack somebody else. And this is what's happened with Joe Wilson, this effort to discredit him is what got them in trouble in the first place, and here they are doing it again. But, you know, if you spot the critics of Joe Wilson everything they want to say about him and his wife, it doesn't change the fact that the CIA basically launched an investigation of the White House for leaking an undercover agent's identity. None of that changes no matter what you say about Joe Wilson."

Speaking of dumb comments, you don't have to be the top person to make assignments. Large organizations have may sub-departments and divisions with leaders making decisions. And in Plame's case, the contention simply is that she made a suggestion others acted upon.

"Top Ten George W. Bush Solutions for
Global Warming"

From the July 25 Late Show with David Letterman, the "Top Ten George W. Bush Solutions for Global Warming." Late Show home page: www.cbs.com

10. NASA mission to turn down the sun's thermostat

9. Federal subsidies to boost production of Cool Ranch Doritos

8. Fast track Rumsfeld's "Colonize Neptune" proposal

7. Convene Blue-Ribbon Committee to explore innovative ways of ignoring the problem

6. Let Hillary worry about it when she takes over

5. I dunno -- tax cuts for the rich?

4. Give the boys at Halliburton $90 billion dollar contract to patch hole in ozone

3. Switch to Celsius so scorching 98 becomes frosty 37

2. Keep plenty of Bud on ice

1. Invade Antarctica


# In an odd booking, disgraced reporter Peter Arnett, a veteran of the AP, CNN and NBC, is scheduled to be a guest tonight (Tuesday) on CBS's Late Late Show with Craig Kilborn. Home page for the 12:37am EDT/PDT program: www.cbs.com

For more than you want to know about Arnett, who we last heard from when he was ousted by NBC News after appearing on Iraqi TV to praise the solidarity of the Iraqi people behind Saddam and against the U.S., see the March 31, 2003 CyberAlert Extra, "Peter Arnett's Years as Conveyer of Enemy Propaganda," at: www.mediaresearch.org

-- Brent Baker