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Williams' Euphemism for Liberals: "Care Chiefly About Our Planet" --3/30/2006


1. Williams' Euphemism for Liberals: "Care Chiefly About Our Planet"
NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams on Wednesday night employed a nice euphemism for left-wing environmental groups (those "who care chiefly about our planet"), thus without conveying any sense of their ideological agenda, he passed along their ridiculing of the Bush administration for not going far enough in hiking the miles per gallon (mpg) standards for SUVs. In leading with the announcement from the Transportation Department, Williams noted that SUVs "have been considered trucks" and thus "been able to duck the mileage rules for American cars." Williams, who anchored from Washington, DC then relayed how "the folks here in Washington and elsewhere who care chiefly about our planet and the insatiable American need for energy, said these new standards will not, in fact, reduce our consumption of oil." Reporter Tom Costello soon highlighted how "environmental groups complain the biggest gas-guzzling pickups on the road are still exempt and mileage standards for both cars and light trucks should be much tougher: 40 miles per gallon, not 24." He concluded with the spin of the environmental groups: "The new standards will add about $200 to the average sticker price, but environmentalists wonder what the country is getting for the money."

2. CBS: Iraqi Commander Calls U.S. Atrocity at Mosque Claim a "Lie"
Kudos to CBS News and Lara Logan for undermining a widely reported incident in which U.S. soldiers supposedly killed innocent Iraqis inside a mosque. On Wednesday's CBS Evening News, Logan, who just three days earlier on CNN contemptuously dismissed as "outrageous" Laura Ingraham's criticism of Iraq war coverage for ignoring the courageous work of U.S. servicemen, relayed how "the U.S. says" those killed "were members of a militia responsible for executions and kidnappings who opened fire on elite Iraqi forces carrying out a raid early Sunday evening." But, "many Iraqis believe they were innocent worshipers praying in a mosque who were slaughtered by American forces. Today the Iraqi commander in charge of that raid, whose identity we can't show for security reasons, told CBS News that was a lie."

3. Time Mag's Ridiculous One-Sided Global Warming Fear-Mongering
The problem with advocacy journalism is that once one has switched from "mediator" to "advocate," the other side becomes the "adversary" -- and news stories have all the fairness of campaign commercials. On the issue of global warming, the media are cursed with a surplus of advocates and a paucity of real journalists. This week's Time cover story, for example, begins with the kind of fear-mongering that liberals find so offensive when it crops up in debates about the war on terror. Time's cover screams: "BE WORRIED. BE VERY WORRIED," with the word "VERY" in bright red letters, in case anyone missed the point. Time's "news" story declared: "It's undeniable that the White House's environmental record -- from the abandonment of Kyoto to the President's broken campaign pledge to control carbon output to the relaxation of emission standards -- has been dismal."

4. Shalit Cites Animated Animal Characters for Global Warming Proof
Not even reviews of kid's movies are free from a tinge of liberal bias at the Today show. During Gene Shalit's "Critic's Corner" segment on Wednesday, the mustached film critic couldn't help himself as he contended the plot of the animated movie centered on animal characters, Ice Age: The Meltdown, provides proof of global warming: "Think global warming isn't real? Ask Manny the Mammoth, Diego the Tiger or Sid the Sloth....The herd's 88 happy minutes will melt away your out-of-theater cares while attesting that global warming is no snow job."


Williams' Euphemism for Liberals: "Care
Chiefly About Our Planet"

NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams on Wednesday night employed a nice euphemism for left-wing environmental groups (those "who care chiefly about our planet"), thus without conveying any sense of their ideological agenda, he passed along their ridiculing of the Bush administration for not going far enough in hiking the miles per gallon (mpg) standards for SUVs. In leading with the announcement from the Transportation Department, Williams noted that SUVs "have been considered trucks" and thus "been able to duck the mileage rules for American cars." Williams, who anchored from Washington, DC, presumably so he could attend the Radio-Television News Directors Association dinner, then relayed how "the folks here in Washington and elsewhere who care chiefly about our planet and the insatiable American need for energy, said these new standards will not, in fact, reduce our consumption of oil."

Reporter Tom Costello soon highlighted how "environmental groups complain the biggest gas-guzzling pickups on the road are still exempt and mileage standards for both cars and light trucks should be much tougher: 40 miles per gallon, not 24." He concluded with the spin of the environmental groups: "The new standards will add about $200 to the average sticker price, but environmentalists wonder what the country is getting for the money."

[This item was posted Wednesday night on the MRC's blog, NewsBusters.org. To share your take, go to: newsbusters.org ]

ABC's World News Tonight also led with the new higher Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards.

Costello featured a soundbite from Dan Becker, identified on-screen only as an "environmentalist." Becker is a top official with the Sierra Club: www.sierraclub.org

Their Web site features a press release titled, "Bush Fuel Economy Standards Fail to Cut Oil Addiction." See: www.sierraclub.org

Environmental Defense also put out a critical press release on Wednesday: www.environmentaldefense.org

Brian Williams, at the NBC News Washington bureau, opened the March 29 NBC Nightly News:
"Good evening. Today the federal government announced what it called the toughest fuel economy standards in 27 years for a beloved category of vehicles on the American road, SUVs. That includes light trucks, pickups and minivans. We buy 8.5 million of them a year, after all. For many years a lot of SUVs -- the larger ones -- have been considered trucks, and so they've been able to duck the mileage rules for American cars. That changed today. The announcement came from the President's man on this topic, the Secretary of Transportation. And then just as quickly, the folks here in Washington and elsewhere who care chiefly about our planet and the insatiable American need for energy, said these new standards will not, in fact, reduce our consumption of oil. We'll begin the broadcast here tonight with our report from NBC's Tom Costello."

Costello's story ran a soundbite from Secretary of Transportation Norma Mineta before he explained how, under the new regulations, by 2011 light trucks and pickups must average 24.1 miles per gallon, up 1.8 mpg from 2007, but the greater the distance between the front and rear axles, the lower the mpg requirement. Costello then asserted:
"But environmental groups complain the biggest gas-guzzling pickups on the road are still exempt and mileage standards for both cars and light trucks should be much tougher: 40 miles per gallon, not 24."
Dan Becker, identified on screen only as "environmentalist," sitting in an outside setting: "The President's proposal will only save two weeks of oil over four years. That's not very impressive."
Costello: "American automakers have opposed previous attempts to raise the standards, arguing they weren't fair. This time, they're going along."
Gloria Bergquist, auto industry advocate: "We're committed to being part of the solution, we're already doing some things and we're going to keep doing more."
Costello concluded: "The new standards will add about $200 to the average sticker price, but environmentalists wonder what the country is getting for the money. Tom Costello, NBC News, Washington."

Interestingly, the closed-captioning, of Costello's conclusion, differed markedly from what aired: "The new standards will add about $200 to the average sticker price, but the administration argues safe the country billions of gallons of gasoline. Tom Costello, NBC News, Washington."

"Argues safe the country billions" probably really was, "argues it will save the country billions."

Might that have been the originally-recorded version of Costello's story that was changed, to a more pro-environmentalist angle, in a last-minute edit?

CBS: Iraqi Commander Calls U.S. Atrocity
at Mosque Claim a "Lie"

Kudos to CBS News and Lara Logan for undermining a widely reported incident in which U.S. soldiers supposedly killed innocent Iraqis inside a mosque. On Wednesday's CBS Evening News, Logan, who just three days earlier on CNN contemptuously dismissed as "outrageous" Laura Ingraham's criticism of Iraq war coverage for ignoring the courageous work of U.S. servicemen, relayed how "the U.S. says" those killed "were members of a militia responsible for executions and kidnappings who opened fire on elite Iraqi forces carrying out a raid early Sunday evening." But, "many Iraqis believe they were innocent worshipers praying in a mosque who were slaughtered by American forces. Today the Iraqi commander in charge of that raid, whose identity we can't show for security reasons, told CBS News that was a lie."

After soundbites from the Iraqi commander and a kidnap victim they rescued, Logan concluded with how the trouble facing Americans in Iraq is that Iraqis believe "another crime" was committed by Americans: "The American special operations troops who supported the Iraqis on this raid praised both their skill and their restraint. But the continuing problem for the U.S. is the public perception here that what happened Sunday was another crime committed by American forces."

[This item was posted Wednesday night on the MRC's blog, NewsBusters.org. To post your comments: newsbusters.org ]

A March 28 CyberAlert article, "CBS's Logan Calls Ingraham's Iraq Coverage Criticism 'Outrageous,'" recounted:

Appearing live from Baghdad on Sunday's Reliable Sources on CNN, CBS News chief foreign correspondent Lara Logan lashed back at critics who say Iraq war coverage is not giving enough prominence to positive developments and Newsweek's Richard Wolffe ominously warned of a "bias witch hunt." When host Howard Kurtz suggested "critics would say, 'well, no wonder people back home think things are falling apart in Iraq


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because we get this steady drumbeat of negativity from the correspondents there,'" Logan retorted: "Well, who says things aren't falling apart in Iraq?" She proceeded to recite the bad news she didn't report, such as "all the unidentified bodies that have been turning up." After a bite of conservative radio talk show host Laura Ingraham on NBC's Today urging journalists "to actually have a conversation with the people instead of reporting from hotel balconies about the latest IEDs going off," a clearly angry Logan expressed her contempt: "I think it's outrageous. I mean, Laura Ingraham should come to Iraq and not be talking about what journalists are doing from the comfort of her studio in the United States." Kurtz pointed out Ingraham was on Today because she had spent eight days in Iraq, to which Logan sniffed: "For eight days."

That's posted with a video clip: www.mrc.org

As corrected against the closed-captioning by the MRC's Brad Wilmouth, the lead story on the March 29 CBS Evening News. Anchor Russ Mitchell:
"It has happened before in Iraq. American forces take on the insurgents only to be condemned by one faction or another in Iraq's violent tangle of religious, ethnic and tribal loyalties. The latest instance involves a joint U.S.-Iraqi operation on Sunday that some claim was an assault on civilian worshipers in a Baghdad mosque. Tonight chief foreign correspondent Lara Logan has an exclusive insider's account of that raid, and she reports on a vicious attack that happened today."

Lara Logan, in Baghdad: "Gunmen reportedly dressed as police commandos are blamed for this massacre at an electronics store in Baghdad early this morning. It's the latest in a series of attacks and increased sectarian violence here that's often blamed on militias whose armed fighters have for now overtaken the insurgents as the dominant threat to Iraq's security. But as the outcry over the killing of these men shows, it's a highly charged political issue as well. The U.S. says they were members of a militia responsible for executions and kidnappings who opened fire on elite Iraqi forces carrying out a raid early Sunday evening. Many Iraqis believe they were innocent worshipers praying in a mosque who were slaughtered by American forces. Today the Iraqi commander in charge of that raid, whose identity we can't show for security reasons, told CBS News that was a lie."
Unidentified man, only back of head shown as he talks to Logan: "They say the American used the helicopter and they killed all the civilian male inside the mosque."
Logan: "And that's not true?"
Unidentified man: "That's not true."
Logan: "The commander insisted his Iraqi special operations troops had to fight their way into the target building where they killed gunmen guarding a hostage and found various weapons including rocket launchers and heavy machine guns. To your knowledge, this is not a mosque?"
Unidentified man: "We know this is used for capture of civilian people by bad guys, and they need money."
Logan, over video of another man in shadow: "This man is one of the civilian people the commander is referring to. He's the hostage they freed on the raid who chose to talk to CBS News even though he was too afraid to show his face. 'They beat me, they kicked me, and they used an electric drill on me,' he said. 'I thought I was going to die.' At one point during the emotional interview, he broke down and had to be comforted. When asked about the militiamen who were holding him, he said he was too terrified to say anything. He told us if you go to the streets and see all the people who've left their houses and if you go to the morgue and see all the bodies, then you will understand. The American special operations troops who supported the Iraqis on this raid praised both their skill and their restraint. But the continuing problem for the U.S. is the public perception here that what happened Sunday was another crime committed by American forces. Lara Logan, CBS News, Baghdad."

Time Mag's Ridiculous One-Sided Global
Warming Fear-Mongering

The problem with advocacy journalism is that once one has switched from "mediator" to "advocate," the other side becomes the "adversary" -- and news stories have all the fairness of campaign commercials. On the issue of global warming, the media are cursed with a surplus of advocates and a paucity of real journalists. This week's Time cover story, for example, begins with the kind of fear-mongering that liberals find so offensive when it crops up in debates about the war on terror. Time's cover screams: "BE WORRIED. BE VERY WORRIED," with the word "VERY" in bright red letters, in case anyone missed the point. Time's "news" story declared: "It's undeniable that the White House's environmental record -- from the abandonment of Kyoto to the President's broken campaign pledge to control carbon output to the relaxation of emission standards -- has been dismal."

For the April 3 cover story: www.time.com

On Sunday and Monday, ABC News ran stories, in conjunction with Time, which matched the magazine's panic.

[This item, by the MRC's Rich Noyes, is slightly modified from a Tuesday afternoon posting on the MRC's blog, NewsBusters.org: newsbusters.org ]

Imagine if Vice President Cheney asked us to "be worried, be very worried" about al Qaeda or the spread of weapons of mass destruction. Time would be at the front of the liberal media mob, hissing for an end to politically-motivated scare tactics.

Then Jeffrey Kluger launched into one of the magazine's regularly-scheduled panic stories about the end of Planet Earth, which Time's cover officially declared "endangered" during the second Reagan administration.

For previous MRC analysis of Time's one-sided advocacy, see: www.mrc.org

And from back in 1989: www.mrc.org

Here's how Kluger opened the 2006 version:

No one can say exactly what it looks like when a planet takes ill, but it probably looks a lot like Earth. Never mind what you've heard about global warming as a slow-motion emergency that would take decades to play out. Suddenly and unexpectedly, the crisis is upon us.

It certainly looked that way last week as the atmospheric bomb that was Cyclone Larry -- a Category 5 storm with wind bursts that reached 180 m.p.h. -- exploded through northeastern Australia. It certainly looked that way last year as curtains of fire and dust turned the skies of Indonesia orange, thanks to drought-fueled blazes sweeping the island nation. It certainly looks that way as sections of ice the size of small states calve from the disintegrating Arctic and Antarctic. And it certainly looks that way as the sodden wreckage of New Orleans continues to molder, while the waters of the Atlantic gather themselves for a new hurricane season just two months away. Disasters have always been with us and surely always will be. But when they hit this hard and come this fast -- when the emergency becomes commonplace -- something has gone grievously wrong. That something is global warming.

END of Excerpt

In case you were looking for balance, Kluger assured that none is needed. "In the past five years or so, the serious debate has quietly ended," he wrote. So anyone left dissenting is presumed unserious?

After that, Kluger offered a quote from a representative of the environmentalist lobby: "'Things are happening a lot faster than anyone predicted,' says Bill Chameides, chief scientist for the advocacy group Environmental Defense and a former professor of atmospheric chemistry. 'The last 12 months have been alarming.'"

Do you think that the chief scientist from Exxon-Mobil would get the same chance to help craft a cover story's spin?

After telling us that the North and South poles are melting, vast areas of the world are being tipped into drought, wildfires are rampaging through forests, and "environmentalists can tick off scores of species that have been determined to be at risk as a result of global warming," Kluger moved on to politics, where he abandons any pretense of reporting to push the environmentalist lobby's line:

It's undeniable that the White House's environmental record -- from the abandonment of Kyoto to the President's broken campaign pledge to control carbon output to the relaxation of emission standards -- has been dismal. George W. Bush's recent rhetorical nods to America's oil addiction and his praise of such alternative fuel sources as switchgrass have yet to be followed by real initiatives....

Increasingly, state and local governments are filling the void. The mayors of more than 200 cities have signed the U.S. Mayors Climate Protection Agreement, pledging, among other things, that they will meet the Kyoto goal of reducing greenhouse-gas emissions in their cities to 1990 levels by 2012. Nine eastern states have established the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative for the purpose of developing a cap-and-trade program that would set ceilings on industrial emissions and allow companies that overperform to sell pollution credits to those that underperform -- the same smart, incentive-based strategy that got sulfur dioxide under control and reduced acid rain. And California passed the nation's toughest automobile-emissions law last summer.

"There are a whole series of things that demonstrate that people want to act and want their government to act," says Fred Krupp, president of Environmental Defense. Krupp and others believe that we should probably accept that it's too late to prevent CO2 concentrations from climbing to 450 p.p.m. (or 70 p.p.m. higher than where they are now). From there, however, we should be able to stabilize them and start to dial them back down.

That goal should be attainable. Curbing global warming may be an order of magnitude harder than, say, eradicating smallpox or putting a man on the moon. But is it moral not to try? We did not so much march toward the environmental precipice as drunkenly reel there, snapping at the scientific scolds who told us we had a problem.

The scolds, however, knew what they were talking about. In a solar system crowded with sister worlds that either emerged stillborn like Mercury and Venus or died in infancy like Mars, we're finally coming to appreciate the knife-blade margins within which life can thrive. For more than a century we've been monkeying with those margins. It's long past time we set them right.

END of second excerpt

On Wednesday, the MRC's Free Market Project posted an extensive report on the loaded coverage from Time and ABC News, "March Madness: Full-Court Press on Global Warming; Aggressive focus on manmade climate change is far from a real 'tipping point' -- it's a coordinated liberal media play." Go to: www.freemarketproject.org

Shalit Cites Animated Animal Characters
for Global Warming Proof

Not even reviews of kid's movies are free from a tinge of liberal bias at the Today show. During Gene Shalit's "Critic's Corner" segment on Wednesday, the mustached film critic couldn't help himself as he contended the plot of the animated movie centered on animal characters, Ice Age: The Meltdown, provides proof of global warming: "Think global warming isn't real? Ask Manny the Mammoth, Diego the Tiger or Sid the Sloth....The herd's 88 happy minutes will melt away your out-of-theater cares while attesting that global warming is no snow job."

[This item is adopted from a Wednesday posting, by the MRC's Geoff Dickens, on our NewsBusters blog: newsbusters.org ]

Shalit began his March 29 review, aired in the 8:30 half hour:
"Good morning and welcome to the Critic's Corner. Think global warming isn't real? Ask Manny the Mammoth, Diego the Tiger or Sid the Sloth. They first met in the animated hit Ice Age and they formed an unlikely herd. Now in Ice Age: The Meltdown they're fleeing floods of melting ice and the results are joyous."

And Shalit concluded: "Carlos Saldahna's direction and the smart three-scribe script makes this Ice Age very cool. The herd's 88 happy minutes will melt away your out-of-theater cares while attesting that global warming is no snow job. Audiences everywhere get ready! Here comes Ice Age: The Meltdown starring the herd shot 'round the world. And that's the Critic's Corner for this morning."

The Internet Movie Database's page for Ice Age: The Meltdown: imdb.com

Twentieth Century Fox's page for the children's movie: www.iceagemovie.com

-- Brent Baker