Wednesday, September 20, 2006

The Big Slumber

Daily Howler: When Al Gore made his formal proposal, the nation's Big Press chose to doze:
"On Monday afternoon, in a speech at NYU, Gore unveiled his formal plan to counter the effects of global warming. And the nation’s big news orgs buried it deep—if they bothered reporting it at all.

The Washington Post gave Gore’s speech 484 words, placing it low on page 2. The New York Times—above-it-all always—gave the story 468 words, and a bottom-of-page 17 placement. And try to believe that this appeared as part of the New York Times treatment:

REVKIN (9/19/06): Senator James M. Inhofe, Republican of Oklahoma and chairman of the Environment and Public Works Committee, said the Gore proposals would create ''economic calamity.”

“He’s been hyping unfounded fears of planetary doom for 20 years,” Mr. Inhofe said in a statement, “and his new proposal would require a wholesale restructuring of our economic system.”

Good God! There isn’t a word in the Times report about the overwhelming scientific consensus on warming. But we did get the hear the crackpot Inhofe add to his famous crackpot claim that ''man-made global warming is the greatest hoax ever perpetrated on the American people.” Verily, we live at a time when the crackpots rule—and the Gores are assailed for their earth tones.

But then, at least the Post and the Times pretended to cover the Gore proposal. According to Nexis, USA Today ran no story at all; ditto the Chicago Tribune and the Los Angeles Times. And the Boston Globe didn’t cover the story either. Back in the day, the Globe laid waste to major forests, wasting your time with the troubling story of the arthritis pills of the Gores’ troubling dog. They loved pretending that Gore was a liar. But the earth’s future? Pshaw! Boston slept. And the nation’s networks skipped the speech too. In 1999, Brian Williams was deeply troubled by Gore’s polo shirts. But not today, by his thoughts about warming.

Given the silence of those big, lazy orgs, we can perhaps draw some small humor from the AP’s headline on its Gore story: “Al Gore calls global warming a ‘climate crisis,’ decries lack of action by leaders.”

The silence concerning Gore’s major speech deserves a bit of reflection"

The greatest obstacle to a political storm sweeping clean our politics is the corruption and incompetence of Big Media. What else can be said?

Amid the greatest scandals, and potential end-of-the-world crises, Big Media cannot get the basic facts right, cannot tell the truth or effectively inform the Public. An informed Public is necessary for Democracy to function, and the U.S. does not have a Media capable of informing the Public adequately.

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