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Monday, October 15, 2007

A Channel One Oversight?

Channel One News, which is broadcast daily to nearly 30 percent of all American teens in high school classrooms across the country, claims to have “maintained the highest standards of journalistic excellence, and its commitment as a source of unbiased, truthful reporting.” If you watch Channel One very often, however, you will notice a steady lineup of reports on global warming which presuppose not only that global warming is real, but that it is man-made, and that if we don’t change our lifestyles, global catastrophe is imminent.

On the December 7, 2006 broadcast, for example, a broadcast that featured an interview with self-proclaimed climate guru Al Gore, Channel One correspondent Eileen Wu explains to her captive student audience that global warming “happens when air pollution like carbon dioxide gets trapped in the earth’s atmosphere. Carbon dioxide comes from the gas that fuels your car, the coal that heats your home, the electricity that powers your lights.”

The April 20, 2007 broadcast was especially informative. Alexander Marquardt reported on a visit to Springfield High School in Springfield Tennessee by singer and environmental activist Sheryl Crow and Laurie David, one of the producers of Al Gore’s movie An Inconvenient Truth.

In this report, we hear David tell Springfield students, “We now have less than ten years to slow global warming down, or else we set ourselves on a course we will not be able to correct.”

In an interview with Marquardt, Crow states, “...this movement has to be the biggest movement that we will ever know in our lifetime, and high school students are talking about it; they’re concerned about it...”

As a hard-hitting journalist determined to present both sides of the issue, Marquardt asks Crow and David this tough question:

I spoke to the kids beforehand, and there are a fair number of non-believers. How do you get your message across to those non-believers, and how do you do it without engaging in, in a scare campaign?

David fielded that tough question beautifully and with obvious scientific certainty:

The non-believers are just misinformed, ok, because this isn’t a theory anymore, this isn’t really an – it’s not an opinion - it’s a fact, ok, this is, you know, it’s based on fact, the science is in, and there is, you know, really complete consensus from all serious peer reviewed scientists that this is happening.

As the report nears an end, Marquardt informs us that “A main goal of the road trip is to get people to join a virtual march by signing an online petition at stopglobalwarming.org.” We then listen to David imploring the Springfield students, “Let's do it virtually, on the internet, every day, until we’re a million strong. Let's combine all our voices into one clear cry for action.”

After David's plea to the Springfield students, Marquardt's voice-over informs the Channel One audience, “To sign up for the virtual march Laurie and Sheryl were talking about, head to ChannelOne.com and click on Environment 101.“

Today’s Channel One broadcast featured a story on Al Gore’s Nobel Peace Prize award. In this story, Channel One reporter Chris Browne states, “The Nobel prize represents an important acknowledgement of Gore’s take on the global warming issue, and many are demanding the U.S. take a more active role in limiting its production of greenhouse gasses, which many say are the primary cause of global warming.”

After watching yet another opportunity for Channel One to discuss global warming, I decided to head to ChannelOne.com and click on Environment 101 as Alexander Marquardt had encouraged students to do back in April. On this page, students will see a link “How to Help: Stop Global Warming.” Clicking on that link will take students to StopGlobalWarming.org. Here students are urged to “Take Action at School,” and students read the following:

Throughout history, students have been the driving force in social change. Now more than ever is the time for students across the country to become global warming activists and join the movement.

On this page you will find tips for stopping global warming that your class or school can do today. You don't have to do everything, but we all need to do something! Get started in your school and keep us posted with results.

Twenty-three “tips for stopping global warming” are then listed. The fourth “tip” listed reads as follows:

• Watch An Inconvenient Truth
Encourage administrators to make watching An Inconvenient Truth and Too Hot Not to Handle required viewing, the way it already is in Sweden and Norway, and make Stop Global Warming: The Solution is You! required reading at your school.

So, the Channel One website links to a site that wants schools to require students to see these two global warming films and to require students to read a book on global warming ; however, because Channel One claims to have maintained its commitment to unbiased reporting, I began to look for links on the Channel One website that would take me to sites presenting the other side of the issue.

I searched for a link that would take me to a report on the recent lecture at UNC Charlotte in which world renown meteorologist Dr. William Gray said, "We're brainwashing our children...They're going to the Gore movie (An Inconvenient Truth) and being fed all this. It's ridiculous."

Dr. Gray concedes that warming has occurred, but claims the natural cycle of ocean water temperatures is the cause, and that the same natural cycle will result in a period of global cooling, which will begin soon.

We'll look back on all of this in 10 or 15 years and realize how foolish it was.
...
The human impact on the atmosphere is simply too small to have a major effect on global temperatures.
...
It bothers me that my fellow scientists are not speaking out against something they know is wrong... But they also know that they'd never get any grants if they spoke out. I don't care about grants.

For some strange reason, there is no link on the Channel One website to any site reporting on Dr. Gray’s lecture, nor is there any link to any other website or report that questions the reality of human-caused global warming.

I can't fathom why Channel One wouldn't have such links on their website; it must just be an oversight. After all, Channel One is committed to “unbiased, truthful reporting.”

2 Comments:

Blogger SkyePuppy said...

Bryan,

You're missing the point. There's your truth, and there's my truth. And Al Gore's "truth" is what's true for Channel One News. So, really, they're reporting the truth. As they see it. And that's their idea of unbiased.

These people would be laughable, if they weren't brainwashing our kids into deep depression.

8:45 PM  
Blogger Bryan Alexander said...

I assigned an essay to my freshmen English students a few weeks ago. The topic was to discuss what the world would be like without motorized transportation of any kind. I wasn't even thinking about global warming when I made the assignment; I was just trying to assign a topic that would make kids have to organize their thoughts and write a well-organized essay.

I was surprised at how many kids wrote in their essays that the world would be better without motorized transportation because it would reduce global warming.

I guess I should not have been surprised, however, when you consider how these kids are being brainwashed into believing this.

11:00 AM  

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