Jun 18 2015

Why Corporate Media Want to Blame California’s Drought on Your Eating Avocados

New York Times chart of California produce and water use.

California’s drought is caused by lower-than-normal precipitation coupled with higher-than-normal temperatures, not by people eating too many grapes (24 gallons for a bunch) or mandarin oranges (42.5 gallons for three).

Apr 15 2015

As Drought Grips California, Networks Come Up Dry on Climate Science

CBS News: California Drought Map

When California’s drought was covered on network TV, global warming was rarely addressed, with just three mentions on ABC, two on NBC and one on CBS.

Apr 01 2015

Soundbites April 2015


NYT (Mis)Spells Out Debt Problem for SYRIZA A New York Times report (1/29/15) by Liz Alderman suggested that Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis, from the anti-austerity SYRIZA party, doesn’t understand his country’s debt problems: When pressed to describe how Greece would pay for bonds falling due in the coming months without taking the €7 billion installment, Mr. Varoufakis replied, “Let’s not talk about details.” To SYRIZA’s detractors, such remarks might signal that the new government does not understand the magnitude of Greece’s financial challenges. Before becoming Finance minister, Varoufakis taught economics at Cambridge, the University of Athens, University of Sydney […]

Apr 01 2015

Obsessed With Winter Cold, TV Missed Bigger Picture

Republican Senator from Oklahoma James Inhofe speaking to U.S. Congress

During January, February and March of 2015, major news outlets focused on cold in the Northeast, neglecting droughts and other climate change issues.

Jan 01 2015

SoundBites January/February 2015

Elizabeth Warren, Antonio Weiss

Making ‘Torture’ Impossible When the Washington Post (12/9/14) described on the Senate Intelligence Committee report on the treatment of prisoners at CIA “black sites,” it said it documented “harsh interrogation measures,” “painful procedures” and even “seemingly arbitrary violence.” But what it didn’t say was that this treatment was “torture”—except when saying it was “deemed torture by program critics including President Obama.” And that was no accident. In a Post story (12/9/14) about the “old debate” about torture terminology, Philip Bump quotes the justification Cameron Barr (then national security editor, now national editor) gave to Brian Stelter (7/2/10) in 2010: “After […]

Sep 26 2014

Laurie Garrett on Ebola Crisis, Anne Petermann on Climate March


This week on CounterSpin: The current outbreak of the Ebola virus in West Africa is unprecedented in its scale. But while some media focus on experimental vaccines, health experts say we ought to be talking about fundamental inequities in basic healthcare delivery. We’ll talk about ebola with Laurie Garrett, senior fellow for global health at the Council on Foreign Relations.
Also on the show: The largest environmental march ever brought hundreds of thousands into New York City streets, but the People’s Climate Watch was mostly ignored by the media. As was its companion action, Flood Wall Street, which targeted corporations behind climate instability with civil disobedience. Is the people’s voice on climate change being ignored by the corporate media just as it’s been ignored by corporate backed governments? We’ll speak with Anne Petermann, director of the Global Justice Ecology Project, and the Climate-Connections blog.

Apr 01 2014

Sunday Morning Snow Job

Beltway talk shows’ flaky climate coverage

ABC's This Week with George Stephanopoulos, North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory, L. A. Mayor Eric Garcetti, ABC business correspondent Rebecca Jarvis and Climate Central climatologist Dr. Heidi Cullen.

On February 16, 2014, all three Sunday morning programs featured the climate change topic prominently. Unfortunately, quality didn’t match quantity, reflecting the “balance as bias” framework of years past, with scientists debating nonscientists and facts vying with opinions and political platforms—sometimes to the point of incoherence.

Dec 18 2013

TV News and Extreme Weather: Don’t Mention Climate Change


Dramatic weather-related disasters are ready made for TV news. But what’s not on the screen? The human-made climate change that is affecting, and in some cases exacerbating, that extreme weather.