Back in July 2015, I challenged “Meet the Press” host Chuck Todd on his show’s lack of coverage of what is by FAR the most important issue facing humanity – climate disruption/disaster. His response? “Fair critique on the lack of coverage; We plan to do more and do it soon.” (see screenshot below) So what ended up happening? Did Chuck Todd keep his promise? The answer is below the first screenshot and before the second one in this post. And no, it’s not a good one.
As it turns out, MediaMatters is out with a study this morning, looking at this exact question “How Broadcast Networks Covered Climate Change In 2015.” The answer, in short:
ABC, CBS, NBC, and Fox collectively spent five percent less time covering climate change in 2015, even though there were more newsworthy climate-related events than ever before, including the EPA finalizing the Clean Power Plan, Pope Francis issuing a climate change encyclical, President Obama rejecting the Keystone XL pipeline, and 195 countries around the world reaching a historic climate agreement in Paris… Altogether, the Sunday shows — ABC’s This Week, CBS’ Face the Nation, NBC’s Meet the Press, and Fox Broadcasting Co.’s Fox News Sunday — aired 73 minutes of climate coverage in 2015, a decrease of eight minutes from 2014’s total of 81 minutes….In 2014, the Sunday shows aired four segments that included climate science denial. In 2015, that number increased to six segments. Climate denial surfaced in 50 percent of the climate-related segments on NBC’s Meet the Press (three out of six segments), 17 percent of the climate-related segments on CBS’ Face the Nation (one out of six segments), and 14 percent of the climate-related segments on Fox News Sunday (two out of 14 segments). ABC’s This Week did not feature any climate science denial, but the program only addressed climate change in two segments all year.
Even worse – if that’s possible – “On the March 1 edition of NBC’s Meet the Press, host Chuck Todd ended the show by playing footage of Sen. James Inhofe (R-OK) bringing a snowball to the Senate floor to dispute climate change,” with Todd acting like it was all a big joke and/or a big controversy (which it absolutely is NOT among scientists or most of the world, outside the off-the-deep-end-crazy Republican Party). Disgracefully, Todd stated: “Senator Jim Inhofe used a fun little prop to make his point apparently on global warming claiming it was a hoax this week…I’m not going to use that to get into a climate change debate.”
So yeah, Chuck Todd lied back in July 2015. Big time. In fact, not only did his piece-of-crap show NOT increase its climate coverage, to the extent it HAD climate coverage at all, that coverage played into climate science denial and/or the absurd meme that there’s a big “debate” around this subject.
And no, Chuck, this isn’t just an “environmental issue” for “environmentalists,” if that’s what you’re thinking. Again, this is THE existential issue facing you, your family, your friends, me, my family, my friends, EVERYONE who lives on this planet — humans and every other species. Because without a habitable planet, which is certainly a possible outcome if we don’t act on this crisis ASAP, we can pretty much kiss all the rest goodbye: the ever-fascinating “who’s up/who’s down” “horse race” stories people like you love so much; what insane and/or offensive thing neo-fascist bigot Donald Trump said most recently; blah blah blah. That’s right, Chuck, without a habitable planet, none of that will matter, nor will your show, nor will your job, etc.
To sum it all up, future historians – if there’s anyone alive, that is, to write the history of how the corporate media contributed to the destruction of the only home we all have – will not be kind to the Chuck Todds of the world. Suggested title for a future book: “Chuck Todd Lied, the Planet Died.” Maybe Chuck, if he’s still around, could even invite the author on his show to discuss it. Except that he’d probably opt to have Donald Trump on for the gazillionth time instead, or some other idiocy. Ugh.