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FOX News Wants To Make Global Warming About Al Gore

Reported by Ellen - May 18, 2006

It looks like Al Gore is the new Hillary Clinton on FOX News. As he gets set to launch a new documentary movie about global warming, An Inconvenient Truth, Hannity & Colmes has launched a new series about the movie. But the focus seems more on Al Gore, rather than the issues.

Alan Colmes started last night’s (5/17/06) discussion by saying, “It’s interesting to me that the people coming out against Gore and all the money that is going to combat Gore’s position on global warming, comes from the fossil fuel industry… and people who have financial interests not to move forward with reducing poisonous emissions.”

As “Climate of Fear?” appeared across the screen, guest Dan Gainor, from the Media Research Center’s Business & Media Institute, complained about the “just enormous” amounts of money spent on global warming research which, he claimed “is all being used to push one position.” Not quite. Monday night’s guest on the topic was global warming skeptic Patrick Michaels who, as Media Matters reports, "has received more than $165,000 in fuel-industry funding, including money from the coal industry to publish his own climate journal."

Gainor also complained that the fossil fuels industry “gets abused by people like Mr. Gelbspan for daring to actually challenge anything the other side says.” But in nearly every one of his following remarks, Gainor was doing the insulting.

Gainor dismissed Alan Colmes’ concerns about melting glaciers and extreme weather patterns by asserting, “This isn’t anything new… a lot of the media that are telling us that we’re having global warming now are the same people telling us we had an ice age in the seventies.”

Unlike Monday night, there was some real balance to the debate last night. Journalist Ross Gelbspan said, “There’s been a big increase in the intense and extremely destabilizing weather events over the last 30 years or so. They’re increasing in frequency and intensity and they’re definitely correlated with the increase in greenhouse gases.”

Gainor took his first swipe at Gelbspan by saying that there is only one reporter that he agreed with, a reporter from the NY Times. But a quick look at Gelbspan’s website indicates otherwise.

Gainor’s next dig was that “People like Mr. Gelbspan (are) just highlighting every extreme that even the scientists don’t say are accurate… and the media are marching in lockstep with people like Al Gore.”

Sean Hannity seemed more interested in knocking Al Gore than in talking about the science but he pretended otherwise. “I’d be more open to hear Al Gore’s arguments but… it’s back to Al Gore’s typical, predictable, knee-jerk attacks against the Bush administration and Republicans. It’s just like him screaming at the top of his lungs that George Bush betrayed his country. He seems like a guy that is so bitter, so lacking in any objectivity… why should we take him seriously?"

Gelbspan replied that it’s not an Al Gore issue, that William F. Buckley, James Woolsey, and Senator Richard Lugar, all conservatives, have also expressed concerns.

As Gelbspan started to add that "Senator John McCain has taken the lead in trying to regulate emissions,” an obviously peeved Hannity interrupted. “Well, it IS an Al Gore issue ‘cause Al Gore is bringing it to the forefront and I think he’s trying to scare a lot of people with this movie and I think a lot of it’s based on his politics.”

Gelbspan answered that the “unanimous finding of 2000 scientists” is that we need to reduce emissions by 70% to stabilize the climate. But Hannity’s open mind had apparently heard enough. He tried to interrupt Gelbspan again but Gelbspan continued, unruffled. “And look at what the response is in Europe. Holland is now cutting emissions by 80% in 40 years, Tony Blair has committed (unintelligible because Hannity was talking over him) to 60%...They would not be doing that if they had any doubts about the science.”

Open-minded Hannity quickly changed the subject. “They want us to be driving Hugo’s and Toyota Priuses rather than a – (Hannity seemed not to want to say what, exactly, he preferred to drive) – another car, that there’s another agenda guiding their science, a political agenda.”

Gainor readily agreed and accused Gelbspan, who had not made one impolite remark to anyone, of trying to stifle debate.

“We’re HAVING a debate,” Colmes said, and signaled that time had run out.

Gore's movie got a good review by the climatologists at realclimate.org. You can read the review here. There's also an interesting report in Science Magazine beginning, "Global warming contrarians can cross out one of their last talking points. A report released last week* settles the debate over how the atmosphere has been warming the past 35 years. The report, the first of 21 the Bush Administration has commissioned to study lingering problems of global climate change, finds that satellite-borne instruments and thermometers at the surface now agree: The world is warming throughout the lower atmosphere, not just at the surface, about the way greenhouse climate models predict." (Thanks to reader Plato for alerting me to these.)

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