Climate Change, BP Ban Missing, But Not ‘Shopping Mall Putsch’ Nightly Network News Review


World Meteorological Organization Secretary-General Michel Jarraud in a press release today told the ongoing UN Doha Climate Change Conference, “The extent of Arctic sea ice reached a new record low. The alarming rate of its melt this year highlighted the far-reaching changes taking place on Earth’s oceans and biosphere. Climate change is taking place before our eyes and will continue to do so as a result of the concentrations of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, which have risen constantly and again reached new records.”

That was not tonight’s top story on the network news. And none of the networks have mentioned the Doha conference yet. It runs until December 7 so there’s still time.

The US government has suspended all new federal contracts with BP because of the Gulf of Mexico spill.

The actual EPA statement is, “EPA is taking this action due to BP’s lack of business integrity as demonstrated by the company’s conduct with regard to the Deepwater Horizon blowout, explosion, oil spill, and response, as reflected by the filing of a criminal information.”

You’d think that would have made the network news tonight, too. But I didn’t see it.

Why should it make the news?

Every network news show — ABC World News Tonight, CBS Evening News, and NBC Nightly News — have Powerball fever!

All the networks then switch to the fiscal cliff.

This is truly America: the one-in-175-million chance that you will win some portion of $550 million is followed by news that Erskine Bowles (one of the debt-cutting Simpson-Bowles duo that is apparently above criticism) says there’s only a one-in-three chance that we will NOT go over the ‘fiscal cliff.’ Going over said cliff would mean that every American family — not just the one who hit on a one-in-175-million-chance ticket — would lose about $3,500.

At one moment the networks are filling us with pointless hope and smiles and then we are told there’s a chance we’re all getting screwed.

Seriously, does anything sum up America today like that?

Yesterday, I wondered if any network would mention the news that Wal-Mart had products made at the Bangladeshi factory where 112 plus workers died. Surprisingly, of all the networks, softball ABC did.

Today, I asked if ABC, in particular, would report news Disney, which owns ABC, also had products with their labels made there. Amazingly, ABC did report this. Of course, they made certain we knew Disney said none of their garments were supposed to be made there, but still, ABC did report it.

ABC has been doing some surprising stuff lately, but it’s still mostly that ‘Instant Index’ Act III filler crap and pointless celebrity news. However, they have been doing a good story here and there — and this story by reporter Brian Ross is definitely there.

After a report on a huge storm brewing off the pacific coast, ABC anchor Diane Sawyer says, “Day after day after day, one storm piles in after another.”

Does Diane know you can shorten that pattern down to “climate change”? Really, save your breath, Diane.

After Diane laments the odd weather we’re having on a seemingly regular basis, ABC runs an ad for BP. No, ABC does not do the story on the US banning federal contracts with BP.

I doubt the two things are related.

ABC reporter David Muir goes off on his bullying best during the ‘Made in America’ segment. Muir runs up to unsuspecting Americas, and asks them if the purchases they’re making or have made are ‘Made in USA.’

Please PLEASE just once I want the victim to say to the bully Muir, ‘Where is your camera, your mic, your phone, your clothes, the car your guys drove here in, your laptop, your satellite made?’

PLEASE SOMEBODY! ANYBODY! Stop David Muir’s fascist reign of bullying during the ‘Made in America’ segment!

Muir’s ‘Shopping Mall Putsch’ must come to an end!

After another pointless ‘Instant Index’ segment of needless trivia, Diane Sawyer requests more bit material from the viewing audience by saying, “If you see something you want your friends to know,” then send it to them.

I immediately thought that remark demeaned journalism, lowering it to the level of senseless gossip. Then I realized this is what journalism is at ABC: tell us what to put on our picture show and we’ll show it to your friends.

I mean, besides for when they completely unexpectedly do something right like Brian Ross’s garment factory fire reports.

The evening news ends with CBS reporting on US veterans trying to find work, NBC discusses possible new evidence of something close to life on Mars, and ABC drops anchor with even more Powerball coverage.

This time, the Woodwards and Bernsteins at ABC put their heads together and decided their audience wanted to know what other people would do if they won Powerball.

That’s some powerful reporting.




  • Dan

    Chuck, these segments rock! I’d rather read these than drink a National Beer. This is only because I focus on your humor. If I thought about the implications (the news covering Powerball over climate change), it would probably make me want to drink. Of course I would drink a National Beer

  • RM

    Brian Ross ended his ABC segment by citing the pathetic cash compensation (in the low four figures in US dollars) that would go to the family of each employee who died in the Bangladesh fire — the price of a life. Rather than acknowledge – much less explore – the sickening implications of that, Sawyer cut him off with one of her usual nauseating affectations of furrowed-brow concern. “A terrible, terrible tragedy,” she said. Was it really, Diane? Gee, I had no idea.